The university of life

Do we really need evolution?

At the University of Life we a have a keen interest in everything that has something to do with evolution. Yesterday we were at the supermarket and in the vegetable section, in between the carrots and cucumbers, a middle-aged woman suddenly looked at me, and after some reflection she asked me: ‘Young man, do we really need evolution?’ Although I was extremely flattered that she called me a young man and that this ordinary woman could see the wisdom behind my eyes, this question induced an extreme state of confusion inside my head.

I politely told this remarkable woman that I needed some time to ponder this question and that I would get back to her on this question tomorrow, same time, same place, in between the carrots and cucumbers. She reluctantly agreed, as if she desperately needed an answer, but she also realized after a few seconds that she wasn’t going to find the wisdom she needed today between the carrots and the cucumbers.

Do we really need evolution? We might not, since Evolution has only been around since 1859. In this year Charles Darwin published his famous book ‘The origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favored races in the struggle in the struggle for life.’ Of course there were some other evolutionary theories before this, but they were clearly the ‘wrong’ ones, and, therefore, technically evolution didn’t exist as a valid concept.

Strangely enough people managed to live their lives before the year 1859. In fact, reliable sources reveal that people managed to live for at least a period of thousands of years before this revolutionary year.

What we do know of this Dark Age of human history is that life was qualitative inferior. All the important inventions, such as television, Internet, sliced bread, E-mail, McDonalds, Pepsi Max, soft toilet paper and electric toothbrushes have been introduced after 1859. Would the electric toothbrush not have been invented with evolution? Only a true skeptic would believe this.

Not surprisingly with so much progress people live much longer now than they used to. This alone could be a valid reason to continue to support the theory of evolution. (Unless of course there will be some kind of revolution of the young people of this world in which the rebel against the older generations. In that case it could be a smart tactic to destroy evolution and subsequently the oldest generations will disappear automatically without any bloodshed.)

Today we will go to the supermarket and find a spot between the carrots and cucumbers and will patiently wait for the inquisitive middle-aged woman. And when she has also found a comfortable spot between the carrots and cucumbers we will tell her that we really do need evolution and that she also needs evolution and that the world needs evolution. We will tell her that some confused young people might think that we should get rid of evolution, but we will make clear to her that these young folks are just confused and don’t realize yet that one day they might be old. We will tell her about the wonderful things that evolution brought us and we shall see the tears well up in her eyes as she finally realizes the beauty and necessity of evolution.

And then We shall say goodbye to her between the carrots and cucumbers and see if there are any nice tomatoes left.


Professor at the UOL

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