Evolution Revisited: A Duck’s Perspective

The modern day Charles Darwin among ducks.

“That’s eggscellent, class!”

Let Me Introduce


Today’s lesson in history comes via our interview with the famous Professor Emeritus  Ebenezer Van Quack.  Professor Van Quack is the current Dean of the School of Evolutionary Biology at Aviary University, which is without question one of the most prestigious and selective among all the algae league schools. A renowned expert on the subject of evolution as well as the author of several texts on duck history, Van Quack is perhaps better known for his fictional romance novels, “Oh, Baby, Give Me Something To Quack About” and the steamy Lake Huron bestseller “Dirty Duck Down Under”.


Our Interview


BA:  Professor Van Quack, welcome.  First off, I’ve got to ask whether you are related to Vincent Van Quack, the infamous Van Gogh plagiarizer?”

EVQ: Thank you, Bob.  It’s a pleasure to be here, and no, old Vincent is thankfully no relation at all.

BA:  Are you sure about that?

EVQ:  Of course I’m sure.  Why wouldn’t I be sure?  In fact, I’m practically convinced that I’m pretty darn sure.

BA:  And yet, Professor…I’ve just read a report from the International Genealogical Index that has you listed as direct blood descendant of old Vincent.

EVQ:  You can’t trust everything you read on the internet.

BA:  Ha, ha!  Touché, Professor Van Quack. Touché, indeed.

EVQ:  Actually, Bob, would you mind calling me Professor Ed.”

BA:  Ed?  But I thought your name was Ebenezer?

EVQ:  It is, but Ed is a nickname given to me by some former students.  It refers to my uncanny ability to speak the English language…you know…like the horse.

BA: I’m sorry, which horse are we talking about?

EVQ:  Mister Ed, of course.

BA: Oh, that horse!  Of course, of course!

EVQ: And no one could talk to the horse, of course.

BA:  Unless, of course

EVQ: The horse, of course

BA: Was the famous Mr. Ed!  Wow, you sing very nice, Professor, but you must be older than I expected.  Wasn’t the Mr. Ed TV show on in the early 1960s?

EVQ: Indeed it was, but I’m curious, how old do you think I am?”

BA:  You mean in duck years?  Let’s see…that would be…hey, wait, I’m asking the questions here.

EVQ:  Oh, you’re right.  Now, what was I thinking?

BA:  I have no idea, but tell me, Professor, do you mind if we plow straight though all the pleasantries and cut to the chase?

EVQ:  Always the best strategy, my man.  Time is a-wasting.

BA:  Hey, that’s not my fault.

EVQ:  Didn’t say it was.

BA:  But you implied it.

EVQ: I did not.

BA:  Did too.

EVQ: Nah uh.

BA: Yes, huh.

EVQ: Oh, good grief, can we move this along?  I got places to be…things to do.

BA: Oh…right…I suppose you do.  Let’s see…our interview comes about because of your latest and perhaps most controversial book to date, “Humans Don’t Have A Clue–Where Darwin Got It Wrong”.  First off, can you give our readers a little background?

EVQ: Do you think it’ll help?

BA:  I don’t know.  Aren’t you supposed to be the expert here?

EVQ:  You’re right, I am.  In fact, if the truth be told, my knowledge in the field is unmatched.  Why, I doubt there’s a duck or man in the world with my credentials, though I feel certain it’s bound to ruffle more than a few feathers to say so.

BA:  I was warned about you, you know?

EVQ:  How’s that?

BA:  You apparently always figure a way to quack your own horn.

EVQ:  As any good duck should.

BA:  I suppose, but back to the book…give us a rundown, would you?

EVQ:  You only need ask.

BA: I’m pretty sure I just did.  So?

EVQ:  Darwin was an idiot.

BA:  Boy, you don’t pull any punches, do you?

EVQ: No need to, since my eggspertise in the field far eggceeds that of any of my eggheaded colleagues.

BA:  Professor, please tell me what I did to deserve this.  That was terrible.

EVQ: Oh, come.  I was just adding a spot of “fowl” humor to lift our spirits and brighten the day.

BA:  They don’t pay me enough for this gig.  Back to the topic, shall we, Professor?  I thought Darwin was recognized as the father of modern evolutionary theory.

EVQ:  Which doesn’t make him any less an idiot.

BA:  And I presume your book explains why?

EVQ:  Yes…in eggsquisite detail and illustrated with full-color glossies of several featherless duck models, but the bottom line is Darwin missed the point.

