Feature Article - April 2002
by P.D.Q. Darwin

Musical Evolution

In observance of National Evolution Day (April 1), we have decided to let a famous evolutionist write our feature article this month. P.D.Q. Darwin proudly traces his ancestry all the way back to Charles Darwin through a series of brief relationships recognized neither by church nor state. Although he has no formal training in music, he published his theory of musical evolution, (which has dramatically changed how people understand music) based on observations he made on a tour of South America and the Galapagos Islands as a ďroadieĒ with the British rock band, the Beagles.

Hey, Dudes! You know, the biological theory of evolution has proved to be so powerful that it has been extended to other fields such as the origin of life (chemical evolution) and the origin of stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. This is really cool because chemicals and stars donít reproduce, and there arenít, you know, more of them that can possibly survive. But anyway, scientists pattern chemical evolution and stellar evolution after biological evolution because it is so neat. But it wasnít until I went to the Galapagos Islands that anyone realized that music evolves exactly the same way.

Musical evolution is like, you know, really deep. So, Iím gonna make it really easy for you by using what we scientists call a ďcase study.Ē Iím gonna show you how the song Louie, Louie evolved into The William Tell Overture.

Some dumb people, who believe everything they read in Billboard magazine, think Louie, Louie was written by Richard Berry in 1956 and William Tell was written by Gioacchino Rossini in 1829, so Louie, Louie could not have evolved into William Tell. But recent analysis has shown that Louie, Louie is hundreds of years older than previously believed.

Louie, Louie is like, a really primitive song. I mean, itís only got three chords in it. Just A, D, and Em. It hadnít even evolved to the modern chord progression of A, D, and E7.

But William Tell, man, itís like fully-evolved. Itís got lots of chords, and all those trumpets and violins and other orchestra stuff in it. It couldnít have evolved until the Lone Ranger came along with his cloud of dust and ďHi, Ho, Silver!Ē

Louie and William are both male names. That shows both songs have a common origin. Louie is much closer to the original male-named song, which evolved from a song about people of both genders, which evolved from songs about apes. Ya know, sheet music doesnít last very long, so the musical record has many gaps in it. Thatís why we havenít found, and may never find, the missing links. But because both songs have male name titles, they HAVE to have had a common origin.

Iíll admit that nobody knows exactly how music evolves, but that doesnít change the FACT that music does evolve all by itself, without the help of a composer, through some form of mutation and natural selection.

According to the theory of modern synthesis, music evolves gradually over time. Random changes in the pitch, duration, or volume of individual notes make the song sound just a little bit different. If the audience likes the changes, then the musician keeps playing it that way. Not too many dudes believe this any more, though, Ďcause it really, you know, doesnít work. Usually when you change the pitch you get a sour note. And if the duration changes, well, man, you just canít dance to it. And if it really happened that way, then, we would, like, be able to find lots of songs that are links between two songs. But, the links just arenít there.

So now, a lot of dudes think itís punctuated equilibrium, man. Yeah, the musician changes lots of notes all at once. Itís like, Rockin' Robin Robertsí guitar solo in the middle of Louie, Louie, where he just kinda plays random notes for a while. Then, bam! Right there in the middle of Louie you got something like William. I mean, thatís sorta how it has to work, I guess.

But some losers just canít get over that composer myth. They keep saying somebody actually wrote The William Tell Overture. But, have you, like, ever actually seen this Gioacchino Rossini dude? Sure, there are books that say he lived in 1829, but how can you be sure?

They say composers are supposed to be talented and loving. If that is true, how do you explain Country & Western music? Country & Western composers, if they exist, seem to love to make people suffer. All their songs are about suffering. Do you know what you get if you play a C&W song backwards? You get your girl back, you get your job back, you get your truck back, you get your dog back, Ö (Sorry, man, but I love that old joke.)

And that stuff about Richard Berry writing Louie, Louie. Thatís a crock! People donít understand the words very well, but thatís because it was all translated from French. No lie, man. Marie Antoinette first sang it to King Louie XVI on April 18, 1791. Originally, the words were

Louie, Lou-eye, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go!  Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah.
Oh, Louie, Lou-eye, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go!

A big angry mob is coming for thee.
They got this big sharp guillotine.
I donít understand the big fuss they make,
If they got no bread, they can just eat cake!

Oh, Louie, Louie, Oh baby, yeah, we gotta go!  Yah, Yah, Yah, Yah Ö

But the rest of the song got kind of lost in the shouts of the crowd, so we donít really know what the rest of the words are, but ďHi! Ho! Silver!Ē must have been in there someplace.

Music doesnít come from composers, dude. It comes from inside yourself. Music gets better as musicians get better. We gotta keep those ďmusic historyĒ classes out of the curriculum.

Editorís note: The following explanation is provided for humor-impaired readers who may not ďget it.Ē

Of course the notion of musical evolution as presented by P.D.Q. Darwin is foolish and unscientific. But it is no less foolish and unscientific than the notion of biological evolution. All of the arguments used by P.D.Q. are identical to those used by evolutionists. The only thing different is the subject. If the arguments were really logical, then the conclusions would be true in both cases.

The notion that you can tell when a song was written by how ďprimitiveĒ it is depends upon the assumption that the melodic structure of songs have evolved from simple to complex over time. Clearly many modern songs are simpler than songs written several centuries ago.

The notion that one can determine how highly evolved an organism is depends upon the assumption that living things began as very simple organisms that have become more complex over time. The fossil record doesnít show that. Clearly some Cambrian creatures are much more complex than some simple worms that exist today.

Similarity (in titles or in appearance) doesnít necessarily imply common origin or evolution.

Nobody knows how biological evolution works. Thatís because it doesnít work. Composers may choose to imitate certain styles, and the styles may change over time; but music does not evolve slowly by randomly changing notes, nor does it evolve by random changes of many notes over a short period of time. There is no evidence that biological forms evolve slowly by random changes, nor by many random changes over a short period of time.

Finally, the parody points out that some evolutionists believe in evolution because they believe the god they donít believe in would act differently.

P.D.Q. Darwinís article is just a story without any scientific basis. It would satisfy people who wanted to believe that music evolves all by itself in the absence of a composer. Those people would insist that Louie really is simpler than William, so it MUST be less highly evolved. They would fail to see that although Louie truly is simpler, it doesnít prove evolution. In other words, they would fail to see the difference between empirical facts, and incorrect inferences drawn from those facts.

The theory of evolution is an incorrect inference drawn from observable facts. The more facts we observe, and the more we understand about natural laws, the more we realize that science is against evolution.

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