Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fingernail dust
Here's a quote that will make you think maybe that staff meeting wasn't as long as it seemed after all. This comes from the great atheist Richard Dawkins in his mind-blowing book Unweaving the Rainbow. Dawkins is mostly famous for giving religion a purple nurple, but he's got some great ideas about biology, ethics, and rational thought if you have an open mind.
"Fling your arms expansively wide to represent the span of all of evolution from its origin at your left fingertip to today at your right fingertip. All the way across your midline to well past your right shoulder, life consists of nothing but bacteria. Many-celled invertebrate life flowers somewhere around your right elbow. The dinosaurs originate in the middle of your right palm, and go extinct around your last finger joint. The whole story of Homo sapiens and our predecessor Homo erectus is contained in the thickness of one nail clipping. Everyone from the Sumerians, who were possibly the earliest civilized people, to the Beatles and Bill Clinton are blown away in the dust of one light stroke of a nail file."

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