The human species has inhabited this planet for only 250,000 years or so-roughly.0015 percent of the history of life, the last inch of the cosmic mile. The world fared perfectly well without us for all but the last moment of earthly time–and this fact makes our appearance look more like an accidental afterthought than the culmination of a prefigured plan.
Moreover, the pathways that have led to our evolution are quirky, improbable, unrepeatable and utterly unpredictable. Human evolution is not random; it makes sense and can be explained after the fact. But wind back life’s tape to the dawn of time and let it play again–and you will never get humans a second time.
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher’ answer — but none exists. This explanation, though superficially troubling, if not terrifying, is ultimately liberating and exhilarating. We cannot read the meaning of life passively in the facts of nature. We must construct these answers ourselves — from our own wisdom and ethical sense. There is no other way.
- Legendary Science Writer, Stephen Jay Gould, reflects on the meaning of life.
Source: LIFE, 1988
In the now almost extinct indigenous language of Yaghan (Tierra del Fuego), this word refers to the “look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to suggest or offer themselves”.
Who knows for certain?
Who shall here declare it?
Whence was it born, whence came creation?
The gods are later than this world’s formation;
Who then can know the origins of the world?
None knows whence creation arose;
And whether he has or has not made it,
He who surveys it from the lofty skies,
Only he knows – or perhaps he knows not.
Rig Veda X:129
(quoted by Carl Sagan)
I don’t know why rape, abortion and contraception are classified as women’s issues. There is no issue that exclusively concerns just women - everything involves and affects men just as much. Are there matters being discussed called men’s issues? Wake up! These are pertinent social issues. Many people like to call certain social issues women’s issues in order to denigrate their importance in public discourse, which is such a gross disgrace to the principles of equality that our society is founded on. Bring the men back into the picture and re-frame the discussion as a critical social issue.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
Word it is.
- Marc and Angel