By Derek Wenmoth
A satire on evolutionary theory.
Good evening. Tonight I wish to talk on the evolutionary processes which have brought about the aeroplane.
The aeroplane - a heavier-than-air, powered flying machine with fixed wings. Used throughout the world for the transportation of human beings and cargo - especially perishable goods. A popular choice of transportation among executive businessmen, tourists and international hijackers.
At least 72 species are known to exist, the smallest of which includes the primitive Cessna sub-species, through to the technologically advanced Boeing 747 and 767 series. Mutations of the original aeroplane include the budget micro light and the larger budget space shuttle.
For years, scientists have puzzled over the development of this truly remarkable transportation device. At last, after decades of research by eminent members of our scientific community, a consistent picture is emergi ng of how the aeroplane came into existence.
It seems that, at some stage in history, there was a terrific thunderstorm. Lightning played upon ore-bearing rocks, fusing the various ores into lumps of molten iron, copper and bauxite. Again and again the lightning struck - before the metal had cooled - causing them to form themselves into patterns inherent in their atomic particles.
This resulted in simple components being formed - nuts, bolts, aluminium plates and so forth.
Again the lightning struck, this time causing the formation of more complex components - cylinder heads, pistons, rings, wires (ready insulated), turbines, blades. propeller parts, and wheels. The effect of the lightning was such that it also melted some rubber trees into tyres. All of these things were then left lying together in a heap.
So violent was the thunderstorm that tornado-like winds swept across the land, flinging the heap high into the air. Suspended momentarily in the air, some of the nuts were near enough to the bolts to respond to an inherent attraction, and screwed themselves together, capturing between them another component in the process, and so were selected for the developing aeroplane. Other pieces fell uselessly as unwanted debris and so were not selected. After repeated lightning strikes the major units were formed: engines, panel instruments, struts, fuselage, tanks, seats and lavatory pans.
Extensive geological surveys have revealed that, coincidentally, an earthquake ruptured the strata and released oil from an anticline. The oil spouted forth and poured itself into the tanks, refining and separating itself into grades along the way.
A final burst of lightning struck - again flinging everything into the air. There were far more parts than those required for one aeroplane, but those which were fortunate enough to fall into a viable position made up a complete airliner and drifted back to the earth's surface to make a safe landing.
And so the aeroplane came into existence. Who knows what mutations of this original form may spontaneously develop as each future lightning strike or earth tremor occurs? We must wait and see.
© Derek Wenmoth 1995
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