If there is one trait that separates mankind from all other earthly vermin it is this; our compassion and willingness to accommodate those with special needs. No other species of animal on this planet will go to the lengths that Man does to assist and support those of his own kind who, for whatever reason, are the more challenged among us. While other lesser creatures simply kill and eat their weak, we give them special parking placards and let them fly with comfort turkeys on airplanes.
Still, sometimes I think we are taking things too far.
I have long held the somewhat controversial view that in our endless search for the perfect accommodation, the impeccable leveling field, the absolute and ultimate averaging of life, that we are hurting our potential dominion over all other living things. We are interfering with the natural progression of the species, and diluting our potential for long term survival. I am not referring to those who are born with or inherit physical and/or mental conditions. I fully support the continued assistance and accommodation for those people with special needs.
No, I am talking about the expanded efforts at protecting the lazy and stupid amongst us – those that in pre-historic times would pull the lion's tail or try to ride the rhinoceros. The one's who as time progressed fished with dynamite or thought they could fly wearing artificial wings. These are the people who today require warning stickers on virtually everything. They are why baby strollers carry advisories to remove the baby before folding the equipment and putting it in the trunk. They are the reason we have Braille on the keys of drive thru ATM's. And they are why we must now be warned that our hot coffee is, well, hot. Forget global warming, the potential idiocratization of society is what we should be worried about (For the record, idiocratization is not a real word, but the people I am speaking of won't know that).
Believe me, you need look no further than the world of television to verify what I am saying. Prior to the advent of our endless quest to protect the otherwise unprotect-able from themselves, Darwin's theory of Evolution essentially played itself out on a daily basis. The “herd” was continually culled of those who would have grown up to have a propensity to believe that the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” was entertainment. Or real, for that matter. 30 years ago you would never have had to encounter a show like “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”. In the old days, the people responsible for that atrocity (or their descendants) would have been culled in some sort of hay bailing accident, so the idea of it would never come to fruition.
School zones are a perfect example of what I am talking about. They interfere with the natural selection process in a major way. When I was growing up, if you were not fast enough or smart enough to wend your way through speeding traffic, you simply did not get the opportunity to grow up and pass on your defective seed.
And now, thanks to nanotechnology, it turns out our defective seeds will be getting special accommodation as well.
A tweet this morning by Kimberly George alerted me to a new invention that will assist slow sperm in reaching an egg. A research team in Germany just published their findings in the journal Nano Letters, where they describe their new “spermbot”. A “spermbot” is a “tiny metal helix that wraps around the tail of a sperm and helps propel it using a rotating magnetic field.”
Now for those of you who, like myself, need a simpler, even accommodating, explanation, let me put it this way:
If your sperm suffers from ADD or ADHD, or it is just stupid or slow, or forgets to Google a map of the fallopian tubes, or is just lazy and prefers to wait for the elevator, then the new spermbot can assist it. It will wrap itself around your wayward sperm and take it to the egg, where it is hoped that fertilization will take place. Unless of course, the egg has a headache, in which case the entire trip would be for naught.
Some questions were not answered by the researchers. For instance, how does the spermbot find the wayward sperm in need? Is there an app for that? Maybe an Uber like service or a locator system, perhaps called Lo-Jaculate, has been developed for the task at hand. Then again, if the task was at hand, the spermbot wouldn't be called for in the first place. But I digress…
In the event the sperm is securely lodged in the wall of an egg, the spermbot would reverse direction and release its passenger. Unless the doors won't open. I hate it when that happens.
Now, I recognize that there is, to my knowledge, no direct correlation between incompetent sperm and incompetent people. This technology could be a big boon to people struggling to get pregnant and who suffer low sperm motility, or whose otherwise healthy sperm just can't swim. Still, one has to wonder. Are we just messing with the natural order at one earlier step?
We have to remember this; up until this point, most of us are the product of the fastest, strongest sperm in the pool. One little bugger gets the opportunity to deliver, and out of millions of contenders the one that won the race created you. Now, imagine how the other sperm will feel with this newest development. They are working hard, swimming their proverbial fannies off, each giving it their all to be the “one” to accomplish a greater goal. Then, a sperm that can't swim, pay attention or follow simple directions goes zipping by in a special vehicle beating them to the destination.
That just has to hurt.
And I have no idea what it means for the future of mankind. We had best put a warning label on that spermbot. It could read, “Warning: The sperm being delivered may not be the best and the brightest, but it is the first”. Only time will tell, but the Honey Boo Boo franchise appears to be secure for many years to come.