Wash your hands after you play with your genitals, is the moral. I think.
If you look at your body and think ‘hey, this is some perfection right here’ then two things, a) gimme a call cuz I’d like to confirm this (no dudes, no dogs) and b) You have failed the humility test. You may leave.
You can tell how bad a woman’s previous relationship was by the amount of haught and hooey she peppers into her next one. Similarly the human body betrays its past through odd features and what I will call physiological-hooey. The ureo-recreatorial™comic jab above is more cosmetic in nature but if you’re convinced that we were indeed created and not evolved then some design choices about us should strike you as, well, not all that intelligent.
If evolution is the crime scene then embryology is where the criminal did some finger paints, bled profusely and then sprayed semen across the room. Some of my favorite examples include the Lanugo (a coat of fur the fetus develops and then sheds before birth) and the tail (a tail). It’s at this time that we also develop three sets of kidneys (one of primitive fish that then gets dissolved, one of amphibians that also gets dissolved and then our permanent primate ones).
We also sport some design ‘flaws’. Dudes walk around with female secondary sex characteristics under their shirts. It’s true, I’ve seen them! And I’m pretty sure they’re not there so we can enjoy runner’s nipple. Then there’s the nerve that helps us speak and swallow, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which goes from the brain to the voice box. Except instead of going straight down it dips into the thorax first, loops around the aorta and then goes back up, for no reason other than historic legacy. (To see this example taken to the extreme check it out in the giraffe. Skip to 6:40 to see this nerve make a 15 foot detour instead of a two inch connection!)
I’ll leave you with one more for now, the blind spot. Demonstrable to anyone this is a simple and awesome example. Vertebrate eyes are built, from an efficiency point of view, backwards and upside down. Our photoreceptive rods and cones are buried beneath the nerve fibers and the signals have to travel all the way to the back of the brain to be interpreted, reducing efficacy. This also means the nerves have to cut in between the photoreceptor cells to get back to the brain. That’s the optic disc, aka the blind spot. Maybe there’s a good design reason to have it built this wa-oh wait, no there isn’t because cephalopods, octopus, who have a homoplasies evolution of the eye (they evolved independently) have eyes built exactly the right way around. Are you kidding me? My sushi appetizer has better eyes than me and no blind spot? Does the food chain mean nothing? Oop nobody move, I think I just dropped a contact! Does anyone have any saline? Can you look for it? I can’t bend down cuz of my back. My knees hurt too…
Nadir’s comic is wonderfully subtle today, and the imagery reminds me of Neil DeGrasse Tyson‘s take on the subject when he asks, “And what comedian designer configured the region between our legs-an entertainment complex built around a sewage system?”
The octopus, on the other hand, is nature’s example of everything we could have been, but missed out upon: Excellent puzzle solving skills, advanced eye physiology, color changing skin, World Cup divination, and eight writhing appendages covered in tactile grippers.. if you’re into that sort of thing. I have long been in the cult of the octopoda and our lord brings delicious fruits. But bubbling just below the surface of Nadir’s vestigial barrage is the truth that we are animals just like the rest. There is no seperation between man and beast because man is just another type of beast, specialized over millions of years to adapt, survive, and thrive in their environment. Buh-bu- WAIT! Hear me out— many think that our knack for adaptation and ingenuity is what got us to where we are. After all, Homo Erectus was around for at least 1.5 million years before dying out, and they didn’t get ANYTHING done. Look at what we’ve accomplished in such little time! Although in contrast we might wipe ourselves out before getting anywhere close to that mark. Here’s hoping we outlive our knack for destruction!
This post was brought to you by Lanthanum (La).