Friday, May 21, 2010

Before there was Richard Dawkins there was Mark Twain!

"......................Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world's age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man's share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.
- "Was the World Made for Man?" 1903

"....Fling your arms wide in an expansive gesture to span 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. As for recorded history; as for the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Jewish patriarchs, the legions of Rome, the Christian Fathers, the dynasties of Pharaohs, the Laws of the Medes and Persians which never change; as for Troy and the Greeks, Helen and Achilles and Agamemnon dead; as for Napoleon and Hitler, the Beatles and the Spice Girls, they and everyone that knew them are blown away in the dust from one light stroke of a nail-file.

Unweaving the Rainbow 2000


  1. Thank you for the comment.

    Twain's observation was part of a longer essay on Evolution. I like Richard Dawkins as well.


  2. When I was a kid it always used to be the full stop at the end of the bible! The three allegories/similes (?) are not really in scale with each other, two of them must be lying....!