Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Descent of Man

For proof of human evolution, you need look no further than your own toes.

We bear obvious similarities to the Quadrumana, with the signal exception of the eponymous characteristic, that of having four hands.
Our hands, like theirs, are marvels of engineering -- really, there is nothing other in the animal kingdom -- not the mastodon’s trunk, nor the fangs of the sabre-tooth -- that equals these. 
Yet suffer thy gaze to drift down, down, beneath the girdle and the knobbly knees, down those stalks of shins, ultimately to terminate grotesquely in a couple of clumps, tassled with little blebs and blobs of flesh at their tips.  At the nether end, you are practically an amelus;  those toes, some parodic thalidomide version of what they should have been.

Backed against the wall by these powerful arguments, you splutter:  But- but-  Surely these have been intelligently Designed for some subtle purpose.  Without them, we could not grip the loam nor scale the stones.
Really? Let’s do an experiment.  Don hiking-boots:  now you have hooves.  Attempt to walk.  You do just fine.

The only contemporary usefulness of toes is for baby to play with, and for the exquisite manipulations of “This Little Piggie Went to Market”.  No doubt at some yonder stage of natural selection, these mini-appendages will become deciduous, dropping off in later infancy like baby-teeth.

No comments:

Post a Comment