Forever young

Here is an interesting article on evolution, the value of which will be unavailable to those who do not think evolution happened. Let me talk about those people for a moment. People who do not accept evolution have a preponderance-of-evidence problem. Any kid of say, high-school age, who reads even one book on the many avenues of evidence for evolution and does not think “wow, THAT is very likely to be true” has a preponderance-of-evidence problem and should simply defer to experts, but of course they don’t believe experts either, so they never catch up. See also: Climate change.

But back to the article in question, about how an extended childhood gave modern humans an evolutionary advantage. This is one of those popularizing articles that oversimplifies, and mixes established fact with a good deal of speculation. In other words, it’s not gospel, so to speak. But it gives some insight into the kinds of ways humans develop, and how it works out for them.

But MY question for today is whether adulthood is EVER reached anymore. The days of the grim-faced work-only farm families that populate the older portions of my family photo album seem nearly as distant as those Neanderthals who also died off. The idea of ever-extending childhood is not especially new in American life, but lately I’ve been wondering if we’ve extended childhood all the way on through to the second childhood of dodderdom. Is this a new era of humanity characterized by unending curiosity, playfulness, creativity and joy? Or is it Lord of the Flies?

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.

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