...a blog by Richard Flowers

Monday, March 06, 2006

Day 1889: Evolution


This is yesterday's diary, a day late AGAIN. Obviously this is Daddy's fault and NOT MINE!

It is late because Daddy was watching his new DVD of SERENITY. This is one of the best films ever that doesn't have cars in.

The good news is that we also watched the last STAR TREK which means that we have finally, finally, finally finished!

Meanwhile, on the telly, Mr Blair has said that he expects GOD to judge him.

Daddy says this would come across better if Mr Blair didn't say that HE was acting on his CONSCIENCE and everyone ELSE was being OPPORTUNIST. Actually, Daddy Richard said some other things too, but I think that they were rude.

I must look up SANCTIMONIOUS.

If by "god" Mr Blair means an imaginary person who lives in the sky, you can see why he would rather be judged by him than by a real judge!

The only god that I know is CUDDLY CTHULHU, so I have asked him for his judgement on Mr Blair. Let's just say Mr Blair need not bother with HARP LESSONS!

However, this has reminded me of something.

My Daddy Richard has been listening to CDs by Professor Richard Dawkins of Oxford University and his wife Romana.

(CDs are like DVDs with no pictures – I know this sounds silly, but they are much better for in the car because the pictures would distract Daddy from driving and he might crash and hurt Penfold.)

Anyway, Professor Richard's CDs are called THE ANCESTOR'S TALE. They are very good. Professor Richard and Romana get into their time machine and go on a journey backwards in time, meeting their ANCESTORS along the way. As they go – and this is the clever bit – they meet up with other time travellers from all the other species on Earth.

This is because of a thing called EVOLUTION.

EVOLUTION means animals (and plants too!) change into new animals. Some animals are better than others at surviving in the place where they live – so they tend to have more babies and so animals like them become more common.

Suppose you do lots of walking – animals with big, flat feet do better. And suppose you are somewhere very hot, animals with big flappy ears for cooling down do better. HOORAY! Elephants evolved!

This takes LOTS AND LOTS of time (LONGER than watching all of STAR TREK!)

Now, and this is the REALLY clever bit, when the animals go to a new place, it might be DIFFERENT things that are better for surviving. So the animals in the new place change into a different sort from the first lot.

For EXAMPLE, a long time ago, some of YOUR ancestors lived in a forest and decided to come out and that’s when you started to change into PEOPLE.

BUT some of them STAYED in the forest and they became CHIMPANZEES.

Isn't that EXCITING! It means that you and chimpanzees have a great, great, great, great, great, great, and then some grandparent in common!

So when Professor Richard and Romana set off on their time trip, the FIRST people who aren't people that they meet up with are chimpanzees, because they are your nearest relatives in the WORLD!

But that is not all! You are also related to gorillas and to rats and mice and to whales and hippopotamus and GUESS WHAT! You are related to ELEPHANTS TOO!

(Apparently we are also related to lions and tigers and potatoes too, which is much more DUBIOUS. I can believe that RHINOS are related to POTATOES, but I am not sure about ELEPHANTS.)

Professor Richard says that some people do not believe in EVOLUTION. They are silly! If all the animals had been created at the same time, then the DINOSAURS would have eaten all the PEOPLE. I have seen JURASSIC PARK!

I should also say that today I feel SAD for a lady called TESSA JOWELL.

She is a friend of Mr Blair, which is not why I am sad for her, but she has just lost her husband because he might have been a bit dodgy. I am sure that SHE must be feeling SAD too; I know I would be.

I wish that the Conservatories and the telly people would just LEAVE HER ALONE for a bit until she feels better. I know the Conservatories are supposed to be the nasty party and I am only a soft, fluffy elephant but this just seems MEAN.

I think that they are just cross because Mr Balloon made a speech yesterday and nobody noticed because they were all much more interested in Mr the Merciless. Here is a clue to help you out, Mr Balloon: SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING!


James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

"[Evolution] takes LOTS AND LOTS of time (LONGER than watching all of STAR TREK!)"

I think your Daddies need to have a word with you about exaggerating. Nothing takes that long!

Millennium Dome said...

Mr James, you are RIGHT!

Of course, I only meant the ORIGINAL SERIES of STAR TREK - if you include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION then it goes on for much much much much much longer. You are likely to have evolved ears big enough to cover your eyes if you try and watch all of THAT!