Thursday, August 27, 2009

skip, soup, coincidence

Posted by PicasaComposition in a skip.
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The third and last part of Adam Rutherford's account of the cell refers to the "prebiotic soup" where life is supposed to have originated in the extremes of heat, lightening storms and concentrations of chemicals found on earth 4 billion years ago. Although this theory about the origins of life go back to the early days of then last century, as the programme shows, things have become more dramatic in the intervening and especially in the last few years. It teases us out of mind to think that, as the presenter of the series puts it, a
"second genesis" is at hand, as scientists are on the point of creating a living cell from lifeless matter, for only the second time in the history of the Earth. A good or bad thing? Rutherford seems to have no doubt. The medical and technolgical opportunities, he clearly believes, can offer only hope for the human race. Looked at another way, we have got ourselves and our environment into such a mess that we can only dig deeper to find a way out. As I finish watching episode 3 of the Cell , I feel a little more optimistic about the future of human beings on earth than I did before. Though precisely why I am not sure.
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A couple of months ago, I posted an account here of a poet called Weldon Kees, whom my bother Ken, (aka Lucas) drew my attention to. Kees was quite new to me (and I gather not widely known) and like Ken I was much taken with him. When Ken showed me Kees' collected works, I opened the book at random and read aloud a poem which contained the lines "I want to get away somewhere and re-read Proust". Yesterday I begin to read some of the poems in the series entitled The 40 poems you should know published in three parts as a supplement the Spectator. Not only did the compiler of this mini-anthology, published over the last three weeks, include a poem by Weldon Kees, but in her introduction to the Kees poem, chose to quote the lines about re-reading Proust. I am still enjoying the coincidence.

5 comments:

Rashmi said...

The composition of the picture is very unusual. And I love the light. Beautiful!

Barrett Bonden said...

The Guardian TV reviewer underlined a pleasure that I too had wallowed in: virtually every revelation in "The Cell" would have been a heresy to a Creationist. My faith in the future of the human race (via "The Cell") has to do with things medical: too late for me but with enormous implications for my offspring. Two people very close to me have died of motor neurone disease, one of the most horrible inventions of the so-called benign Yahweh. Such an affliction may be preventable in the future.

Plutarch said...

Good to hear from you, Rashmi.

BB. Certainly, and most important, medical. But environmental too. Being able to create oil from brackish water seems to have remarkable potential.

The Crow said...

I cannot explain why, but your photo makes me think, "'Twas brillig," which I've always thought was somewhere between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Another expression I use for that time of sunshine is 'longshadow time,' when the evening sun is between 7 and 4 degrees above the horizon.

I like the story this picture tells me, Joe. Glad you posted it.

:)

Plutarch said...

It never ocurred to me, dear Crow, but almost all of the Jabberwocky applies to this photograph.
"One, two" One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead,and with its head
He went galumphing back.

Thanks for the thought.