How journalists face the evolutionary test of lice

Stephen Baker

I read in yesterday's Times how our own evolutionary changes made life miserable for lice. (Here's Science) The trouble was that as we descended from trees, we were losing much of our body hair. For lice, this amounted to deforestation! Huge stretches of savannah, or even desert, were opening up across our torsos--their ecosystem. They had to adapt. And adapt they did. Some crawled north and settled in our hair. Others headed south and adapted to our steamier, thick-stranded groves.

I've sat here for a few minutes playing with various analogies between these resourceful lice and all of the professionals, including journalists, who face wrenching change. Let's just leave it at this: All of us at one point or another have been called "lousy." Perhaps we should take it as an inspiration to emulate our parasitic brethren, and adapt.

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