The scientist peered over his data as he prepared the last sample. The multicell organism was wiggling on the slide as he pushed it into the machine. This project has been consuming most of the scientist’s time for the past five years. In six minutes the sample will be complete and he’ll read the results. Time slowly passed as he watched the monitor. Finally..something amazing happened.
The slide was ejected from the instrument and was not wiggling, in fact it was quite stationary. He excitedly moved it over to the microscope and prepared a Gram stain. He couldn’t believe his eyes as he looked through the microscope. “It’s bacteria!” He shouted. “The organism devolved. The instrument is a success.”
Two years later the scientist patented the instrument and sold them for millions of dollars to top research laboratories. The applications were nearly limitless. Pharmaceutical companies used it to deconstruct molecules to find the building blocks of different drugs. Archeologists used it discover ancestors of fossil remains. However, the most controversial application was with the Alus research lab.
In a brightly lit laboratory three scientist gather around a test sample which turned out to be a human! No one has tried this before. What would happen if a human is subjected to the de-evolution instrument? They will soon find out.
The test subject, a fellow scientist, stepped into the transfer booth. The meter was set to 251,000 years previous, which means the human line of evolution 251,000 years previous. This would predate Homo sapiens and would approach Homo heidelbergensis. The door was shut and the machine engaged. A powerful laser shined within the booth and caused the subject to shield his eyes. Six minutes later he stepped out, still wearing the same clothes, but that was the only identifying feature.
His skull was noticeably smaller and his jaw was more pronounced. The scientists tried communicating with him but he didn’t appear to understand them. So it began, the long and laborious task of studying the subject. For years they taught him sign language. He performed well in the cognition tests but poorly in math.
Then one day he signed to the scientists: “Will I ever go back to my previous life? Is this it for me, a mere lab rat, constantly being tested on?” The scientists didn’t know what to do, they couldn’t simply set the instrument to the future, it didn’t have those functions.
The scientists worked hard to develop an evolution chamber. They toiled for months, contacting the scientist who invented the de-evolution machine for suggestions, but he couldn’t provide any. The test subject, nicknamed Man 1, lived in a cell in the lab and ate whatever the scientists fed him. The test subject did provide valuable data. He could communicate with the scientist and tell them what he was thinking. The studies were a valuable entry into knowledge about human kind. His anatomy was studied, x-rays were taken, all in the name of science. The scientists who performed these studies were given the Nobel prize. But at the same time they felt guilty. They ruined the life of one of their fellow scientists. If only there was a way to bring him back……