Howdy all you speedy skaters slapping the Puck of Knowledge into the Goal of Truth! Baba Doodlius here, with a Revelation of another Mystery of the Universe!
- Today's intro brought to you by the National Hockey League and their championship trophy the Stanley Cup, which is about to be won by the Detroit Red Wings, who I am pretty sure win it every year so this should not be a surprise to anybody.
Today I'm doing something a little different. I was actually asked a bunch of questions by Azzitizz over at "The Totally Transparent Party" (also known as "Azzy's Blog-a-Roonie" because Azzy can call her blog whatever she darned well wants to call it, thank you very much). Since I get from you readers very few Mysteries of the Universe to Reveal, I figured I'd take this opportunity to add this as a feature to this blog to encourage you shy folks to ask any questions you may have. I now present to you the
Baba Doodlius Reader Mailbag!
All of the questions today are, as I said, from Azzitizz, or more accurately from Azzy's little sister "Lil'Sis" (which is a highly appropriate name for one's little sister in the opinion of the Great and Powerful Baba Doodlius).
Question Number One:
This is actually a bunch of questions linked together, so I'll just quote Lil'Sis directly and get to the answers and commentary afterwards:
"How come almost every animal on the planet can swim by just nature and instinct, yet we humans have to be taught?
New born babies seem to manage just fine without lessons!
Is it because we are told we can't swim as we get a little older and therefore believe we can't until we have lessons?
Does that mean we shouldn't believe what we are told about anything? In which case, take for example, The Law of Gravity. The Law of Gravity must be so, as nobody can tell an apple or a leaf whether or not to fall to the ground. But, if we decide not to believe it, will we be able to float or fly?"
Well that's some serious questioning, Lil'Sis. I'd first like to say that you have a brilliant future in Philosophy, assuming you don't decide to test your "Belief in Gravity" theory and jump off a building first.
This is a cartoon by John Callahan. You should immediately go buy all of his books.
But now on to your questions. As you pointed out, humans can actually swim just fine as infants without being told how to do it. The problem with humans is that they have this innate drive, as powerful as the need for food, shelter, and sex, to be right about everything and to be better than everybody else at everything. Lil'Sis has hit on the basic Truth of Human Existence, which controls every aspect of human society, from religion to politics to the aforementioned Stanley Cup: Humans Have to Fight About Stuff.
It starts early, and with the simple things, like swimming:
"Look here, that swimming you're doing, it's all wrong! You can't just paddle around until you get to shore, you have to move your hands like THIS, and kick your feet THIS WAY, and then you'll go FASTER and you'll be DOING IT RIGHT!"
And things get worse from there:
"Watch this, I can kick this spherical air-filled bladder into that net over there BETTER THAN YOU! In fact, me and my ten friends are the BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD at this activity!"
"Your economic system is NOT OPTIMIZED at all! You should be running your economy THIS WAY or I shall SCOFF AT YOU and ADVOCATE YOUR TOTAL DESTRUCTION!"
"Those rituals you are performing to please your god(s), they're all wrong! You've got to do things THIS WAY, which is the only CORRECT way to do it, and if you don't do things the CORRECT WAY I'll just have to SUBJUGATE YOU and FORCE YOU TO DO IT RIGHT."
So you see, swimming instruction is just the symptom of this excessive human competitive behavior. It has nothing to do with belief, so please don't go stepping off any high cliffs to test your Gravity theory, please.
Question Number Two:
"When the sunlight is so bright it hurts your eyes, how come it doesn't hurt anymore if you shut just one eye?"
Uh, hmmm, well, to that I'd just have to reply that I have not had this experience. I generally don't make a habit of staring directly at the sun, Lil'Sis, because that sort of activity can be harmful to your health. To answer the question, I will have to defer to the expertise of Sigmund Freud, who postulated the Theory of Eyeball Denial. The theory goes like this:
"Pain coming from both eyes cannot be ignored because it has no source of counter-sensation. However, if input from one of the eyes is eliminated, the Ego has the capability of denying the pain because it is not reinforced by an alternate pathway, and thus can pretend that the pain does not exist. All of this, naturally, is proof of the desire to have sex with one's mother."
So there you go, Lil'Sis. You can't argue with the Father of Modern Psychoanalysis. Well, except maybe about the "sex with your mother" part, which is just creepy and disturbing.
Question Number Three:
"How come men have nipples? Why hasn't evolution eliminated them by now as they are of no use whatsoever?"
This one is also somewhat foreign to me, Lil'Sis, seening as how I am a bird, and birds of both genders lack nipples. But I happen to know the answer to this one offhand, because I have done extensive research on human nipples (don't even ask why, there are some Secrets of the Universe that I won't reveal).
The reason for human male nipplage is based in the very evolutionary theory that you have already referenced. Rather than eliminating man nipples because they are unecessary, evolution has preserved them because it simplifies the manufacturing process. Think about it: Human babies all look pretty much the same. When you're making two things that are nearly identical, you don't waste effort retooling the assembly line just for a cosmetic difference, you save your effort for the pieces that make a difference.
Charles Darwin himself alluded to this evolutionary fact when he said:
"Oh yeah, baby, that feels soooo good! YES! Oh yeah, put the clamps right there and... OOOHHHH!!!"
What a freakazoid.
That about wraps up this edition of Baba Doodlius' Reader Mailbag. I hope you come away from this experience enriched, edfied, and entertained. And have a nice day!