For years now scientist have been arguing that we have stopped evolving.
We have, apparently, become so adept at controlling our environment we no longer need to be fit to survive. And our genetic offspring don’t, and so on and so forth.
Well it’s a comfortable view from over the dinner table in the rarified world of western life where we have the luxury to even think of such things. Let’s face it, the majority of the world would eat us for breakfast, if they had the chance, and still have room for a bit of prociutto crudo swathed in lemon grass and finely chopped herbs on a sliver bed of buffalo mozzarella. It’s more than evident that there are a lot of unfit people in this super-tropical ‘developed world’ who wouldn’t last long in the competitive jungle.
But then it depends how you define ‘fit’. ‘Fit’ as in Elle McPherson or Brad Pitt – or, in fact, almost anybody who appears on Prime Time US television who resemble their viewers in the same uncanny way that Laurel resembled Hardy-; or ‘fit for purpose’.
You see, whilst we hand-ring about the prevalence of obesity in the developed world, if we overlay a map of what parts of the world suffered an unusually cold winter this year – due, apparently, to us buggering up the climate with our fossil fuels and big mac flatulence -with the map graphing the rise of obesity… we see a tidy correlation. The fattest places went through the biggest change in usual winter temperatures. Global warming can, it seems, still produce an ice age in these sub-polar latitudes.
Now, since having a significant lardarse means you can retain heat better and survive at lower temperatures, is something going on here that we never even suspected? Could that innate human survival instinct which we supposed was dormant have actually known the consequences of f***ing up the climate? Has it been secretly preparing us by making us lust after an extra 300 zillion more calories per day than the sub-tropical parts of the world? Could it be that our obesity ‘epidemic’ is in fact the rip-roaring return of ‘survival of the fittest’. Have we been evolving into super-fatties for a reason? Is evolution back with a vengeance?
Ask yourself. Who is going to survive the next Ice-Age: Courtney Cox or Michael Moore?
I know who my money is on.