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16 September 2010

ZESA Scores a Point for the Evolutionists

ZESA stands for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority. These guys mainly do two things in this country: one function being the digging up of trenches around the city of Mutare in a month, changing their minds, and then filling up the trenches again the next month. During a particularly uneventful month, they would re-visit the filled up trenches and dig them up again. This pastime is so enthralling that other companies like Econet have decided to join in the fun and started digging up trenches all over the country too.

The second function of Zesa is to switch off electricity during your waking hours, and then switching it back on just after you have entered the coma like state of deep R.E.M sleep.

It is this second function that has made a contribution to the theory of evolution.

As you probably learnt in your first year of high school, man used to be ape. Now this process is said to have come about through micro-evolution; small adaptations over short periods of time, adaptations which eventually accumulated into huge changes over much longer periods of time. Environmental changes trigger a species into undergoing micro evolutionary adaptations in order to secure its own survival. Got it?

In simple terms: when the environment changes, we have to change along with it if we want to survive.

That is where Zesa comes in: it is acting as the environmental trigger.

Take for example the fact that some habits of the general populace in Zimbabwe have turned nocturnal. You can’t count on there being any electricity during the day, so some companies are now depending entirely on the night shift: sleep during the day, work at night.

If you are lucky enough not to need electricity at work or you use a generator instead, don’t worry, you will not lag behind on evolution’s path of change. Zesa makes sure that when you get home during the early evening, you have no choice but to sleep. See, the television has become the centre of every household: whether it is watching African (read ‘Nigerian’) movies, playing Mai Nga on DVD or simply watching pirated digital broadcasts of foreign TV channels. Without Zesa, and the art of family conversation having been lost a century ago, you sleep and maybe wake up around 1am to catch up on some Sky News. A perfect example of microevolution.

Charles Darwin
I got another example. Have you ever noticed how Zimbabweans have micro evolved in an effort to provide themselves with energy? Cooking used to be a simple primitive matter of turning on the stove and laying the pot on the hot plate. Now the whole matter requires some ingenuity when there is no electricity. One method that is gaining popularity in firewood scarce cities is the use of sawdust to cook meals. Don’t ask me for details: just know that apparatus includes a tin, sawdust (not too fine), some matches and of course cookware which you wont mind scrubbing soot off of after the messy process is done. Another perfect example of microevolution.

The whole point is that Zimbabweans have adapted to the absence of electricity in seemingly ingenious ways to ensure that life goes on. Yeah, pathetic, but judging from the development of affairs, we should get used to this kind of living because it doesn’t seem to be nearing its end yet.

The bigger point is that Charles Darwin’s modern counterparts may take these trends to indicate that their theory of evolution was right after all! If adaptations can take place in such a small space of time, what of a million years? If the world were to survive till then, maybe this country could be inhabited by big eyed hibernating owl like creatures.

This article was about the theory of evolution. Anyone who read anything else in it should have their heads examined.

Addendum: I found an interesting piece on the circus they call evolution this other day. Everyone should read it...or most of it anyway (its a bit longer than what can be managed by the attention span of the average internet surfer).

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