The Mask of Evolution

Replication of Japanese war mask.

No other image so resoundingly reinforces an acceptance and understanding of the theory of evolution as this video clip from episode 2 of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.  If there ever was a logo or emblem that those waging war on misinformation would brandish on their chests or tattoo on their spaulders, this would be it.


The heike crab, found in the waters off Japan.

Only one of two options seems to work here.  Either 1, these crabs have always borne the scowl of Japanese masks and that any resemblance is in fact, opposite to my argument.  That the Japanese fashioned their masks to look like the face of this crab, with it’s apparently scowling eyes, bulbous nose and prominent cheekbones.  The Japanese would then, one might think, only breed with one another so that all Japanese bore the features so idolized by this most natural of crab carapaces.

Or, alternatively, it goes as Mr. Sagan says in the clip.  That these crabs looked much different half a century ago and have steadily changed to more and more resemble a human face, specifically, a Japanese war mask.


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