Theoretically, Frank Sinatra Jr. should be way more of a superstar than Frank Sinatra. I’m sure if Darwin was alive, he would be greatly disappointed to learn that he was the family high point. No other family members have ever achieved his notoriety; not even close. I’ll even spot him a few generations but the outcome would still be the same. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being Larry Darwin, sanitation worker. It is a very necessary trade. In fact, some of my best friends are… nah I’m lying. I don’t know any sanitation workers. If I did, I would have no trouble assigning them to the crew of the HMS Beagle. So what gives on the evolutionary thing?
Well in fairness to Mr. Darwin, his research of natural selection through the transmutation of species could certainly work backward without the proper reproductive success, unless you count his beard, that baby grew into a humdinger. In humans, natural selection may not happen at all. A few cultures practice arranged marriages. I won’t say where, but one particular country rhymes with Schmindia.
Perhaps we are in the midst of a population mutation. Some are evolving into a more diverse species of rich and poor, weak and strong, smart and staggeringly stupid, sexy and meh, fit and the next Biggest Loser or my personal favorite, talented and Sanjaya. The difference in our little ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario (which by the way is Herbert Spencer and not Charles Darwin), is we’re all supposed to get along. Do we? Not really. According to Darwin, the principle by which each slight variation of a trait, if useful, is preserved. Here’s where I call bullshit. Think of all the non-useful traits we preserve. Now think of what we should have held onto, but are gone. I include in the mix a Fifth-grader who can read at the Third-grade level, the natural abhorrence to MSG and high fructose corn syrup and the wisdom to avoid a super-sized combo meal. The problem is we’re all surviving, thanks to Lipitor.
For a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, there is a Bill Gates. The Rock is certainly fitter, but the grass is greener over by Bill. I mean really green. He must be using TruGreen or has written some awesome code for a green that nobody else can get…well maybe Oprah.
Maybe we’re not evolving, devolving, mutating or dying off. Maybe we’re just splitting into camps of “Glee” and “Monday Night Football”. There are developers and there are consumers. There are people who design smartphones and there are people who fall into mall fountains while texting on smartphones. Yet these two groups need each other to survive. I don’t think Darwin saw that coming.