When I wrote my last blog, I never realized the storm of scientific emails it would create. Stupidly, I posed the theory that gases and chemicals were stirred together after the Big Bang and two lovers were finally formed that begat the rest of us.
I’m now told that we didn’t start with just two of us. There were probably hundreds of us and we had the ability to self-procreate.
I know, it doesn‘t sound like much fun, but when was the last time you heard scientists doing stand-up comedy?
So, as I understand it, in the early days we were just amoebas, or as Wikipedia describes us … “shapeless unicellular organisms.“
So there we were bumping around, like kids in a mosh pit, and I’m guessing that we liked bumping into each other. It met a need. At this stage of evolution, we couldn’t see each other, which makes bumping that much better.
Forgive me for a second, while I go off on a tangent. Lately, I’ve been reading about the “decoy” effect. Essentially, this theory suggests that single people who are heading off to a dance, should always bring along a friend who has the same basic physical characteristics as them, but is slightly less attractive. All of us have a hard time evaluating someone else, when we can’t compare them to other people around. You’re going to get extra attention (we know what that means), when you’re an eight and your friend is a seven.
Amoebas never had to worry about the decoy effect. I suspect they liked everyone they bumped into. But as we all know, bumping is fine for a while, but we all want more.
Love. Affection. Intimacy.
They didn’t want sex with themselves. They wanted to see who they were bumping with and ultimately, they wanted to settle down and move to the suburbs (I made this part up).
Darwin proposed the theory of Natural Selection or survival of the fittest. In many ways, this makes sense. If someone else develops eyes, you’re going to need them too or you’re going to go home with the ugliest amoeba.
But in those early days, when we all just blindly cavorted around, we might have just been looking for companionship. Someone to cuddle.
Maybe Darwin had it wrong. Maybe it wasn’t survival of the fittest. Maybe it was survival of the loneliest.