When evolutionary biologists refer to "survival of the fittest," what they're actually talking about is differential reproductive success. In the big game of life, fitness doesn't necessarily mean that an animal has to be the biggest, or the fastest, or the smartest. Often it means that an animal has a greater or more efficient reproductive output than its competitors. Which brings us to the story of Michelle Duggar, the wife of right-wing politician Jim-Bob Duggar, and soon-to-be mother of her seventeenth child. The Duggars home-school their children, and are followers of the, um, interesting Bill Gothard. The children's names all begin with the letter "J." A comment on the Arkansas Daily Blog suggested that the Duggars would need name tags, and got me to thinking about how that could have been avoided. So, with apologies to Dr. Seuss:
Did I ever tell you that Mrs. Jim Duggar
Had seventeen young-uns and named ‘em all Booger?
Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing at all.
You see, when she wants one and calls out, “Hey, y’all!
Come in the house, Booger!” she doesn't get one.
All seventeen Boogers come in on the run!
This makes things quite difficult out at the Duggars'
As you can imagine, with so many Boogers.
And often she wishes that, when they were whelped,
She had named one of them Huckabee Phelps.
And one of them Jim-Bob. And of one of them Slim.
And one of them Houston. And one Bubba-Jim.
And one of them Butt-head. And one of them Beavis.
And one of them Brandene. And one of them Cletus.
Another one Red-Eye. Another one Moon.
Another one Jim Duggar Junior Buffoon.
And one of them Piggy. And one Doolin Dalton.
One Donnie Tyson. And one Sammy Walton.
Or maybe she’d stopped with six, seven, or eight.
But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.