THE WAY WE WERE
Most people understand the principle of evolution to some degree, and the average guy can see the biological connection between humans and the great apes. Few people know much about our lineage beyond that, though. The path that led to modern-day cheeseburger-chomping flyfishing humans is a long and twisted one that ultimately connects us to the primordial soup of the ancient oceans. Tumbling backward through time, the procession of our ancestors reads like a freak show: small ratlike mammals, scaly lizardfish creatures, funky-looking swamp-dwelling tetrapods (our Kermit phase), jazzy lobe-finned fishes, jawless fish that look like wayward vacuum cleaners, blind little wriggling wormlike animals with a hint of a backbone, and the ignoble spawn of spineless sea squirts. An ichthyologist friend, Dr. Carl Ferraris, helped me work out the sixteen steps to humanity depicted here.