Homeless Jack talks evolution
by H. Millard (c) 2004
H. Millard

"I'm telling you man, that guy Darwin had some of it right and some of it wrong. See, he thought that the way new species were developed out of old species was mainly because in order to survive in any particular environment or in any particular niche, individuals of various species that were better adapted to survive in that environment or niche lived to reproduce and they produced more of their kind. The others that weren't as well adapted died off.

"So, if a bunch of, say, black bugs living on white sand were easily seen by birds that ate them, they would be picked off and many wouldn't live to reproduce up to their maximum, but if mutant white bugs were born among them who blended in with the light background and weren't as easily seen by the birds then they would reproduce more like themselves until their genes for whiteness dominated the black genes. Soon, there would simply be more of the white genes and fewer of the black genes and eventually the black genes would die off in this particular location and the black bugs would become extinct on this beach. Then, if these white bugs remained separated and isolated from other populations of black bugs on other white sand, in time they would become a new species unable to mate with black bugs from other areas.

"See, now that's probably right as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes far enough. I figure there are other mechanisms of evolution that cause critters to change. I think we pick up things from the environment--meaning just about everything that is around us or that we experience in some way or another--and that sometimes these things become part of us or change us. Maybe it's viruses or bits of genetic material floating around us in the air we breathe or the water we drink and bathe in and swim in or whatever--I mean we're in a big soup of discarded DNA and atoms and molecules from inanimate things that we can't see. Look at a sunbeam in your room and you can see that the beam is full of small dust particles. Most of these particles are dandruff or dried skin or other things that contain the DNA of the people who have been in that room. If people unlike us have been in that room, then we're in a soup that contains their DNA. That's not good, man. I think that some to these things can change us. I also think that other things, sounds, sights, weather, clothes we wear, places where we live, even things that we think, and many other things also change us. I figure all living things have something of the chameleon in them, but to greater or lesser degrees and that we change to be like what we're around to sort of become one with the nature of where we live. Look, you've seen pictures of those bugs that look like thorns on the plants they live on or walking sticks that look like twigs of the trees where they live. I don't figure they got that way just be selective breeding. I think they picked up atoms and molecules from their environment that helped them change. I think it's the same with humans.

"I saw this news story this week, man, about how people are smarter when they listen to classical music. Hell, we've all heard that story before, but this article presented something new, it seems to give the science behind this getting smarter stuff. According to this article which was about rats, the proper friggin' music caused a gene expression of BDNF, a neural growth factor, CREB, a learning and memory compound, and synapse I, a synaptic growth protein, in their hippocampus, as compared to control rats who had listened to equivalent amounts of white noise. So, the music--sound--caused changes in the brains of these rats. What's that tell you? It tells you that by controlling sound and presumably other things in our environment that we can cause changes to our brains and also presumably to our bodies. Now, put the Darwin stuff together with this and you see that we need to separate out and live in the right environment with the right things comin' in to us so that we can become more than we are.

"Saying we have to separate out is a big leap from what the article says about music, Jack."

"Yeah, but I make that leap because I've seen this someplace else."


"In that religious book I told you about that I want you to retype for me. It has stuff in there that says the same thing but in different revealed ways. It says that we're supposed to separate out from other peoples and live in places that it says are right for us and which will switch on certain genes and cause other changes that will cause us to change or transform or evolve or mutate or something--I forget--into the next step for us.

"How do we know what is right for us? Maybe we're supposed to live the way we're now living and maybe the multiracialists have it right and that all humans are just supposed to breed together," I said.

"Nonsense. That way leads to having just one big similar mass of humanity and doesn't help evolution. That leads to devolution. People think because it's possible for us to live in certain places and in certain ways because of our inventions--heating systems and air conditioning, for example--that this is right for us. It's not. I figure these things just keep us in something like an infant stage and don't let us mature to be more."

"So who says we're supposed to evolve into something else?"

"The book, man, the book. Look, man, you haven't seen it yet. But when I get it to you, you may understand. It's revealed. It's from the highest power."

"That's what many people say about their own religious books," I replied. "Ultimately, one either has to believe them or not, because none of them have any real proof."

"Right," said Jack, "and I choose to believe what I choose to believe, and if no one else believes it, that's their business, but I'm tellin' you this book has the answers and tells us how to live."

"Geez, Jack, you live in a box down by the cement river most of the time where the air is full of the smell of burning rubber. Is that how we're supposed to live?"

"Don't be ridiculous. That's my personal choice and as far as I know, my life style has nothing to do with the book other than the fact that I've stripped myself of the conventions of society to be better in tune with the essential me and reality."

"Jack, what kind of crap do you think you're taking in from your environment down by the river? If you believe the book, shouldn't you be trying to find some place where what you take in is better?"

"Look, I never said I'm perfect or that I'm the ideal person or that I live the ideal way or anything like that. I'm just saying that I do my best and live in a way that is comfortable to me and gives me the freedom that I need. You just wait until I let you see the book, man, then you may get it."

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