Here’s Where The Atom Smashers Come In

“How To Kill The Planet” was the subject of a show on National Geographic the other night. Subjects included in the show ranged from Black Holes to Anti-Matter to self-replicating robots. If, like me, you’re somewhat fascinated with the somewhat newfound science of the apocalypse and what might actually kill the human race off, you’d find the show incredibly interesting. But part of me just kept thinking, “I don’t know if this show is such a good idea. What if a Taliban is watching?”

But I quickly reached past any threats of terrorism and finally began to understand the concept of anti-matter. Here’s the brass tacked version: Shoot a gun at a paper target. The energy created by the gunshot creates a hole in the target. That hole is essentially anti-matter. Of course, creating a batch of anti-matter big enough to destroy the Earth is pretty hard to do, since volatile anti-matter in large batches needs to be kept away from matter, oxygen and magnetic fields. Not the 69 Love Songs guy, real magnetic fields.

I had to change the channel halfway through the show though, realizing the Earth Day was just a few days ago and that a show on killing the planet wasn’t very Earth friendly. But lo and behold, more “That’s the money you could’ve been saving with Geico” commercials appeared. At least Geico is giving the caveman trio a much-needed rest.

I take that back. I’m a big fan of the Caveman campaign, and here’s why: The cavemen contained in Geico commercials, if you take a pretty good look at them, are fairly close to Homo Neanderthalensis. Neanderthals for short. Neanderthals were a subspecies of humans that are now extinct. They lived in Western Europe, constructed complicated tools, conducted complicated funerals and possessed rotund bodies with prognathic jaws and enlarged brow ridges. Some scientists believe that Neanderthals were actually killed off by modern humans, but nobody really knows for sure. There’s a chance they also bred with modern humans and were absorbed into the population, but again, we don’t know for sure. This is about Geico though, not physical anthropology. So here goes. I use Geico insurance because, by them using cavemen in their commercials, I can unsafely assume that they, as an insurance company, are not creationists. In giving money to Geico, I’m supporting Charles Darwin, The Origin of the Species and an anti-religious agenda. Plus, I’m saving money. At least that’s what the new commercials allege. But it’s really about keeping any religious ideals separate from my car insurance. That, and their Web site payment plan is way convenient.

From here, I suppose I would have to break into the “Acts of God” clause that is included in most insurance contracts, but why ruin a good, ignorant thing? And while on the subject, do you think any stalwart creationists took the opposite route and went with Allstate instead of Geico because they don’t believe in cavemen? And taking that one step further. Since George W. Bush always unsafely assumed that the Taliban lived in caves, were the Taliban ever offended by those Geico commercials?

I just don’t know. I do like Neanderthals though.

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