Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Speciation Event has Occurred. Eoanthropus Dawsoni is Born

Piltdown University, England  A team of scientists from around the world met today at Piltdown University and announced that humanity has undergone a speciation event, and the internet is to blame. There are now two distinct species of humanity inhabiting our world: Homo sapiens and Eoanthropus dawsoni. Independent scientists from many disparate fields had performed a variety of experiments and painstakingly gathered data have come to this conclusion. Geneticists, microbiologists and  sociologists have been whispering about the topic in chat rooms for quite some time. Up until now many were afraid to go public with the information due to the predictable public backlash. "Our species has split into two, but there is no reason to panic," stated Charles Dawson, professor of biology at Piltodown University, to the antsy room of science reporters. "This sort of thing happens in nature all the time; it's natural." Indeed, speciation is the process where one group splits into two or more distinct sets. Members of these new sets can no longer breed with members of other sets and produce fertile young.

There are a variety of different ways new species are born. A group of animals or plants may become geographically isolated and evolve to the point that they truly are different from their genetic aunts and uncles from the original family. In our case, however, Dr Dawson states that the speciation event that caused the fissure in humanity is the internet. "The internet has created a multiplier effect on pre-existing selection pressures. In short, the net made geeks and nerds geekier and nerdier to the point of no return, genetically speaking." A flurry of research released at the meeting point to the undeniable fact that the species, Eoanthropus dawsoni, is made up of Monty Python quoting, Josh Whedon fans who score remarkably high on standardized tests (which they adore).

Isolation is key in creating a new species. Podcasts like the Nerdist, YouTube channels like Thunderf00t and the legion of science blogs have separated many from the rest of humanity. "The cultural subgroups that attended comic book conventions, engaged in LARPing and watched NOVA were always a bit different, but the web pushed this group over the tipping point and into their own species," said Dr Dawson.

Here are the defining characteristics of  Eoanthropus dawsoni:
  1. A disdain of lottery tickets.
  2. An appreciation for Mandelbrot sets.
  3. Knowing when to use affect vs effect.
  4. The adoration of Neil Gaiman.
  5. The complete inability to enjoy NASCAR (the physics involved are appreciated, the sport, no).
  6. Confirmation bias, while lessened overall, is focused primarily on anime, movies and TV shows. (Yes, Lost was the best thing to happen to humanity since the Bronze Age.)
There is an inevitable backlash brewing amongst the religiously minded, politicians and advertising professionals to this new reality. They have banded together in the new lobbying group, EVIL (Extraordinary and Very Intelligent L - something or another, we'll think of it later). The goal of EVIL is to ensure that the rights of Homo sapiens are protected by ensuring that Eoanthropus dawsoni must show photo ID at polls, can't be legally married and are forced to watch reruns of Jersey Shore.

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