#6. Phoebe and Evolution

Published: 7.14.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 4:46
Accent: American
Source: Friends [S2 E03]

Phoebe explains to Ross why she doesn't believe in evolution.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • evolution [n] - the theory that animals develop through natural selection
  • Darwin [p] - the British scientist who developed the theory of evolution
  • I don't buy it. [exp] - I don't believe it.
  • single-celled organisms [n] - life with just one cell
  • gravity [n] - the force that pushed people down to the ground
  • funky [adj] - cool
  • fossils [n] - the remains of ancient life in rock
  • species [n] - a class of lifeforms (eg. homo sapiens)
  • evolve [v] - change over time
  • opposable thumbs [n] - thumbs that make the hand able to use things
  • overlords [n] - alien leaders
  • steer [v] - drive / direct
  • spacecraft [n] - spaceship
  • put (something) under the microscope [exp] - examine (something) carefully
  • briefcase [n] - the luggage that business people use to hold papers
  • brightest minds [exp] - best scientists
  • atom [n] - the basic unit of a chemical element
  • arrogant [adj] - feeling smarter or better than other people
  • teeny tiny [adj] - very very small
  • cave [v] - give up
  • abandon [v] - give up

[n] - noun,  [p] - person,   [v] - verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Background

picture picture
Phoebe Ross
  • Phoebe and Ross are friends who live in New York.
  • Ross is a scientist (a Ph.D. paleontologist).

triangle Questions

  1. Phoebe doesn't believe in evolution.

  2. Phoebe is scared of monkeys.

  3. Phoebe thinks that evolution is "too complicated" to be true.

  4. Ross believes evolution is fact.

  5. Phoebe is not sure about gravity either.

  6. Ross thinks that the fossil record clearly proves evolution.

  7. Phoebe says that someone might have put fossils in the ground.

  8. Ross thinks that thumbs are evidence of evolution.

  9. Phoebe jokes that aliens might exist.

  10. Ross brings some fossils to prove evolution to Phoebe.

  11. The fossils are all from China.

  12. Ross says that Phoebe needs to open her mind.

  13. Phoebe says that evolution is impossible.

  14. Phoebe suggests that evolution is one possible explanation of many.

  15. Ross gives examples of past scientific theories that were proven wrong.

  16. Ross admits that there is a small chance that evolution might be wrong.

  17. Phoebe is surprised by Ross's answer.

  18. Phoebe convinces Ross that evolution is wrong.

triangle Script

Ross: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What, you don't, uh, you don't believe in evolution?

Phoebe: Nah. Not really.

Ross: You don't believe in evolution?

Phoebe: I don't know, it's just, you know...monkeys, Darwin, you know, it's a, it's a nice story, I just think it's a little too easy.

Ross: Too easy? Too...The process of every living thing on this planet evolving over millions of years from single-celled organisms, is-is too easy?

Phoebe: Yeah, I just don't buy it.

Ross: Uh, excuse me. Evolution is not for you to buy, Phoebe. Evolution is scientific fact, like, like, like the air we breathe, like gravity.

Phoebe: Ok, don't get me started on gravity.

Ross: You uh, you don't believe in gravity?

Phoebe: Well, it's not so much that you know, like I don't believe in it, you know, it's just...I don't know, lately I get the feeling that I'm not so much being pulled down as I am being pushed.

Ross: How can you not believe in evolution?

Phoebe: Just don't. Look at this funky shirt!

Ross: Pheebs, I have studied evolution my entire adult life. Ok, I can tell you, we have collected fossils from all over the world that actually show the evolution of different species, ok? You can literally see them evolving through time.

Phoebe: Really? You can actually see it?

Ross: You bet. In the U.S., China, Africa, all over.

Phoebe: See, I didn't know that.

Ross: Well, there you go.

Phoebe: Huh. So now, the real question is, who put those fossils there, and why?

Ross: Ok, Pheebs. (He’s holding two little toys.) See how I'm making these little toys move? Opposable thumbs. Without evolution, how do you explain opposable thumbs?

Phoebe: Maybe the overlords needed them to steer their spacecrafts.

Ross: Please tell me you're joking.

Phoebe: Look, can't we just say that you believe in something, and I don't.

Ross: No, no, Pheebs, we can't, ok, because—

Phoebe: What is this obsessive need you have to make everyone agree with you? No, what's that all about? I think, I think maybe it's time you put Ross under the microscope.

Phoebe: Uh-oh. It's Scary Scientist Man.

Ross: Ok, Phoebe, this is it. In this briefcase I carry actual scientific facts. A briefcase of facts, if you will. Some of these fossils are over 200 million years old.

Phoebe: Ok, look, before you even start, I'm not denying evolution, ok, I'm just saying that it's one of the possibilities.

Ross: It's the only possibility, Phoebe.

Phoebe: Ok, Ross, could you just open your mind like this much, ok? (Holding her thumb and forefinger close together) Wasn't there a time when the brightest minds in the world believed that the world was flat? And, up until like what, 50 years ago, you all thought the atom was the smallest thing, until you split it open, and this like, whole mess of crap came out. Now, are you telling me that you are so unbelievably arrogant that you can't admit that there's a teeny tiny possibility that you could be wrong about this? (Monica and Rachel are intrigued.)

Ross: There might be…a teeny…tiny…possibility.

Phoebe: I can't believe you caved.

Ross: What?

Phoebe: You just abandoned your whole belief system. I mean, before, I didn't agree with you, but at least I respected you. How, how, how are you going to go into work tomorrow? How, how are you going to face the other science guys? How, how are you going to face yourself? (Ross slowly closes the briefcase and walks out hugging it.) Oh! That was fun. So who's hungry?

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