By Richard Menta 4/1/12
Apart from a little gray around the shell, Darwin's Galápagos tortoise Harriet evolved little during the 124 years she outlived him. But apart from a few Fundamentalists in Texas we all accept the notion that change in the environment will eventually drive change in a species. Until now we assumed that this change happened over centuries, if not millennia. It turns out that change can happen much quicker than that and guess who it is happening to?
"A very critical change has occurred over the last decade that is nothing less than a true evolution of the human species", announced Professor Katy Miceli as she stood before an audience of Princeton University students. "We stand witness to the rise of modern man, or Homo Sapien, into Homo Pollexis". Miceli smiled proudly as her stunning announcement was greeted with silence. "As in pollex"? "THESE" barked an exasperated Miceli as she prominently held up her two thumbs to the confused minions of a university that no longer mandates Latin in the curricula. Finally, Miceli shout over the croud "The THUMB PEOPLE!". With those words the proverbial light bulb collectively lit over the heads of the ivy educated audience and a collective "ooooo" rose from the floor.
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These students know who the thumb people are, that's their name for them. They are other young people who seemingly came out of nowhere. Folk who are ordinary in most ways, but quite visibly different. That's because they possess a pair of prominant, elongated thumbs that resemble an opposable middle finger more than the fat little piggies the rest of us grew up with. And boy can they text. Watch one of them type an extended passage on the tiniest buttons on a mobile device and you have a clue as to what has led to their appearance. According to Miceli, mobile devices are speeding the ascent of man.
Call it the curse of the iPhone, but in the few years since Fox cancelled Firefly our appendages have evolved from tools that merely grasp into tools that are full rapid input devices, perfect for a world that has gone mobile for everything from shopping to love making. So while the cranial capacity of our new species may have regressed, their thumbs are faster and more powerful.
"Years of hitchhiking did nothing for the thumb", said Miceli, "but legions of engineers who couldn't figure out how to make a decent keyboard have unintentionally unleashed a power of nature no one knew we could call upon. If the environmental change is great enough the evolutionary reaction is near immediate". This may lead to new dawn of genetic engineering, one where you don't need to wait generations for a result!
Such words did not sit well with Republican presidential nominee Rick Santorum. "Only God should make a thumb!" he told the press, "not Google"
There are other differences to Homo Pollexis that are notable. The new species tends to be less verbal than the old, preferring to limit conversations to 140 characters. " and their spelling is atrocious", noted Professor Miceli. They are also brilliant multitaskers who are fully capable of driving and texting at the same time. They love efficiency too. For example, when they date they tattoo QR codes on their wrists, which contain their life particulars. No need for small talk, just scan and eat.
Another difference is that Homo Pollexis has a further curvature of the spine, which conforms perfectly to the modern Barcalounger. This is believed to be an adaptation spurred by the couch potato generation who continue to cling to their Xboxes hooked to a 46" flat panel. Of course, all of this has caused great consternation to the glove industry, which must now introduce whole new product lines. An industry representative was quoted yesterday saying "change sucks until you can make money at it."
"All this time we assumed man would evolve with bigger skulls and brains", Miceli said as she neared the end of her presentation. "who would have thought bigger thumbs"? Meanwhile, several industries are showing keen interest in Miceli's research. This includes the adult film industry, which is looking for alternatives to cosmetic surgery.
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