Once again today, I found myself struggling to discuss with Indira a vast subject that I know only a very little about, but that she is naturally curious to understand.
It all started with a picture of homo erectus on a page of her French grammar book. The picture is there to illustrate a sentence containing a particular verb but it sent us off in a whole different direction, with evolution rather than conjugation becoming the subject of discussion.
She asked why/how people have changed as they do from prehistoric times to then the in-between times to now and I explained that this was called evolution, a process of adaptation to the environment. We then ended up talking about how humans spread to other parts of the world from Africa, that they once had as much body hair as chimps and monkeys (“eeew!”); why giraffes are said to have long necks; the reason that melanin levels – and therefore skin darkness – varies among say Indians and whiter skinned Europeans; the fact that humans were once animals that walked on all fours and gradually began to stand – and thus the name homo erectus; etc. This last part though she seemed to know already, having seen pictures of that progression in some book.
After a while though I told her we ought to get back to the grammar homework, since evolution would take a lot longer to get our heads around !
It was quite a coincidence then, to come across this set of two essays on the evolution v/s divine creation debate