BA: Featherless?  They have featherless duck models?

EVQ:  Of course they do.

BA:  But what do they have to do with Darwin?

EVQ:  That’s the beauty of it…absolutely nothing, but they’re guaranteed to pluck up my sales.  Haa!  Pluck them up!  Get it?

BA:  Yes, and I’m sorry I do.  Now, shall we try again?  You mentioned something about Darwin missing the point.  What was that about?

EVQ: Glad you’ve caught up with me.  Evolution doesn’t end with man.

BA: Did Darwin say it did?

EVQ:  He didn’t have to say it.  He was a man, therefore his work implied men are at the top of the food chain.  Now listen up: This whole evolutionary business is a simple matter of the genus plopped right on top of the species divided by the coefficient of the bi-linear equilateral gene structure on top of old Smokey.

BA: I think you’ve just lost me.

EVQ:  I not surprised.  Perhaps my drawing will help.


Winging it as we go.

Click on image to enlarge.


BA:  Hey, this drawing looks familiar.  Didn’t Rudolph Zallinger do a similar one?

EVQ: Don’t get me started.

BA: No, I’m sure I’ve seen something like this before.  It’s famous.  He called it the March of Progress right?

EVQ: That he did, but perhaps you should be asking where he came up with the idea in the first place?

BA:  I understood it was commissioned by TIME magazine.

EVQ:  And so it was, but not with Zallinger, with me.

BA: Come again?

EVQ: TIME commissioned me to do the work.  I hired Zallinger to assist with some of my preliminary sketches, but the night before I was ready to submit my final draft, he took out a razor, sliced off the far right image of my drawing and convinced the editors of TIME to run with it under his name.

BA:  Pardon me, but that sounds pretty far-fetched.  Are you sure you’re not making this up?

EVQ:  Oh, like you’ve never made up anything?

BA:  I take it that’s a yes.

EVQ:  My god, man, you’re missing the obivious again.

BA:  I am?

EVQ:  Oh, indeed, and it’s this: Humanity has been robbing Duckanity of it’s proper role in the chain of evolution.  We’re the highest species, lad—the top dogs on the totem pole of life!  Not humans. Yes, sirree, Bob!  My research proves it just shy of the wispiest thread, the merest trace, or the faintest hint of a shadow of doubt.

BA:  I’m not sure I get that, but by research are you referring to your cute little drawing—the one with the big ducky at the end of the row?

EVQ:  No, no, no, the drawing is only a pictorial representation of the trilingual regurgitation parsing sector, factoring in a blasé circumference dilemma, and adding in a baseline equivalency-reciprocal of squishy web feet.  It’s all in the book—a fascinating read.

BA:  Yeah, I bet…and thankfully I see we’re out of time.  I guess that’ll have to do for your plug.

EVQ: No, wait, I’m not done! I have so much more to quack on about!

BA: No doubt you do.

EVQ:  But you didn’t see my other drawing.  It’s critical.

BA:  Oh, fine…hold it up there.  Oh, very pretty.  Now, what’s it supposed to show us?


From fish to duck-billed platypus.

Click on image to enlarge.


EVQ:  This drawing is a clear demonstration of the leniency variable nuclear containment pimply-faced patoody theorem.

BA:  Yeah, yeah, I get that part, but what’s it supposed to prove?

EVQ:  That we’re all related to the duck-billed platypus.

BA:  Come again?

EVQ:  This drawing shows the evolutionary sequence prior to the lower-primate-to-duck sequence shown in my first drawing.  More important, you can see it ends with a platypus, which just proves the genetic potential for duck primacy was there from the beginning.  It’s the missing link!

BA: Is duck primacy even a real concept?

EVQ:  You dare question my authority?

BA: Amazing.

EVQ:  Thank you.

BA: No, I was saying it’s amazing you actually get away with making this stuff up.

EVQ:  Me?  Perhaps thou shouldst gazeth upon thy own looking glass to see whose head is filled with wild imaginings.

BA: Yeah, whatever.  Until next time, this is your roving reporter, Bob Anderson, bringing you our continuing series on the Great Ducks of History.  TTFN!


Art By Shaun Novion
Interpretative History and Interview By Bob Anderson


For other startling duck history, you may also want to visit our
Famous Ducks Of History page.



One Response to Evolution Revisited: A Duck’s Perspective

  • connie says:

    I got a good chuckle out of this one! The links to the non-quack facts are a very good idea. I learn something new every time I read one of these!


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