Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 11, 1968
NUMBER 10, PAGE 6b-7

The Evolution Of Johnnie

Daniel I. Hiler

Johnnie was a little bit of a fellow when something happened to him that never had happened to anything before. He became a living animal. He didn't know how, nor has anybody found out since. He must have been surprised. Just think! All of a sudden he began to know things through his senses. Or maybe he didn't. He may not have had any senses. But whether or not he could see or hear or feel, he must have been able right at first to take in food from the water around him and to get rid of waste. If he didn't do these two things, he was the most remarkable animal that has ever lived.

Just how long Johnnie remained alone in this big world nobody knows. Maybe it wasn't very long. He kept taking in food till he outgrew himself and split right in two. Then he was two Johnnies, both just alike. Each of the new Johnnies split in two. That made four. Then each of the four split in two. This kept up for maybe a million years or more; for, remember, evolution is a slow, slow process. There must have been lots of Johnnies just alike.

But things on this earth don't go on the same way forever. Changes occur after a while. So something new happened Johnnie — to one of the countless millions of Johnnies, that is. Nobody can explain. just why it happened, but it did. A Johnnie split in two just as Johnnies had been doing for ages and ages, but one of the new ones was different from the rest. Maybe only a little different but different. There wasn't another in all the world just like him. Now this thing of something happening to Johnnies every million years or so went on for a long, long time. Then, after one had evolved into a — well, no matter what — one day or night he got washed ashore by a tidal wave. Now, strange as it may seem, all the changes that had taken place in Johnnies since the first one began to live had made them better fitted to live in water, but not a one of them was of any help on the land. This Johnnie that was washed ashore would surely have died if another tidal wave hadn't carried him back into the sea.

He probably was scared, but he must not have been too scared. For after he had had a taste of life on land, little though it was, his next offspring had started to grow lungs. Just started. And there was just one that had even a hint of lungs, but it wasn't long till there were many Johnnies with lungs just started. Evolution being as it is, there were probably many generations of Johnnies with lungs just started. Then there came one with lungs a little better developed. It didn't matter that he couldn't use them. He was making progress toward being able to live on land.

Well, things went on this way for nobody knows how long till there was a Johnnie with lungs good enough to breathe with. He wriggled out of the water one night onto the land. What a wonderful place! How free he felt! He stayed till the sun came up, and it nearly blistered him before he could wriggle back into the water.

He wasn't content any more to live all the time in the water. He kept wriggling out of the water and wriggling back — out and in, out and in — till his skin could stand the heat and dryness of the air. Then, believe it or not, an offspring had a skin tougher than his had become, and also there were bumps on the new offspring's body where, perhaps a few million generations later, there would be legs. But during this long period of waiting for legs to grow, Johnnie had a really bad time. Especially at first, it was extremely hard to find food that an animal which had lived so long in the sea could eat. And without legs, it was hard to get around. Still he had to move about to find food and shelter. Any animal with less liking for the land or with less determination than he had would have gone back into the sea and stayed there. But he wouldn't go back — at least, not to stay. And his persistence in moving about on land was finally rewarded — after many generations, of course — with usable legs. Perhaps, too, by then he had some other parts which land animals find useful.

A remarkable thing about the evolution of Johnnie that we must not overlook is that, no matter how many of him there were at any time when one was born that was different, there was not another like this different one in all the world. Let us suppose that at one time all the Johnnies had eyes but no eyelids. Then one appeared with just the least beginnings of eyelids. He was the only one in all the world that had even traces of lids. He was the only link between the past and the future in that particular evolutionary chain.

Now I realize that, if you have always believed that man was created as he is now and did not evolve from lower forms, you probably find it hard to believe this story. But read on. No telling. You might learn something.

For maybe millions and millions of years, Johnnie didn't know about sex. He may have had many problems, but sex wasn't one of them. He just kept dividing, over and over again. Then it happened that in one instance the two parts didn't turn loose of each other, and a more complex body resulted. In the course of time, a still more complex body appeared, then one that was even more complex than that one. Something had to be done — or happen. Johnnie was getting so complex that it was hard to reproduce himself by simply splitting in two. Then in the nick of time, just when it seemed that Johnnie's evolution had reached its limit, something did happen. One of the most advanced Johnnies succeeded in splitting in two, and what do you know? One of the new Johnnies was a he, and the other one was a she — a Janie, let's say. But their bodies were so complex neither of them could reproduce himself or herself b y dividing. Again it looked as if Johnnie's evolution had reached a dead-end. But it hadn't. Johnnie and Janie joined forces and by cooperating produced offspring — both Johnnies and Janie's.

Nobody knows how far up the evolutionary ladder Johnnie had climbed before he became Johnnie and Janie, but probably not very far. However, the cooperation of two individuals to produce offspring was a long, long step upward. A Johnnie and a Janie had saved the day for evolution. From that time on, there has never been any lack of either Johnnie's or Janie's. And, as was to be expected, both have changed and changed and changed through the ages. But the remarkable thing about their changing is that, when a change occurred in Johnnie, a corresponding change occurred in Janie, or vice versa. This had to be, else the time would have come when they would have been so different they couldn't cooperate to reproduce.

Johnnie has come a long, long way since the day he became alive, and who knows whether the end has been reached? But even if there is no further development, we must view with awe the chain of marvelous changes that have taken place, each one putting Johnnie on a little higher plane than he was on before. And the wonder of wonders is that all this could have happened without a mind to guide the process, but that every advancement has been wholly a matter of chance!

Or could it have been this way? "God created man in his own image ... male and female created he them."

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