“My research suggests that humans are not primates at all. In fact, we’re cervids. Bipedal deer."

"That's going to be a pretty hard sell with the biological community."

"Oh, without a doubt. I don't expect the mainstream to accept it as fact. Ever. In fact, I fully expect the truth to be buried and forgotten. And to be honest, I like it that way."

“Alright, but, humans as deer? How would such a thing even happen?"

"I suppose 'deer' is a misleading term. Our ancestors were likely something more akin to elk, or caribou. Either way, I’ve found that our ribs are indicative of the missing link that science has sought for so long. They are antlers turned inward, ossified and grafted to bone. This evolutionary step protected the heart and lungs, meaning that the torsos of prehistoric cervids no longer needed to face the ground. This allowed for softer hooves, as well as for an upright posture."

"Well, you’ve got an original approach, certainly. But every species of cervid known to man has a set of ribs, in addition to their sets of antlers. And further, only male cervids possess antlers or horns of any kind. In your biological reality, wouldn't female humans then lack ribs? And wouldn't modern deer also lack them, given your revisions?"

"Are you a creationist?" She asked.

"Of course not," I replied.

"Then why are you arguing like one?"

"I beg your pardon?"

“It’s the same tired argument as, 'if humans evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?' You're applying the same fallacy, here, in that you’re presupposing that the current biological reality must entirely replace the past.  It's not that humans evolved from modern cervids. It's that modern humans and modern cervids have a common ancestor."

"Alright, you've got me there.” I had to admit, I wasn't expecting to be refuted on that front, but her logic was sound, and mine was not. “Even so, your hypothesis is going to be eliminated by even the most loose applications of Occam's razor. The composition of antler and bone are entirely different, and furthermore, countless prehistoric fauna managed to evolve ribs of their own long before antlers even existed. Even if you have some kind of smoking gun hidden away in your lab, it's still just one study against the entire world."

"You don't think I'm aware of that? I told you from the beginning, I don't care about my work being accepted. In fact, I expect nothing less than total rejection, and I intend to accept it with grace. Oh, and your argument is still terrible, by the way. Divergent evolutionary pathways can still produce the same features. Just take one look at the hummingbird moth and you'll see what I'm talking about. It’s one among numerous blatant examples.”

“Fine, but still, you want your research to be rejected? Then why are you even bothering?”

"Because the rest of science will bury this truth, just as you sought to upon hearing it. My hope is that someday, someone else will find my work, and upon doing so, feel the same joy of discovery that I did. Sure, science helps us reveal that which is hidden, but I prefer to use it to keep secrets."

Biologically, deer are complicated. Spiritually, moreso.

A complete theory of human evolution must account for symbiosis with the dreamer squid.

It's unclear what implications this has for the secret history of the human heart.