It’s really very simple. Twacks Theory of Evolution goes like this. Millions of years ago there was a big bang. Millions of years later Twack arrived and the world has never been the same since. No ?. OK then, you’ve had your chance. All you had to do was agree and we could have moved on. Now we’re going to have to explore my theory in more detail.
First of all before you get the ‘clicker’ out and change channels, this has nothing to do with Charles Darwin. His reputation for being the huge brain that he was, will stay intact. While we’re talking about Darwin, did you know that when he first came up with the idea, probably sat in a bar after a couple of beers, it wasn’t well-received. A bit to radical and far-fetched. His theory, under the guise of ‘Origin of Species’ was published in 1859. Yet, it has been accepted, in the main, only since the 1940s.
So that was just over eighty years of everyone bickering about it before they finally said, ‘Yep, sounds good’ We really are muppets sometimes. Even now, there are still various ‘groups’ out there objecting to it. Although, it has to be said, that those opposing don’t have any scientific evidence and don’t follow any scientific methodology. Now that’s a surprise. Saying it’s so doesn’t actually make it so. Sorry.
Anyway, for the purpose of my own meanderings, we are going to assume that his theory is ‘sound’ and why not. It actually makes no difference to anything I’m about to hypothesise about. I just wanted to give credit where credit is due. Chaz Darwin, legend.
Theory Or Not A Theory ?
That is the question. Man, you can’t buy this stuff. Sorry, a sampling of self-adulation going on there for a second. Theory or not a theory. Well, you can’t answer that because at the moment you have no idea what I’m about to postulate. When we finally get to it after some foundation laying, it may well be anti-climatic, so be it.
It is a theory but it’s not backed up with anything that scientific, well nothing factual actually. It’s more of my take on something and I just lay it out as to why think it is what it is. You may agree, you may disagree, tis’ your prerogative and ye will not be judged for it. There are probably some legalese words for it, hearsay (not the band) findings, evidentiary. Who knows.
It’s a brief synopsis of where we are now and how we got here. Darwin explains the real how, I’m just using timelines and stuff. My disclaimer ? Well I’ve tried to research the facts as best I can but don’t jump on me if there are a few discrepancies along the way. It’s not meant to be a textbook more of a vessel to convey a message, if you will.
How I’m going to make this brief is beyond me at present. I did do a roughed out version, by hand, after four long pages I had to stop. I was on a fact finding mission and you wouldn’t believe how many facts there are between the start of the world and now. My ‘brief’ is going to be just that, brief an encapsulating, don’t worry. I will be ‘precising’ like a madman. Madder man. That could be a new Superhero. ‘Madderman’. Could that be a ‘Superpower ?’
In The Beginning
The art of dumbing down. We’re not going all the way back to the start, we’re going to jump ahead a few million years, quite a few, actually. We shall start at approximately 1.8 million years ago, are we sitting comfortably ? Excellent. The main man/woman on the planet was ‘Homo-Erectus’ made more famous in recent years by Joey from ‘Friends’. Moving on. They were ‘Hunter Gatherers’ and co-existed for a time alongside ‘Scavengers’. All hunting, gathering and scavenging to their hearts content.
Their diet consisted mainly of seafood, eggs, nuts and fruits, not so much meat but it was there. They co-existed quite happily. This continued for a brief time, brief in the grand scheme of things. So let’s skip ahead. Approximately 1.6 million years to be slightly less than precise. Homo Sapiens were on the scene and although still hunter-gatherers, they were slightly better at it.
This time bears out the ‘Endurance Running Hypothesis’ we have kicking around today. Days, nay, weeks, could be spent on the ‘hunt’ for food. During this time, they would have lived of the land. At the end of the chase there would be the reward of some animal or other. This is an important part to remember, it will come in useful later. (much later as it turns out)
This remained the main form of sustenance and survival until approximately 12,000 years ago. The ‘HGs’, as I like to call them, are now more skilled at what they’ve been doing for the past few thousand years. About time. Agriculture became more apparent and with that, farmers. So the transition came about, Hunter Gatherers became less prominent but did not disappear, even to this day you can still find some in remote regions.
So, as the sub heading suggests, we are now into the Neolithic times. Due to many countries’ education systems, most of us will be more familiar with this as it contains ‘The Stone Age’, leading to ‘The Bronze Age’ and finally ‘The Iron Age’
We’re going to smash our way through a few thousand years by completely skipping over anything of note during those times. It’s fairly self-explanatory really. Learn how to make stuff with and using stone, then bronze and then iron. Somewhere in there, the wheel was also invented, though tyres were hard to come by. Not that it mattered as the internal combustion engine was a way aways.
