Evolution Of Wusses

This article argues that modern males are pathetic – slower, weaker, with less stamina and body mass than our evolutionary forebears.  The evidence of this is a bit skimpy — relying, as it does, on one set of fossilized footprints that indicate that a long-ago aborigine, dubbed “T8,” ran about 40 miles per hour, as well as footage of members of an African tribe jumping their own height — but I have no doubt that humans who lived and hunted in the wild were faster, more accurate in throwing spears and rocks, and more capable of detecting, tracking, and bringing down game that could help to feed the tribe.  Evolutionary principles would suggest as much.  If survival to reproduce required physical stamina and endurance, athleticism, and hunting skills, you would expect natural selection to produce humans who fit that bill.  It has been centuries, and perhaps millenia, since western man has required to live solely on the proceeds of hunting and gathering, and therefore natural selection no longer focuses on such traits. 

Modern culture selects for different traits now.  So I say:  bring those aborigines on for a modern natural selection challenge!  I bet American men would kick some australopethicine butt in the shopping and can-opening events, and good luck finding much big game to feed the tribe in the wilds of New Albany, Ohio!  Let’s see if T8 can hold a job in this economy, compose a decent inter-office memo, or interact with members of the opposite sex without getting slapped with some kind of harassment lawsuit.  I bet the soft-in-the-belly modern male office worker can type faster, structure better computer searches, and speak more knowledgeably about the NFL at the water cooler than any hunter-gatherer.

So I say:  We are not wusses!  We are just naturally selected by overwhelming, irresistible historical and evolutionary forces to be plumper, slower and less studly than T8 and his buddies.  Those evolutionary forces may have made men more pathetic, but you have to admit — at least if the illustration accompanying this entry is even halfway accurate — it has worked wonders for the female of the species.

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Buckeye Bebe At The ‘Shoe

Aunt Bebe, me, UJ, and Richard after the Navy game

Aunt Bebe, me, UJ, and Richard after the Navy game

My friend Kristin cleaned out her digital camera this week and sent me this photo that she took at the tailgate after the Navy game.  We had a great time, as photo suggests.  Aunt Bebe’s outfit was so striking that a complete stranger came up and asked if she could have her picture taken with Aunt Bebe.  That is why she is known far and wide as “Buckeye Bebe.”