Bif -- the reason dinosaurs went extinct. Why did dinosaurs become extinct? They couldn't afford to pay the copying costs for their DNA! You see, we all marvel at what a miracle DNA is, how faithfully it is copied within bodies and how flawlessly it is passed down through the generations. Well, who's gonna be expected to pay for the copying costs? That's right, we are. There's this guy, call him Bif, that goes around the universe collecting copying costs for DNA. The universe is pretty big, so it takes him awhile to get around to everywhere. It seems that the last time he came to earth was around the time of the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs were walking around, minding their own business when this guy came down and showed them the bill. Well, needless to say, the dinosaurs could hardly afford to pay it, and probably couldn't understand what the fuss was all about. Oh, sure, they may have been bright enough to offer a bowl of small, freshly- killed shrew-like predecessors of todays mammals (the dinosaur equivalent of Raisin Bran), but this was hardly enough to offset the costs of copying DNA for hundreds of millions of years! Well, we all know what happened to the dinosaurs -- although until now we didn't know why. You see, Bif is a very reasonable person; after all, he lets species copy "on credit" for several billion years before he finally comes around to collect. It probably wouldn't make much sense for him to demand "up-front" payment, as there would be no life forms around to make such a payment. He could, conceivably, demand compensation from the "bankrupt," soon-to-be-extinct defaulting species as a "down payment" for the following species, but that just doesn't seem fair. So Bif is in a bind. He has to let species copy DNA on credit, but nevertheless must usually deal with a bankruptcy when he comes to collect. This is why we haven't contacted any other forms of intelligent life so far in the universe: Bif came by several hundred million years ago, and wiped them all out as they could not afford the bill. If there are any other intelligent forms of life in our galaxy, they are probably no more advanced technologically than we are. It may be time for Bif to come around again. How much do we owe him? Well, let's consider a best-case analysis. Say he only charges .0001 cents per nucleic acid. This covers the cost of the nucleic acid (the equivalent of "toner") and the technology which causes this acid to attach to itself (actually its "opposite," but that is not important). Considering that there are enough nucleic acids in a bacteria's "chromosomes" to store the entire old and new testaments of the Bible (It is a base-four data storage system, so figure it out from there), there must be an enormous number of nucleic acids that go into making up a single human chromosome. There are billions of humans, each human has billions of cells, and each cell has a full set of (26, I think) pairs of chromosomes. Moreover, each DNA strand has to recopy itself in the cell it is in several times a year (if the cell lives that long). In short, we owe Bif quite a lot of money, an amount that probably dwarfs the cumulative GNP produced by this planet since the last time Bif came around. So, what is to become of us? Well, we could just sit around and wait for him to come, a tactic he has no doubt seen before and will not be the least impressed with. Or we could use our brains. Consider the following 5-point course of action: 1) Kill all non-essential life in the terran ecosystem. This may sound a bit harsh, but it would, no doubt, save us a lot of money when Bif calculates the bill. All known fossils should also be destroyed, since Bif may run a planetary audit and find out what we are up to. 2) Make abortion illegal. Just think of how many cell divisions are wasted before a fetus is aborted. It could save us trillions. 3) Adopt Christianity as the worldwide religion. We could then claim the Earth is only 3000 years old. Bif probably never saw something as silly as Christianity before, so he'll easily be fooled. 4) When Bif comes, hide. The dinosaurs may have thought of this, but they were just too big. 5) Tell Bif the check is in the mail. He probably won't believe you, but if he calls to confirm, earth will have another couple of billion years to evolve, due to the limitations of the speed of light. So there you have it. Let us not waste eons of evolution because of poor judgement. We must take action now!
(From the "Rest" of RHF)