Thursday, September 15, 2005

Of Husbands and Halibut

Of late, a controversy has been resurrected that I thought had been taken care of in, say, 1925. Questions about "evolution" are being asked out loud again after all of these years. I think it is a political attempt to create division among us where none needs to be. My Dad was a science teacher and my husband is a scientist. Folks, there ain't no doubt about evolution in the same way there is no doubt about gravity. All of the scientific research that goes on today that is saving your lives is based upon the fact of it. However, we do not exactly know all of the "hows" and that is where God comes in, I guess. My family has read Genesis including the different versions of the creation story and we see no conflict; the Bible explains it pretty well considering what they had to work with in those days. Evolution happened and it is still happening and I have proof.

Have you ever seen a halibut? I am not talking about the beautiful white meat highlighted with a luscious sauce served to you in a restaurant. I am referring to a halibut up close before he hits the dinner plate. Think about a proud macho King salmon with his hooked nose swimming upstream in a gorgeous clear Canadian river, dorsal fin straight up. This is how fish started and then evolution took over. Somehow, one day, Harry, the fish must have been tipsy or lazy or something and he began to swim on his side. I sort of like to think of salmon as akin to Lance Armstrong with endurance beyond reality. But halibut--they are kind of like husbands who enjoy watching Lance while comfortable in their recliners.

Without enough energy, slowly Harry found himself reclining on the bottom of the sea in the mud. But then Harry realized he liked it this way. He could hide in the mud, not move much and get food a little easier. Bigger predators like the kind that swallowed Jonah did not notice Harry blended on the bottom if he kept still. All of the little Harry's decided to copy Dad maybe because it was fun to wallow amongst the rocks. A few years later, Harry realized he'd be better off if that eye on the one side of his head moved to the top because he could not see out of it while it was down in the mud all day. And then another thing happened. Half of his mouth was down in the mud, too, so it kind of moved over making it easier to eat without so much grit in his food. Finally, Harry the halibut lost the coloring on one side because it was flopped in the sediment with no exposure to sunlight. His "top" side turned a lovely shade of muck. (When humans catch halibut, in order to not scare people, they like to show off only the pretty white "bottoms" or "side down".) Interestingly, today, Harry's great great great grandchildren are born with a normal mouth and eyes on either side of their head just like fish who swim upright. As they develop, facial features move around so the babies look like Mommy and Daddy.

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Unlike Harry's cousin, beautiful Samuel King Salmon, Harry is homely---really really homely. When you rest in the mud all day and kind of look like the bottom of the sea, I guess that is enough to attract Hilda Halibut. Come to think of it, though our husbands seemingly hide from us in their recliners and seem to be taking on the characteristics of their perch, we still really like them. There just are not enough Lance Armstrongs to go around anyway. Wives, have you noticed as the years go by our husbands sprout hair in very ape-like patterns? Also, I have observed as the years have taken a toll on my husband's back, for the past week he has been walking completely hunched over. My scientist husband even remarked, the discs in our lower backs were made for gorillas. There ya go!!

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I tell my children, anytime they get into a needless "discussion" of creationism, intelligent design, or evolution, just ask.....