I remember reading many years ago the hypothesis that as humans evolved, physiologically speaking, in time over many generations the pinky toe on our feet would cease to be needed and it would eventually be the little piggy that cries wee, wee, wee all the way gone. I’m not naturally inclined to accept that hypothesis. There hasn’t been much use for our spleens for a long time, but we seem to insist on continuing to include them in the full organ set. Then again, you never know. There may have been caveman disbelievers that we’d ever get our knuckles off the ground. (Of course, one needs to watch but a few minutes of any ‘reality’ TV program to be compelled to ask if we really fully have yet.) But it does raise an interesting question: if we are still evolving physically, what will be lost – or added – as evolution marches on?
My first thought is that our cervical vertebrae could prove to be superfluous. Pretty much all we’ll need is a smooth curving end of our spinal columns to connect to the bottom of our skulls This new spinal configuration – let’s coin the phrase here of swoop bone – will provide the convenience of being able to better stare at whatever digital device we are issued by our future silicon masters. I suppose, too, in light of this change another evolutionary change will ensue whereby most of our fingers would become outmoded leaving us only with two, giant paddle sized thumbs and maybe a meatier forefinger to manipulate whatever may be the latest and greatest digitally hypnotizing brain fermenting devices of the future.
Perhaps still further there’s a part of our anatomy that is poised to become obsolete before any of the rest. It could be our ears are destined to become flesh pads whose job will be diminished to merely the demarcation for the mid-way point between the crown of our heads and the bottom of our jaws. I say this because in our modern discourse, it’s mostly the mouth doing all the work. The brain appears to be on some extended vacation in an alternate universe only to pop in on occasion to input something wholly erratic and completely out of context during the moment within which it swings by. Nostalgically speaking, ears used to be intake valves, used for listening, specifically in normal human discourse to HEAR what one or another is saying. Since listening to one another has now been completely usurped by the need for mouths needs to bark over one another (with only occasional drive by input from the brain), ears are fast becoming an antiquated luxury. Why would we need those earring hangers and puncture pads anymore?
Oh, toes, fingers and ears, we hardly knew ye!