John Ward – Homo Evolutis : Why Should He Be Better? Why Not Thicker And Nastier? – 16 June 2013

John WardRegular and loyal Sloggers will recall my sometimes serious but often flippant forays into what I call Indeflation: that is, (1) the inability of economics academics to make their bloody minds up whether we’re going to have inflation or deflation; and (2) my own growing belief that, as things get worse, we are going to have the two side by side – indeed, this is already happening.

Yesterday early evening, however, I had one of those blinding flashes, and it wasn’t just another incompetent attempt to rewire the kitchen. It was this: they – the horrible, nasty They – are going to deflate our net worth, and inflate theirs. All the gold will head towards the banks and then be rapidly revalued upwards before we can grab any of it; while all our salaries and pensions will be reduced and stolen respectively, thus ensuring that it will take our entire cash hoard at any given time just to purchase a mouldy courgette.

Now the more aware among you will have spotted the titanic flaw in alleged élite thinking re this one: that is, without having money, how are we going to consume their products and pay our taxes? With these considerations in mind, I have so far been fairly certain that – far from hoping to herd us all into labour camps – the sauve qui peut officer class suffers from endemic frontal lobe behaviour syndrome……in being unable to grasp the consequences of its short-term solutions and greedy tactics. Their sole focus at the moment is the narrow one of self-preservation, but the ploys being adopted towards that end do not bear examination…as is the case with pretty much every daft idea they launch.

What, you must surely by now be asking, does any of this have to do with a post seemingly about human evolution? Well, sit back with a Sunday evening snifter, and I’ll explain.

I have in previous posts touched on the disservice Dr Jacob Bronowski did to science by referring to human evolution as the ‘ascent’ of man. Evolution is not a climb towards divinity, at every stage of which Man is a more caring sharing version of the previous model: evolution is an adaptation to changed needs. There is no evidence whatsoever that it involves some Victorian religious ideal of perpetual ‘improvement’ – as if perhaps the next version of Homo (evolutis, for the sake of argument) might be a completely teetotal philanthropist dedicated to the salvation of fallen women in the East End of London.

Evolution has nothing to do with a narrow cod-scientific concept of progress. It occurs to help every species survive and prosper in changed environments….in every sense of that word. Morally and ethically, it is at best neutral.

“Homo evolutis is already here,” a bright lady suggested to me last week, “We just haven’t noticed yet”. What she didn’t do, though, is pinpoint how these freaks have evolved….and in response to what.

Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, two of the world’s most eminent science authors, are to all intents and purposes the source of this belief that we’re evolving all the time…and thus it is only a matter of weeks before the completely new model emerges and is incapable of mating with the old one. This isn’t a view everyone shares: there is an entire school of geneticists (one of whom I met seven years ago) who can argue a strong case suggesting that, without mating with another species, our medical interventions and global access to travel dictate that we are a dead end – because we lack isolation and have too small a gene pool. Others still say that, without massive climate change, our evolution if any will take millions of years.

My  own problem with all this is that, on the whole, yes indeed, it does feel like we’re evolving into something else: but rather too many signs point to a new species called Homo shitforbrains.

One shouldn’t dismiss this idea entirely. Do you – in all honesty – see Bob Diamond, Jeremy Hunt, Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, Barack Obama, Hank Paulson, Jimmy Savile, Leon Brittan, Nick Clegg, Lord Green, Simon Cowell, Lord Mandelson, the Cheeky Girls, James Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, Ed Miliband and Dan Hannan as the same species as yourself? I feel closer to my pet snail Clarence than I do to any of them. And trust me, Clarence might have a jolly attractive shell, but he’s a mollusc. (Truth is, I don’t even know if Clarence my slow-walking chum is really Clarissa: sexing snails is a devil of a business).

But suppose – just for a minute – that Piers Morgan is an evolution of humanity that took place in response to Margaret Thatcher. I know he was born before she came to eminence, but amino acids move in mysterious ways and (for all I know) through Time. So there is Piers, left-wing and at the same time an amoral twat: who can deny that he is the perfect adaptive antidote to life on Earth post Maggie?

Do you feel any species affinity with Herman van Rompuy? If so, all I can say is that this is no time for self-pity. For 99% of all Europeans, Mr van Rompuy gives off a powerful air of alien life-form. But there he is too – the joint President of the EU, in charge of, er, something or other – and impervious to the ranting insults of Nigel Farage. “I mean,” Nige said to him all those years ago, “Who are you anyway?” It was that rare thing, an astute question from the UKip leader.

Mr Farage himself, of course, might well represent the vanguard of Homo shitforbrains, in that it rarely (if ever) occurs to the bloke that the worse things get in the EU, the more likely it is that his prophecies will be fulfilled, at which point Britain will pull out and he’ll be irrelevant. But then – as I hinted at the outset of this piece – such self-destructive next-five-minutes foresight is what would single out any such newly evolving human from the old sapiens version: viz, a selective reaction to technology’s ability to speed everything up, whereby the medium term might be the next half hour, and the long-term tonight’s 5.47pm from Waterloo to Woking.

The bottom line is this: here we are – the good guys – and we may well be nothing more than contemporary Neanderthals….destined to perish in the face of Homo shitforbrains. Now this doesn’t really make sense, does it? Because – if we divorce evolution from any expectations of enhanced IQ – we really out to be able to run rings round this new lot without breaking into a sweat. I mean, here we have a human mutation we don’t even need to club to death: just sticking the buggers in a maze ought to be enough to wipe them out through starvation.

All of which gives me the worst kind of collywobbles. Maybe – just maybe – a more accurate description of these newcomers is Homo sociopathicus.

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