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BEAST BASH A Baffling
Fried - Jason
the Angry Flower -
Waste, Radiation Lead to Darwinian Ideal
a long time, I have been one of those confused but well-meaning
souls, the kind who worry about the future of the global ecosystem.
It was clear to me: uncaring industrial tycoons were spreading toxic
filth throughout the planet, seriously endangering the life and
longevity of all species, including my own. Yet the powers that
be refused to make any real substantive moves to halt the process,
or even reduce the rate at which it increases every day. Nowadays,
things are "worse" than ever, with our great nation'NHs
leadership apparently abandoning already weakened environmental
safeguards. To the untrained eye, I can see that it would certainly
seem our nation is being run by corrupt politicians, friends of
garbage-spewing fossil fuel industries, and that they are wantonly
ruining the planet in the greedy pursuit of immediate profits.
I now realize,
however, that nothing could be further from the truth. My old assumptions
were wrong, as I have deduced by way of my rigorous TV-watching
schedule. One program, in particular, about the rising incidence
of birth defects in humans, piqued my interest for a few minutes,
but the visuals were a bit off-putting, so I flipped on over to
CNN. They happened, coincidentally, to be airing a story on the
rising incidence of oddly mutated frogs and fish, some with two
heads, five legs, etc, in regions of the United States. These images
were more interesting to me, but the blame for both trends was put
squarely on the same shoulders: industrial pollution, and the escalating
levels of toxins in the environment.
Again I pondered
the question: were ourleaders insane? What possible reason could
they have to continue to allow such madness? Certainly the idea
of stricter emissions regulations might scare some coal industry
CEOs, but how could that be enough to offset imperiling the future
of the entire planet and everyone on it? I just didn't make any
sense; there had to be more to it.
As I watched,
it occurred to me that "birth defects" and "mutations"
are really two sides of the same coin. Both phrases connote that
somehow, an organism's DNA has changed, forever altering the organism's
structure, usually to its detriment, or even death. But without
such random, and often cruel, mutations, the adaptive process we
call evolution would not be possible-that's just how it works. For
every million mutated frogs with superfluous parts, there would
be one with a newly useful trait-maybe wings, or a longer tongue,
or a larger brain. Whatever it was, it would be a trait which strengthened
the specimen's ability to survive, as in the famous case of the
proliferation of anomalous black moths in the sooty town of Liverpool.
The new trait would flourish, and soon would grow to be a new, better-adapted
variation of the species, ready to face the challenges of a new
world. It works the same way with all species, including our own.
an epiphany: pollution and radiation increase the rate of mutation,
thereby actually speeding up the process of evolution. More
mutations equal more diversity, which equals more new species!
it for a second. Go ahead.
I knew that
Bush was a religious man, and held his faith close to his heart.
Despite any creationist misgivings he may have, the truth is that
many Christians believe in evolution, with the condition that God
himself made the rules, and set the system turning in the first
place. Bush was also a believer in getting things done, in as efficient
a manner as possible, with a minimum of deliberation. If he believed
in evolution, he might just want to smooth the process along any
way he could-for the greater good of America, of course.
Slowly it began
to dawn on me that Bush and his cabinet may not be the corporate
prostitutes I imagined them to be. If that's what they've been up
to (and it is the most reasonable explanation I have heard), the
Bush administration would have to be the most forward-thinking and
benevolent group of luminaries ever assembled. Think about it all:
Relaxed emissions regulations, depleted uranium, SUVs, WMDs-they
all make sense in this context. Now I can see it. The White House,
formerly an object of my scorn and hatred, is actually a steering
committee for God's plan, hastening a new day of better, more perfect
beings than ourselves, who will be able to survive and reproduce
long after the increasingly caustic environment destroys vulnerable
prototypes such as you and I. It would appear that Dick Cheney is
the driving force behind this bold endeavor, and it only makes sense,
considering his charmingly roach-like demeanor.
secrecy? Explained. You can't trust a bunch of underdeveloped primates
to understand the mission, let alone think objectively enough to
approve of it. Diebold's tricky touch-screen voting machines make
sense to me now for the same reason: our under-challenged species
mustn't be allowed to "abort" the unborn superior races
of the future, denying their basic right to life.
for global warming? Explained. The melting icecaps will raise water
levels and temperatures around the globe, bringing us closer to
the primodial ooze form which all life originates.
Honestly, I don't know whether to be amazed at the ingenious vision
that Bush seems hell bent on realizing, or to be amazed that I and
so many others have been unable to comprehend it. All of these seemingly
idiotic policies, all catalyzing the adaptive process, and making
all forms of life fit, fitter, and eventually fittest. Even as I
write this, I fear for the safety of our nation's noble mission,
but I am somewhat reassured by the relative obscurity of this publication.
In fact, it seems more likely that most readers of this paper will
imagine this article to be an elaborate joke, than that they would
take it seriously and truly consider the paradigm-shifting ramifications
of my argument. But they should be considered, if only to ease the
troubled minds of environmental activists and those who support
them, among whose ranks I was so recently a member. I must tell
you, life has been much better for me since my conversion to the
pro-pollution view. No more wincing at yet another story of a burning
river, a toxic dump site, or a tumor-inducing cell phone. All of
that is good news now, another blow in the battle for ideal biology.
The pro-pollution view turns the world on its head, and, from that
perspective, every move the Bush administration makes seems forthright,
reasoned, even wise. It's quite reassuring, really. Plus, I never
give recycling a second thought, and pouring paint thinner into
a sewer grate has never felt so good. Every time I burn my garbage,
I know I'm doing my part for the environment-the right environment,
hard but fair, testing the competence of all God's creatures.
So relax, all
you eco-terrorists; your children may not survive, but they'll be
replaced by something better and stronger. Your descendants will
most likely remember you fondly for the executive policies of today,
despite your lack of exoskeletons. Chill out, tree-huggers, and
go start a tire fire. Or maybe just leave your car idling outside
your house overnight. Whatever it is, do your part for the advancement
of biology. It's your duty as a Darwinian.