The More You Know
Many of you know that I study snails, but you may not know that I am also an evolutionary biologist. In honor of Dr. Yeti’s taint fetish, I would like to examine the taint from an evolutionary stand point.
Let’s start off by discussing Stephen J. Gould. Dr. Gould was a famous evolutionary biologist and a royal asshole. While he was a brilliant writer and was employed at Harvard, he often misrepresented other evolutionary biologists’ understanding of evolution and in turn, some of SJG’s writing is used as ammo by fundamentalist creationists because they are too afraid to admit that their ancestors were excrement-flinging monkeys (a close relative of the Yeti). He was also a communist and much of his scientific writings lacked data and were politically motivated. But I digress.
Steven Jay Gould once wrote an evolutionary biology essay using an architectural example; he explained how some structures evolve merely from the architectural make-up rather than direct selection on the structure. His example involved spandrels. Spandrels are structures above an arched door or window which are often painted and decorated (I prefer the ones with naked people). Spandrels were not created for painting and decorating, they are merely a by-product of architecture. It seems to me that a taint would be the evolutionary equivalent of a spandrel. Although it’s not nice for decorating, the evolution of the taint is merely an architectural by-product of having an asshole separated from your junk.
If we look at the taint in a broad evolutionary context, we see that the taint is primarily a mammalian trait. Birds, Reptiles, Fish, Invertebrates all have an ‘all-purpose hole’ from which babies and dookie come from. Mammals decided that one hole was not enough and somewhere along the way, developed two holes and thus creating a ‘spandrel’ we like to call, the taint. At first, taint bearing mammals were rare, but after the mass extinction which killed all the dinosaurs, taint bearing mammals rose up and have been kicking ass ever since. Perhaps the dinosaurs went extinct because of their taint-lacking status. Like Jesus said, “The taints shall inherit the earth.”
Today’s Lesson has been brought to you by the number ‘Taint’.