Micro-essays by Philip Dhingra

On Spreading Evolution

Isn't it strange that we're the only ape that doesn't have hair on its body? Have you ever noticed that our torsos form a V-shaped funnel around the pelvis, almost like we were meant for swimming? Is it possible that women have long hair so babies can hold onto them while they're in water? Nevermind the ridiculousness of these questions. What matters is that fantasy evolution theories like the Aquatic Ape hypothesis spark curiosity about evolution, and in tandem, spark interest in bringing evolution to the classroom.


If the average location of our noses varies by 1 mm, then it should only take 150 generations for it to crawl 15 cm up to the top of our heads. 150 generations multiplied by 20 years per generation gives you 3,000 years, which is the general age of the Old Testament. So, if there had indeed been a Great Flood, it wouldn't have taken us long to have blowholes, fin-like webbed feet or even scaly skin. Or maybe there was a Great Flood, and relative to other apes, we are already mermaids.


Our bodily differences hint at our future evolution. Let's say the average eye-spacing variation among humans is 2 mm, then given enough generations we could have eyes on the side of our heads like some sort of humanoid-deer hybrid. Or if the average variation in skull size around our empathy module is 0.1 mm, then eventually we could have mind-reading capabilities like the psychic Betazoids of Star Trek. In other words, every fantasy or sci-fi permutation of humans is already visible in us right now.