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Dinosaur extinction, original (Wayne Wonchoba)
(original, smirk)

                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)

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