Fighter pilot, Royal Navy 1945, Hydrographer Iraq 1947-52 India 1952-53, Canadian Hydrographic Arctic explorer 1953-1960, Writer-producer Canadian National Film Board 1961-72, Freelance journalist, audio-visual producer 1972-2009, National Press Club of Canada 1961 - 2006

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Right there, in front of you.

Can’t you see them?

There’s much proper and right conflaberation just now about it being 200 years since that intelligent, inquisitive, and clear-thinking rating, Charles Darwin, was born; also that it is 150 years since his blockbuster book,On The Origin of Species was published.

Once Darwin had pointed out the obvious process of evolution — so flamboyantly, plainly, and richly displayed by nature on every hand in all its fascinating aspects — one would have thought all hands would have wondered how they’d never realized the simple truth of the business before.

But with intellects compressed rock hard by millenniums of mythical primitive teachings and ignorant folklore the light was shunned by millions of even the most supposedly intelligent people.

And unbelievably, so it is today. I just cannot understand how so terribly short-sighted and blind are the modern, mostly religiously contaminated, nincompoops who argue against evolutionary science as being drivel and then drivel on about things like Intelligent Design.

Always they harp on about the ‘missing links’. “Where are the missing links?”, they bleat. “Where are the missing links?”

Are they completely unable to see reality when it is so unassailably and widely displayed?

Me, I see missing links all the time: pontificating on BBC newscasts, lolloping about on government benches in the halls of parliament; reporting the weather and sports on CBC and CTV television; bossing people about in churches and national institutions; loitering around our local shopping malls; constantly getting their names in the papers; criticising me from a flopped-over image in my shaving mirror — scads of missing links. Missing links galore. All over the place.

Very plain to see. Of all shapes, sizes, sexes and colours.

Some quite alluring.

Many of them positively eyesores.

And I’m somewhat inclined to agree with those who point out that they seem to be so much more noticeably visible and ubiquitous today than they were in former times.

Nothing new about that.

It’s nothing but the usual global trend in life emanating throughout the ages.

Just an integral, minor, even perhaps annoying, part of the unstoppable evolutionary cavalcade of earthly life forms. It's a work of natural art still in progress. We are all part of it. Enjoy.

Let’s face it, though Intelligent Design ratings scornfully deride proponents of natural evolution for naively believing that independent ordered chaos, what they term blind chance, can be responsible for the wonderful patterns on a butterfly’s wings or the mystic decorations of varied colours on a tiny beetle’s back. One only has to look within the compass of one’s own immediate surroundings for a very brief period to see similar extremely complicated processes continually underway.

This can be exemplified by the truism that:

“There is no such thing as a small job”.

Here is a basically-true example:

A friend told me his wife decided to change the window curtains in their kitchen. This done it was decided the woodwork needed painting to match the new colour. This entailed moving the dishwasher which caused a broken drain hose which in turn entailed a plumber to be called who dropped a wrench on the glass cooktop. The cooktop repairman responding to their service call ran his truck over the small deeply-loved cat belonging to their neighbours. This resulted in recriminations and the geographical relocation of two families followed by...

It happens all the time, every millisecond, everywhere. Deep in the leaf mould carpeting the forest floor, high up in the tree top canopy, with every wave and ripple impacting on the seashore, with every sneeze by a bus driver. In the natural organic world, such myriad changes are sorted by advantage or disadvantage. The former being mostly retained, the others usually discarded.

Dude. As I indicated in my book ‘Crumbs’ a decade ago, you haven’t even got the status of even the lowliest of puppets. Your life, itself a blind happenstance of random creation, is just a never-ending slew of accidental twists and turns over which you have no control. Whoever you are. Crowned Head, President, Joe Blow, lower deck rating, coolie or hobo — all are equally at risk for good, bad or indifferent fortune. At all various and simultaneous times to greater or lesser and varying, unpredictable, degrees.

And all caused by effects from a constant and awesome eternal infinity of causal shock waves that constantly stem from an infinity of circumstances in both the living-organic and the inanimate-physical worlds (as far we know them), which phenomena, in the vernacular, is collectively and commonly called:

“The Fascinating Fickle Finger of Flipping Fate”

A graphic display of this phenomena can be seen when watching what high-altitude aerial movie footage of high-explosive bombs bursting upon the ground below shows. The fascinating action of the transparent shock waves that rapidly spread out from the central concussion points can be plainly seen. These are similar to the slower circular ripples that are created by a stone dropped in a pool of water. And how the opposing ripples from several stones of differing size dropped in the same pools confusedly interact to varied degree.

These graphically illustrate how similar phenomena is constantly replicated in our human existence an infinitesimal number of times every second of our lives. It is universal. No individual or object is immune to these effects.

Typical Causes:

Every inadvertent (or intentional) dropping of a piece of buttered toast.

Every baseball game home run or strike out.

Every choice between ordering a cup of coffee or a soda pop.

Every pause at an intersection stop sign or a pedestrian walkway.

Every shower of rain or shaft of sunlight.

Every visit to a toilet or momentary distraction.

Every small or big action or inaction that can possibly be envisaged.

No instance that can be imagined (or unimagined) is immune.


• A home run is hit at a baseball game. This causes several opposing fans to leave the ball park earlier than otherwise. Other fans decide to stay longer than otherwise. They board an earlier or later bus, train or taxi than otherwise. They interact with people, objects or circumstances they would otherwise not have met with. This affects the actions of those people, known or unknown, whose own actions are therefore modified in large or very small ways, which affect others, and others, who affect others and then others and others all quite remote and unknown to each other.

• A world war begins.

• A world war ends.,

• A large dam is built across a major river.

• A civil engineering project is erected.

• A dam is not built.

• A project is shelved.

• A small cloud exudes a few rain drops.

• A small cloud shrouds the sun.

• A small cloud evaporates.

• A mouse is hit by a truck.

• A truck is hit by a bird.

• An earwig turns left.

• An earwig turns right.

Awesome. Fascinating. Boggling.

Time for a quiet beer and a puff of the pipe.

Or perhaps not. You never know what might ensue.

But, then again, perhaps why not? Positive results must equal negative results.

Yin and Yang, stuff.

The Fascinating Fickle Finger of Flipping Fatalism cannot be enforced, avoided, foretold, controlled or weakened. Or explained.

But we cannot help trying to do so, all the same.

Like I’m doing here.

It’s our awful, undefined, destiny.

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