BACK

EVOLVED  6'?m2f Evolution: a theory in search of evidence

LIZ -- (enters with dark circles around eyes, clothes 
disheveled, carrying a box of rocks and a magnifying glass, 
crosses to podium, puts down box, examines rock with magnifying 
glass)

AMY -- (shouts from offstage) Professor Johnson?

LIZ -- (shouts without looking up) In here.

AMY -- (enters) Oh, there you are. 

LIZ -- Thankyou for coming.

AMY -- Would you mind telling me why you got me out of bed at 
seven o'clock on a Sunday morning?

LIZ -- (examining another rock) I don't have much time left. I 
need your help.

AMY -- You know, I almost called the campus police. I thought you 
were being held hostage or something when you told me to come to 
the Biology building at this hour.

LIZ -- (impatient) Listen, I don't have time to waste.

AMY -- Look at you! It looks like you haven't slept all night!

LIZ -- (sigh) If you must know, I haven't slept for three days. 
(hands Amy a rock) What do you see there?

AMY -- Professor Johnson, I'm not a paleontologist. I'm a 
professor of cosmology, you know: astronomy... physics... 
mathematics?

LIZ -- (impatient) Just tell me what you see.

AMY -- It's a rock.

LIZ -- I know it's a rock! It's a precambrian rock. What's 
embedded in the rock?

AMY -- It looks like a fossilized fern.

LIZ -- That's right. It's a fully formed fern. No transitional 
forms, no intermediates, no simpler life forms, just ferns. 
(shouts) They're all like that! Some have different plants. But 
there are no other life forms, no missing links. (shouts) None!

AMY -- Maybe I should take you over to the campus medical 
center.

LIZ -- I'm not crazy! I'm just desperate. (hands Liz another 
rock) Here, what do you see?

AMY -- I don't suppose you want to hear that's it's a rock.

LIZ -- It's fossil from the cambrian period. 

AMY -- It looks like a snail shell and some other animal, maybe 
a crab or something. But I don't see what this has to do with 
cosmology. Maybe you should get some rest.

LIZ -- I'll get some rest after nine o'clock! Don't you see the 
problem?

AMY -- Actually, no, I don't. I...

LIZ -- Then, let me explain it to you. Before the pre-cambrian 
period there is no life on earth. Then, boom! Fully formed 
complex plants appear with built-in pipelines and reproductive 
systems. Not a single intermediate plant or transitional form 
appears in the fossil record, no missing links. 

AMY -- You said that...

LIZ -- ...Then it happened again during the cambrian period. 
First, there's just plants but no animals, then boom! Complex 
animals appear with complex sensory systems, motor systems, 
digestive systems, reproductive systems, but there are no 
transitional forms at all in the fossil record, no missing 
links. None! (shouts) Zero! Zilch! Nada!

AMY -- That's very nice.

LIZ -- You think I'm nuts, don't you?

AMY -- No, you're just tired. Why don't you....

LIZ -- Look! I've got just over an hour to come up with an 
explanation or...

AMY -- ...Or what?

LIZ -- I don't even want to think about it. What I need from you 
now is evidence of panspermia.

AMY -- Oh, that.

LIZ -- What do you mean, "oh that"? You know what panspermia 
is, don't you?

AMY -- Yes. That's the idea that life forms, the missing links, 
somehow migrated to earth from other planets through space.

LIZ -- Well? I heard some of you cosmologists were gathering 
evidence to support panspermia. 

AMY -- Well, that was way back in the sixties and seventies, 
when people like Carl Sagan estimated that there were tens of 
thousands of planets like ours in the universe that were capable 
of sustaining life.

LIZ -- You mean, there's not?

AMY -- Back then, Sagan was only aware of three or four limiting 
factors which prohibited life on a given planet.

LIZ -- How many are there now?

AMY -- Over forty.

LIZ -- Forty?!

AMY -- And the number of limiting factors is growing every year, 
as our measurements of the universe become more precise.

LIZ -- Just tell me how many other planets can sustain life!

AMY -- According to the latest calculations, there shouldn't be 
any.

LIZ -- Oh, no! You mean Earth is the only planet with life on 
it?

AMY -- According to the calculations, there shouldn't even be 
life on earth. The universe is very hostile toward life.

LIZ -- You're no help at all.

AMY -- In order to make planet Earth hospitable to life, 
somebody did a lot of tweaking, adjusting and fine-tuning of the 
conditions on earth.

LIZ -- (covers ears) Don't say that! I don't want to hear that!

AMY -- I don't understand. What's going on with you?

LIZ -- It's Tizdale.

AMY -- Professor Tizdale?

LIZ -- Yes. He has been a thorn in my side since he joined the 
faculty. 

AMY -- What does Professor Tizdale have to do with anything?

LIZ -- He gave me an opportunity to remove him from the faculty 
and I took him up on it.

AMY -- You lost me.

LIZ -- We made a wager on Thursday. He said if I could come up 
with some solid evidence for evolution by Sunday morning at 9 
o'clock, he would submit his resignation.

AMY -- Oh. I see. 

LIZ -- You've got to help me. You've got to!

AMY -- Have you looked into abiogenesis?

LIZ -- Yes. I researched that completely. Everybody who believes 
in evolution assumes that living cells can be assembled by 
chance from non-living chemicals. But there is not a single 
article in the literature that even attempts to explain the 
development step by step through random processes.

AMY -- None?

LIZ -- None. It turns out that even the simplest bacteria cell 
has more information in its DNA than the Encyclopedia 
Brittanica. And the automated transportation system inside a 
cell needed to move around the amino acids and proteins is more 
complex than the computerized luggage handling system at Denver 
International Airport. It's way too complex to have been 
developed through random processes here on earth. I was hoping 
you could come to the rescue with a theory of how life came here 
from another planet.

AMY -- I'm sorry. But even if I could explain how it came from 
another planet, that doesn't solve your problem.

LIZ -- It doesn't?

AMY -- No. You still have to explain how a living cell that 
complex could assemble itself by random processes on the other 
planet.

LIZ -- Oh. (sigh) You're right. All this time we have been just 
assuming that evolution is true. But there's not a spec of 
evidence to prove the assumptions. (sigh) It looks like Tizdale 
stays on the faculty. (picks up box, turns to exit)

AMY -- You made a wager with him? You didn't tell Professor 
Tizdale that YOU would quit, did you?

LIZ -- (turns) No. Worse than that. 

AMY -- What could be worse than losing your job?

LIZ -- I have to go this morning and listen to a lecture on how 
life REALLY began on earth.

AMY -- On Sunday morning? (follows)

LIZ -- (exiting) Yes. I'll see you later. I have to go dress 
for CHURCH.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
You may reproduce and distribute this script freely,
but all copies must contain this copyright statement.
http://www.bobsnook.org  email: bob@bobsnook.org

BACK