Quick History Lesson
So we’re now at about 1200 BC in Europe, well everywhere, really. We are much more civilised, not quite Sunday morning papers, more that farming was more prominent and we’ve started to keep animal stock. Tools and utensils abound and the earliest civilisations are starting to form. We were on our way to ‘growing up’ I guess. Worth pointing out that in 753 BC a small place called Rome appeared. Quaint. I’ve just had a quick scan through some of ‘their’ history and it’s a bit mad. Far too much going on for too many centuries. Needless to say, they pretty much revolutionised wherever they laid their proverbial hats or toga’s. For now, we’re taking a quick hop and a skip to approximately 200 BC. I mean there really is no point in dragging ourselves through endless centuries, where not much happens in any fashionable way to make my article more interesting. That’s just the way it is.
We are now far more acceptable as humans. This is due, in some respects, to the fact, that with more and more societies forming there are less and less Hunter Gatherers, as they are a bit redundant, especially when villages and towns are springing up right, left and centre.
N.B. Remember this note. Our eating habits become more selective, not quite as ‘all encompassing’. I’m not sure if we’ve invented ‘chips’ or ‘sausage and mash’ yet though.
Time To Move On
Now, because I’m not writing a book but instead an article, at some point I’d like to make a point, no really, I would. We’re going to precis a few thousand years, call it ‘website owners license.’ If you will.
Basically, between the start and the end of approximately 3800BC years and even later in Europe, humans became more like we are today. Lifestyle became more sedentary. Less time spent roaming the land, looking for beasts to kill and eat. More time spent at home, growing crops.
Another N.B. At this point it’s worth noting that there has been an upturn in disease, worldwide. Nice one. Looks like we’re heading in the right direction.
Same Old Same Old
I’d like to say that this trend (disease etc) continues only up to a point, sadly, that’s not the case. Still, let’s try to stick with some sort of timeline. The Bronze Age turns into ‘The Dark Ages’ and there is loads of destruction. Empires are built, get destroyed and territories change hands umpteen times. Add into the mix, volcanoes erupting, droughts and other such natural disasters. You get the picture, no doubt.
Another quick, hop, skip and a jump and we’re at ‘0’. Finally, we’ve gone from BC to AD. Now, things are starting to change on a more accelerated path. Loads of stuff is happening over a shorted period of time. As a species we are still relatively healthy and fit and had been for a fair few million years.
N.B. World population at the BC/AD intersection was approximately 200 million (some estimate as high as maybe 600 million) we’ll stick with the lower.
Now, within the space of a few ‘tens of thousand’ years, we are ‘losing the edge.’ and it just carries on right up to the present day. We were so good for millions of years and then in the space of a few thousand, it all went ‘pear-shaped’
Don’t get me wrong, over the last 2000 we have made incredible advances, we know what they are, so no need for a list. Well, maybe just a few of my favourites. We’ve excelled, nay made it an art form, in war. Religion has become a bestseller and technology has over performed and helped us to accomplish some phenomenal things. Today you can live without even leaving your home. Work from home, have your food delivered, pay your bills, mobile everything, I digress.
Let’s Get To It.
Where does all of this get us ? Why such a long winded article giving you, what might seem, irrelevant information that some of you might all be well aware of. I think it was important to give you a ‘time’ perspective. Man evolved over many millions of years and existed in a state close to what we are today for a long time.
From approximately 8000 BC, when it was estimated that the population was about 5 million, it grew to 200 million mark by the time we reached ‘0’, as stated above. Conservatively the ‘growth’ rate was about 0.05% per year. Now we’re going to play with the figures so you have an idea of what has blown my mind and led me to the conclusion we’ll get to shortly.
Between ‘0’ and 1800 AD the population rose to 1 Billion. So in ‘real’ terms it has taken mankind its entire history to rise to the one billion mark and that ‘marker’ is 1800 AD.
Interesting timeline facts of this year are. US President John Adams is the first president to occupy the White House, Beethoven’s 1st Symphony in C is performed for the first time and Alessandro Volta admits to a mate that he’s invented the ‘battery.’ Not a bad year, all in all.
