I first heard the theory when I was in my third year at secondary school. It was a Biology lesson. I didn’t like the sciences, but I listened because I had to. If I failed that exam, I was dead.
We were discussing evolution. My teacher was firmly convinced that everything evolved by chance, and seemed certain that there was no ‘grand design’. Everything was luck, as far as she was concerned.
Me? I wasn’t so sure. I’ve never believed in luck, or chance. Coincidence seems to me an absurd concept.
Anyway, that was where I first head the words ‘evolutionary dead end’. I’m not sure of the context. I think we were debating where or not we – mankind, that is – would evolved any further, or whether our society had stopped this kind of progress. Certainly, it seemed clear to me that natural selection had faded out of the picture. I mean, we don’t exactly kill off the weak and sick now, do we?
So. They told me that we were an evolutionary dead end. Of course, I didn’t realise at the time that they meant ‘dead’ literally. I don’t think they realised either. But I memorised what the examiners would expect me to say, the correct answer, and that’s what I wrote in my exam. It wasn’t clever, and it wasn’t original, but it got me the marks so I passed.
That was my method for everything. You don’t need to understand a thing, as long as you know what the examiners expect you to say. It worked, didn’t it? Certainly, I didn’t fail at all.
I’m not sure that memorising the correct answer is going to help me nowadays. You see, the human race just wasn’t good enough. They couldn’t adapt, and they didn’t make it through.
Instead, they left me here alone, to fight for myself and my survival. Not that there’s much left to survive for. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.
Let me tell you what happened.