When I first heard of the “Origin of the Species” I thought evolution sounded reasonable. I had read enough history to know that things changed over time. I had been born only eight years after WW2, and by the time the Hippie generation appeared I had noticed changes happening. Somehow I related it to Darwin, thinking that, of course, we are evolving and becoming better humans with each generation. I wondered what Americans would look like in fifty years. Of course I was young, and growing up in Alabama. Back in the sixties, Alabama was more than a little behind the rest of America. I met and talked with many adults over the years thinking I could learn something from them. I hadn’t yet reached high school when I came to the conclusion that Alabamians must have been a species a few generations prior to mine and had not evolved. Some of the things coming out of their mouths, especially about god, seemed to indicate to me that their brains were a couple of generations earlier than their bodies. At any rate, I was 16 when I realized how bad it could get. The previous evening I had watched TV as Armstrong and Aldrin walked around on the moon. It made me proud to be an American. The next day, July 21, 1969, I walked out the front door full of life and hope and wondered what other awesome things I’d see after I finished high school. I saw my aunt-in-law out hanging laundry. I casually walked up to her and said ” what did you think of that moon landing last night?” She practically bit my head off, shouting ” A man didn’t land on the moon! The bible says that when a man lands on the moon, the world’s gonna come to end. The world didn’t come to an end, so a man didn’t land on the moon.”
I don’t remember If I stood there any length of time, or if I left immediately. But I just turned and silently walked away. At 16, I didn’t have the ability to argue with such impeccable logic. Anyway, once I graduated high school I left Alabama and never went back.
So I’m 66 now and I’ve seen a number of generations grow up in America. I set aside Darwin and just wondered if it was true. The newer generations didn’t seem to be advancing, in fact, they seemed to be retarding. The newer generations of Christians seem to be as stupid as the Alabama Christians had been so many years ago. And the newer generations seemed to be getting as ignorant and arrogant as so many Alabamians had been back then. It would be hard to imagine but try to think of someone who seems to be so proud of their ignorance that they refused to see anything different from the thoughts they held already. So, recently this “Woke” generation has come on the scene.
I have yet to meet a live version of one of these creatures, but I have seen the “woke” politicians on TV. Now, I’m no intellectual genius, but I believe this woke generation would be able to communicate better with those Alabamians of the sixties than I ever did. When I first heard “woke”, I wasn’t sure what it meant. Had they just got out of bed?
It became apparent just listening to these “woke” politicians. Evidently they think they see something my older generation can’t. Either way, I concluded Darwin was wrong, although he had indicated it took millions of years to evolve. For a moment I considered what that could mean. Using my Alabama generation and comparing it to this woke generation, I tried to imagine humankind in a million years. I couldn’t do it. The thought seemed too scary. Somehow I flashed back to 21 July 1969 and what my aunt-in-law had said. Well, I thought, a man did land on the moon, so maybe the end of the world has just been late getting here.