Have a seat, you might need it. Between 1800 and 1930 the world population doubles, that’s right, doubles into two billion. So we’ve got the entire length of humanity to get to the one billion point and then 130 years to add another billion. Stay seated, it gets better. The year is 1930 and we’ve squished another billion onto the planet since 1800. In this year, Betty Boop debuts in her first animated roll, Clint Eastwood is born (Definitely a million dollar baby), Football has its first World Cup and ‘Pluto’ was discovered.
Not wanting to be outdone by ourselves, we outdid ourselves instead and added another billion sweaty peoples’ in the space of, ready for it ? 30 years. That’s right, in 1960 the population of our dear, weighted down, earth had increased yet another billion to three billion. Can you see a pattern emerging yet ? Ironically, this was the year the US became the first country to legalise the birth control pill (Well, better late than never I suppose.) The ‘Flintstones’ hit our screens, Jean Claude Van Damme was born and Elvis Presley released “Are you lonesome tonight” which was quite fitting, really.
If that isn’t enough jaw-dropping info for you then fear not, there’s more. You couldn’t write this stuff. Between 1960 and 1974 we happily procreated our way to another billion making it four, let’s not stop there though, we’re on a roll. Forging ahead a mere 13 years and look, another billion. 1987 and the number is a solid 5 billion.
Since the 1960s the increase in the populous has ‘slowed’ somewhat and although still growing, the yearly increments are decreasing. Currently in 2019 we are idling at 7.7 billion. That means in the twenty-first century alone (1/1/1901-31/12/2000) the world population has gone from 1.65 billion up to 6 billion. Here’s how it looks on a graph, as if you needed the point reinforcing.
The axis are self-evident, I would think but just in case. Across the bottom is the year starting at ‘0’ and the vertical is the number of ‘bods’ in ‘billions.’ Paints a pretty picture doesn’t it.
Now I know that statistics and figures can be manipulated to say pretty much what you want them to. For every opinion going one way there can and usually is, one going in the opposite direction. With that in mind I’m going to ruminate on the numbers and let you do the same. What do these figures conjure up in your inquisitive mind ?
When I started this article I had a clear idea of where I wanted to go with it. As with most of my posts, there is an amount of ‘journey’ before reaching the destination. Somewhere along this particular path, the ‘journey’ took me in a different direction. My original intention was to give the ‘timeline’ up to the present day and then introduce some of my thoughts on the ‘health’ of the human species as it stands now and how this has been impacted upon in such a short time, in the bigger scheme of things, that is. How we have become susceptible to disease due to the radical change in our diets over the last two hundred years, actually it’s more like fifty years.
Now, after researching this subject I have found that there is so much more that concerns me. I am a firm believer that many aspects in our lives are interconnected but we don’t always get the chance to find out which ones. Now and then we get one of those moments when the proverbial ‘penny’ drops and there is clarity, an ‘Aha’ moment, if you like. I’m not talking about ‘Deep Thought’ coming up with ’42’ as the meaning of life (Even though when he did come up with the answer, he had forgotten the question) Moreover, an answer comes up to a question you hadn’t really asked, or if you had, you’d not paid it much attention. One of the reasons that happens is because we think only in generational terms. It’s about our children, their children and very occasionally their children’s children. We really need to be thinking much further ahead, much further ahead indeed and putting into place solutions now.
It’s a bit like owning a little two-seater sports car and trying to fit ten people in. When you manage to do it, you don’t understand why it doesn’t want to perform like you know it can. I’m into cars, so it seemed like a good analogy to make a point.
Brief examples before I sign off. For many years there have been concerns about ‘Fossil fuels’ being depleted and the need for alternative energy supplies. Destruction of the Rainforest. Global Warming. Plastic in the oceans. These are the tip of the ever melting iceberg (See what I did there ?) They are all questions that are constantly being talked about. I don’t think you can answer them in a way that does them justice. We never seem to have all the facts in front of us and when we do, I’m not always one hundred percent confident that the sources can be relied upon.
So ‘Twack’s Theory of Evolution’ seems to be in need of more ‘postulation’. There seems to be plenty more areas and topics that can be delved into that have emanated from this post, at least in my mind, and as I’m writing it, that’s a bonus. I was going so well and then it kind of took on a life of it’s own. That’s not a bad thing. If we were sat round a table, having a discussion about a certain topic that we became impassioned about, there would be the possibility that our minds might get changed during the discourse and that would be a good thing.
Closed minds, close doors.
PS. Comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome. Please feel free to do so below.