This week at work I found myself encased in the state of being stunned by a stunning statement from a colleague – a decidedly not stunning colleague – who stated his statement thusly, and with utmost sincerity:
"The problem with evolution is you have to question how the different races evolved from different types of apes at the same time."
This statement, sincerely stated, subsequently – and quite suddenly – stunned me into a state of stupefaction. I humbly confess that my mouth dropped open for several seconds and I beg the forgiveness of the intelligent people of the world for my lack of an immediate rebuttal and/or attack with an axe.
I gathered my wits swiftly from where they had spilled out over my desk and educated him (through the power of mocking) for several moments until he left. Then I did the thoroughly modern thing and Twittered the event. I received a reply almost immediately from GorillaSushi (that I then didn’t spot until it was far too embarrassingly late to respond) which claimed that he himself was a direct descendant of the spider monkey.
I did not find this particular statement to be as stunning or even, really, mildly surprising. He has, after all, eight arms and a love of bananas, a trait shared by the simian in question if memory serves.
Nevertheless – and fortunately as far as this post goes – this got me thinking. Was there something in this bizarre notion of racial evolution being linked to varying species? The obvious answer of "careful now, there’s probably an axe attack imminent you buffoon, racial characteristics are clearly genetic adaptations to environment" seemed just a little bit too obvious for my liking.
So, while I embark on funding requests to further examine this question I have begun compiling some likely test candidates among the world’s people and creatures. I’ll need to be careful to avoid offending any creatures.
Race: The Swiss
Description: Drawn to geometry and mathematics; the simple triangles of a Toblerone, the round holes in their cheese, the large numbers of their bank accounts and the sums of money therein. Likes to claim neutrality but certainly wouldn’t mind running the whole show so long as there was no physical risk, despises cuckoos and has fostered a national industry designed to incarcerate the animals within the madness-inducing, always-ticking tombs of miniature clocks.
Most Likely Evolved From: Crows. Intelligent, drawn to shiny things, cautiously aggressive, long-running feud with cuckoos over nesting rights.
Description: Tolerant. Very tolerant. Maybe too tolerant. Who else would willingly live in close proximity to Americans and allow the French to cohabit? Fine with solitude, has a fondness for maple leaves, not easily embarrassed by Celine Dion.
Most Likely Evolved From: Sloths. Slow, but deliberately so, laid back, funny-looking faces, loves trees, big fans of Dion’s 1997 album "Let’s Talk About Love".
Description: Officials is the generic racial term that incorporates several sub-species including referees, umpires, traffic wardens, and the police. A need to control, possesses a physical inability to actually do that over which it desires to officiate, has a penchant for dressing in black or accentuating with the colour, loves the sound of its own voice.
Most Likely Evolved From: Moles. Effectively blind, toxic saliva, sharp and pointy teeth and claws, makes up for lack of vision and subsequent lack of appreciation for beauty by burrowing under lawns and stamping its own authoritative seal of disapproval wherever it sees fit in the form of dirt hills, looks fabulous in black, widely regarded as a pest despite occasionally doing some good, keen member of subterranean debating team.
Description: Selfishly introspective, drawn to the dark and fantasy, unhappy with themselves, desires to express their uniqueness, convinced nobody else understands them or has been through what they’re going through or is wearing almost identical clothing and makeup, fond of vampires, dreadful children’s entertainers.
Most Likely Evolved From: Pigs. Will eat anything, loves caking itself in mud, skin burns under too much sun, tastes lovely, reads Anne Rice novels, writes terrible poetry.