With his two early elementary-age grandsons—
Pen, paper and water dropper in hand,
The octogenarian began his planned experiment.
“Write down these words,”
He told the younger of the two,
Knowing the boy had a hard time spelling:
“EVOLUTION” he said slowly, enunciating each letter.
“What’s that?” the boy asked,
Causing derision from his older brother:
“You don’t know how to spell
But you ask what it is.”
“How else… Never mind,” the old man interrupted.
“E VO LU TI ON… Got it?”
“Yes!” he answered--his lips in derision of his older brother.
“Cut it out,” the grandfather asserted.
“Now, write these words: DUPLICATION.”
With some difficulty, the boy began writing:
“DU PLI CA TION” his eyebrows moving up and down;
His lips full of contortions.
“Great! The grandfather said in praise.
“Now, write: REPLICATION…”
“What’s that?” The boy asked peremptorily.
“Here we go again!” the older brother exclaimed.
“RE PLI CA TION…”
The three words on paper,
He began to carefully push droplets out
Onto a ceramic plate,
Satisfied with its size--
Now precariously floating on the plate,
He paused to admire the expression of surprise
Beaming from each youthful face.
“Now,” the old man asked,
“What happens if I keep adding water?”
“The drop will expand and break up,”
The older brother answered without hesitation.
“So, what?” the young brother challenged;
He was always in competition to catch up.
With controlled delight, the grandfather
Slowly added the tiniest droplets
Until the single drop divided into two shiny ones.
The boys looked in wonderment.
The old man continued: “Now,” he asked,
“Is this second drop,
A duplication or a replication of the first drop?”
“DU PLI CA TION!” answered the young one,
Obstreperously, knowing he had the right answer.
“REPLICATION!” responded the older one,
In automatic contradiction--
He was also quick and self assured.
“It can only be one or the other.
Among other things,
The old man observed,
Cars remain the same,
Regardless of their editions.
In the end, they disappear--
Recycled to metal, or abandoned to rust,
Unlike living things, which turn into dust…
“Did you just create a couplet?”
The older boy asked--his eyes semi shut.
“We don’t do that kind of poetry around here...”
“So, what about ‘re pli…’”
The young one asked,
His eyes focusing on the written word
He was trying to pronounce.
“Replication?” interrupted his brother.
“Yes, replication!” added the grandfather.
“This may be harder to understand;
We need to consider something else.
Please, let me continue:
Both of you have a single mother and father;
You are brothers—almost six and eight years old.
I am eighty two.
How did we get to these stages—to this point?...”
“I know!” interrupted the older brother:
“Through Re pli ca tion!” he said--a smirk on his face,
While over-emphasizing the syllables.
“I knew that,” interjected the young one--
Not to be outdone.
“Ya, what’s its meaning?” the quick challenge
From the older brother, puckering his lips.
“Never mind!” ordered the grandfather.
“Everywhere, we see duplicate cars,
“But nowhere, do we see duplicates of ourselves.
Yet, from the time we are born
To the time we…” he said,
Looking to his young grandson for the answer...
“Die—you die!…” the boy yelled, jumping up.
“Yes,” the old man confirmed,
“Until we die, we go through
A process which we call?...”
“RE PLI CA TION!”yelled the young one,
A gleam in his eye.
The older one quickly added:
“It tells us how we came here.”
“Not necessarily why we came to be,
Or how we grow up,”
The old man added.
“So? The grandfather asked,
More to cool the two down.
“What’s the answer?”
He asked the young one.
“I don’t know,” the boy answered,
His eyes closing,
Prompting a rejoinder from his brother:
“You finally said something smart.”
“Thanks!” he answered with sarcasm.
“Never mind,” the old man admonished.
Write down this word:
“What’s that?” the boy asked.
“Here we go again”, rejoined the older brother.
“E VOL VE MENT, Evolvement,” the old man reiterated.
“It has to do with how we grow
And still remain who we are, as continuous…?
“Continuous?” Interrupted the little one.
“That’s got nothing to do with it,”
The older brother objected loudly.
“He’s right on target,” the grandfather answered.
“We replicate, meaning,
We derive from our parents,
Who derive from their parents.
“One of whom is?” The grandfather asked...
“You!” yelled the little one.
“Evolvement, therefore, allows each of us
To grow physically and mentally
Through the many phases of our lives,
According to our DNA molecules…”
“hh…What’s that?” The young one shouted.
“Look it up. You know how to google,”
The grandfather ordered,
His eyes toward the older boy.
“It is the formula
That gives each of us our distinct character.”
“I see,” added his young grandson:
“Like each drop of water...”
No two drops of water are the same,”
“Ya,” added the older boy,
“Just like two snow flakes…”
The older said, proud of his counterpoint.
Their grandfather quickly reminded them:
“Now to the last part of our experiment.
Re-write the word, Evolution.”
“EVOLUTION,” the young boy repeated,
Triumphantly showing the word on the page--
Purposefully mocking his older brother
By extending his puckered lips.
“See,” the grandfather commented,
“He’s even learned how to spell…”
“Who’s the father of Evolution?...”
“So, the grandfather asked,
“Where does Evolution come in?
As duplication, replication, or, evolvement?”
“RE PLI CA TION!” the young one yelled
His voice still unsure of its pronunciation,
But before his older brother could respond.
“Of course not,” the brother said in a high voice.
“Explain yourself!” the old man challenged.
“Evolution is possible only with man-made things,
Because we can produces duplicates—
Like the cars we’ve talked about.
On the other hand,”
He continued with gratuitous eloquence,
“My brother and I are replications--
Which is what happens in nature…
With all organisms, which replicate themselves.”
“So,” interrupted the grandfather,
“Is Darwin with his Evolution right or wrong?”
“According to your presentation;
Darwin is wrong,” he answered smugly.
“So, who is right and who is wrong?”
“His followers are wrong,”
Deduced the older boy, a smile on his face
To ingratiate his receptive grandfather.
“I don’t understand,” the young one injected,
Annoyed and slightly frustrated.
He had had enough:
“Maybe, we should play a game of Scopa,”
He suggested, now that he had learned how to play.
“Go get the cards,” the grandfather ordered,
Adaptation and Survival of the…”
The grandfather nudged the older boy.
“…Fittest,” he yelled gloriously.
“Go ahead, deal the cards,” he said to his brother,
Knowing what the answer would be.
“I don’t know how,”
His younger brother admitted,