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General Interest

DOPOTO REPORTS: LIFE GOES ON. EVOLUTION TOO

Here at The Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious (DOPOTO), we notice that our efforts at pointing out the 800 pound gorilla in the room are being appreciated, if by appreciated you can include being copied. It is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so today’s report is a salute to those people and organizations who have joined DOPOTO in noticing the nose on their faces.

First up is former United States Supreme Leader Shotgun Dick Cheney, who just pointed out that the Iraq war may have been a waste. Coming on the heels of his admission that he authorized the invasion of Iraq for no particular reason at all, The Department is wondering if he applying for a job here. For a man who said precious little for public consumption during his 8 years in charge of America, he’s become absolutely chatty of late, appearing on television almost as much as Donald Trump and actually being candid about his zeal for torture, conquest and tyranny. His passionate defense of these causes he worked so hard for is refreshing, or at least as refreshing as a sneering little ex-tyrant with more man-made parts than human flesh can possibly be.

Also joining the movement of pointing out the forest for the trees is the world’s press corp. When Michael Jackson died they wasted no time pointing out that the man was somewhat bizarre. All we can say is – well done, Einstein! While DOPOTO’s official position on Mr. Jackson is that he was a pop music genius who’s music will long outlast his eccentricities, the world’s media outlets have outdone themselves in ghoulish vampire reporting. There is no aspect of the man’s life, death or family that is sacred to news hounds who feel it is in the best interests of the world to read about what he ate for breakfast the day he died (turns out it was a heaping bowl of pills). It appears that the American and British practice of claiming complete public ownership of the lives of famous people has spread throughout the world. More’s the pity. Dignity, already an endangered species among the living, is now being stripped from the dead.

Of all people, paleontologists have jumped on the pointing-out-the-obvious bandwagon. Science, more of a quest for elusive truths than a venue for observing the readily apparent, is welcome into the fold. What brought this on was a visit by paleontologists (basically dinosaur bone scientists) to something called The Creationist Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. On display were dinosaur bones from  various prehistoric epochs, correctly labeled by the period in which they lived; Jurassic, Cretaceous, etc. Pretty surprising for Creationists. Not so shocking, however, is their assertion of when all these dinosaurs died out, the exact same year: 2348, B.C. Must have been quite the tumultuous year, that one.

The only problem being, the scientists pointed out, is that carbon dating exists, dating these bones at many millions of years old. Also, early human records are available for those times, sketchy though they are, yet none of them remarked on the sudden disappearance of giant lizards from the neighborhood. One would think that would be a fairly memorable occurrence, no? And in none of the accurate and startlingly vivid cave drawings made by early humans are any giant lizards portrayed, instead depicting wooly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, giant bears and caribou. None of which moves Creationists from backing off their assertion that the earth is just over 6,000 years old instead of the generally accepted 4.5 billion years old. Which is just fine, since none of them are in a position of any authority in scientific circles, their beliefs being nothing more than a curious amusement for others.

So much for our imitators. Now for an original DOPOTO report on evolution: Humans are rapidly evolving into a completely interdependent species, with no one human being able to live and function without the interaction and input of other human beings, more like a hive than a group of independent individuals. While barely a hundred years and fifty ago many humans mastered whatever technology was required to carve out and live a successful life on their own, today’s technological knowledge is so vast that it has become compartmentalized into countless specialties, with no one man or woman having the full knowledge of what it takes to function as everyone else does. And it goes far beyond the fact that few people can drive a stick-shift anymore. In our relatively recent past, men and women could build homes, make clothing, attend to births, domesticate animals, hunt, trap, raise crops, dig wells, travel, build boats, preserve food, communicate and trade with others.

While life was simpler, harder and shorter back then, it was possible to exist without the benefit of a greater society and still enjoy a comparable lifestyle. No more. While specialization was always a trend for social creatures like ourselves, the Industrial Revolution put it into high gear, with the knowledge available growing exponentially year by year. Now with the nearly overwhelming explosion of data that has come cascading down on all of us in this Information Age, knowledge and specialization becomes even more compartmentalized. Few of us can build a boat or a car or a communication device of any sort. There are other people who do that, usually a great many of them working together, with none of them possessing all the knowledge necessary to complete the task. Only as a team can these things be built. We can no more figure out how to receive a satellite transmission on our own than we can singlehandedly pave our own street. The whole point being, is that human evolution is occurring before our eyes and we’re missing it.

We look for extra appendages or increased brain size and function or some new internal organ, all the while missing the irrefutable fact that mankind is changing rapidly with what we already have: our brains and our supreme adaptability. Our youngest generation is coming of age as comfortable with computers and high technology as they are with puppies, and are learning to think and process information differently from previous generations. Maybe the coming millennia will bring physical changes, maybe not. Already our senses of sight, smell and hearing are less sharp than they once were since we’re not ducking predators all the time. As always, life goes on. Different, challenging, confusing and new, but human life  in all its glory, evolving right here, right now. This has been a report from The Department Of Pointing Out The Obvious.

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