The End Of Evolution

The End Of Evolution

What does evolution have to do with your dating life? A lot or nothing.

Did anyone of you see the film Idiocracy? Don't worry, you're not alone. It was not strong. It was really a poor follow-up to Office Space for director Mike Judge. I once heard that he wasn't going to do another film because of how much he disliked the first experience. Even Luke Wilson was unable to save this wreck. Anyways, the film's conceit is that mankind is on its way down from an intellectual standpoint. It's illustrated by our love of sound bite politics, wrestling, porn and other 'lowbrow' entertainment, and our penchant for bastardizing the English language through abbreviations, slang, and general laziness (LOL). And in the future, only dummies survived the intellectual apocalypse.

The Idiocracy (as opposed to A Confederacy Of Dunces) comes into play because all of the smart people have been procreated out of the picture. As Harvey Danger once sang, "only stupid people are breeding, the cretins cloning and feeding." The smarties in our generation were marrying later and having fewer children; some of those children didn't turn so well because gametes may start going south genetically as the humans approach the end of their fertility window. But other folks remained fecund and were pumping out litters of dullards. The implication was that the smarter members of each progressive generation would have fewer kids than their neighbors and the general IQ would plummet accordingly. There seemed to be an implicit condemnation of welfare and socialized medicine (ie in past generations less successful people had fewer children because they could not care for them or the kids did not survive). As a satire, the film missed its mark and felt phoned in by every actor (though Dax Sheppard did some of his finest work to date). While I find myself accidentally watching it every time it’s on television, I cannot recommend this film to anyone.

The funny thing (or funnily enough as it's now OK to say) is that a scientist from University College London (sounds fake) says that our human evolution is grinding to a halt. This sucks because I only recently began accepting evolution as a viable theory. You know what doesn't grind to a halt? Intelligent design. Someone's drawing board is constantly in use. How else would you explain the new flu strains we get every year or the Montauk Monster? I digress. The scientist, Steve Jones, told The Times* that future generations are in trouble because of cell divisions. Every cell division introduces a chance for more mutation and the average 29-year old man (average age of male fathering in "the West") will have had hundreds of cell divisions by the time he fathers any babies. Evidently, we need more cell divisions.

He also blames general scientific progress for diluting the gene pool, i.e. survival of the fittest, natural selection, and other evolutionary mainstays have gone the way of the Mastodon because technology can support far more people than nature could on her own.

If this is accurate, it's actually good news on the dating front. Everyone is worried about not having their sh*t together in time to have a career and family while still young. At least from the guy's standpoint, waiting not only makes sense but it's the genetically responsible thing to do. Although it is yet another double standard for Team XX Chromosome, and another feather in the cap of the older guy-younger gal dynamic (they win every time).

For the record, I don't put much stock in Steve Jones' theory and many of his colleagues find it somewhat less than credulous. Genetic pauses will take lifetimes to detect and attribute. Don't be a hero, on the off chance that he's right, plan on having dozens of kids in your middle years. It isn't no fun throwing the football with some mutant kid when you're 65. Although the English language is evolving a little too quickly for my tastes.  Friggin' X-Men.

*The message board on this article is worth a read through. A theological/scientific war threatens to leap from those pages.