Evolution’s Stepchildren

This is a poem I wrote back in 2002. Note the dated topical reference in the last line – I actually wanted at the time to draw a cartoon with the hostess facing the one primitive primate among the contestants and saying, “You are the missing link!”, but I can’t draw. I ran across it by accident today, and thought it would be worth posting. Apart from that, most of the impetus behind this one was the desire to come up with something that had a quick, bubbling rhythm to it.

I’ll note that it’s possible to sing this to “Turkey in the Straw” with a little forcing here and there, but I won’t claim that it’s a good idea.

Evolution’s Stepchildren

In the course of evolution, newer species will emerge.
They develop out of older ones, as though there is an urge
For them to try to become better (however that’s defined),
But the process takes forever, which some people seem to mind.

Improvement comes in two ways, as I’m certain that you know.
Your descendents can be better, which eventually will show
Through accumulated changes, as the generations pass.
And the species is a new one when enough changes amass.

The other way is faster, and it only needs a fool
Who improves the race by bowing out of our genetic pool.
This happens rather often, so it cannot be ignored,
And we give to those who qualify their very own award.

Named after Charles Darwin, it’s not one for which you’d vie,
Since to qualify to win it, you must nearly always die.
Do these people ever stop to think before they do their stunts?
Do they realize that they’ll be known as intellectual runts?

Does their life flash by before them when they realize what they’ve done?
Do they hear the angels tell them that they’ll soon have no more fun?
Well, I know I’m not impressive, but I’d really hate to think
That I’d hear a voice from Heaven say, “You _are_ the weakest link!”

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