I?ll never forget the day that Ms. Derwin got sick just before our high school biology exam. We had been studying evolution for weeks and were looking forward to a nice review session the day before the test. Ms. Merx from sociology had to cover for Ms. Derwin at the last minute. She tried to answer our questions, but I guess she was a little overwhelmed. This is all I remember:
Q: Ms. Derwin told us that the fittest individuals in the population will leave the most offspring. When I asked her to define ?fittest individuals? she said that they are the ones who leave the most offspring. Can you elaborate on that? I mean, if I told someone that the Pizza Hut is located next to the Wal-Mart they might ask me where the Wal-Mart is located. Shouldn?t I be prepared to tell them something more than ?next to the Pizza Hut??
A: I?m afraid I really don?t know the answer. It?s outside my area of ex ?
Q: I have a question about our reading from Richard Dawkins. He stated that an animal might have a need for five percent of an eye because it might provide him with five percent vision. Wouldn?t five percent of an eye produce zero percent vision?
A: Well, I?m afraid that it is purely a matter of speculation. I think that maybe ?
Q: Dawkins also talked about limbs evolving into wings. Do you think that a ?pre-wing? would be useful before it was capable of producing flight? It seems like an animal with a mutation like that would have difficulty climbing and grasping its food.
A: Oh, you are certainly wrong there, Jimmy. Such an adaptation must have happened according to the theory. If it was as awkward as you say, it would not have survived.
Q: Ms. Merx, where is the Pizza Hut?
A: It?s next to the Wal-Mart.
Q: Where is the ?
A: Shut up, Jimmy.
Q: My Dad is a computer programmer. He says that a random change in a Microsoft Word program would produce nonsense. Do you think that it could produce a coherent document in a different language?
A: I think it?s possible.
Q: Do you think that a change in Word could translate your sociology notes into biology notes, so you could give us some more coherent answers?
A: Shut up, Shirley. Does anyone have a non-sarcastic question?
Q: Wasn?t that a sarcastic question, Ms. Merx?
A: I said shut up, Shirley!
Q: What did Darwin mean when he said that ?Nature may almost be said to have guarded against the frequent discovery of her transitional or linking forms?? Was that a call for us to have faith over and above the failures of science?
A: I pray that you are only kidding.
Q: Aren?t you forbidden to pray in school, Ms. Merx?
A: Shirley, quit being such a God da?