speculation

If we make this readjustment to view Homo sapiens as an ultimate in oddball rarity, and life at bacterial grade as the common expression of a universal phenomenon, then we could finally ask the truly fundamental question raised by the prospect of Martian fossils. If life originates as a general property of the material universe under certain conditions (probably often realized), then how much can the basic structure and constitution of life vary from place to independent place?

In candid moments, leading creationists will admit that the miraculous character of origin and destruction precludes a scientific understanding. Morris writes (and Judge Overton quotes): 'God was there when it happened. We were not there . . . . Therefore, we are completely limited to what God has seen fit to tell us, and this information is in His written Word.'

Run the tape again, and let the tiny twig of Homo sapiens expire in Africa. Other hominids may have stood on the threshold of what we know as human possibilities, but many sensible scenarios would never generate our level of mentality. Run the tape again, and this time Neanderthal perishes in Europe and Homo erectus in Asia (as they did in our world). The sole surviving human stock, Homo erectus in Africa, stumbles along for a while, even prospers, but does not speciate and therefore remains stable. A mutated virus then wipes Homo erectus out, or a change in climate reconverts Africa into inhospitable forest. One little twig on the mammalian branch, a lineage with interesting possibilities that were never realized, joins the vast majority of species in extinction. So what? Most possibilities are never realized, and who will ever know the difference? Arguments of this form lead me to the conclusion that biology's most profound insight into human nature, status, and potential lies in the simple phrase, the embodiment of contingency: Homo sapiens is an entity, not a tendency.

But he who dies in despair has lived his whole life in vain.

A witty statesman said, you might prove anything by figures.

With respect to duels, indeed, I have my own ideas. Few things in this so surprising world strike me with more surprise. Two little visual spectra of men, hovering with insecure enough cohesion in the midst of the unfathomable, and to dissolve therein, at any rate, very soon, make pause at the distance of twelve paces asunder; whirl around, and simultaneously by the cunningest mechanism, explode one another into dissolution; and, offhand, become air, and non-extant--the little spitfires!

In like manner did the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, surrounded as he is with the splendours of a wide and everlasting monarchy, turn him to our humble habitation; and the footsteps of God manifest in the flesh have been on the narrow spot of ground we occupy; and small though our mansion be amid the orbs and the systems of immensity, hither hath the King of glory bent his mysterious way, and entered the tabernacle of men, and in the disguise of a servant did he sojourn for years under the roof which canopies our obscure and solitary world.

The fault lieth altogether in the dogmatics, that is to say, those that are imperfectly learned, and with passion press to have their opinion pass everywhere for truth.

As to politics, we were like the rest of the country people in England; that is to say, we neither knew nor thought anything about the matter.

We only have one or two wars in a lifetime. But we have three meals a day. When you have helped raise the standard of cooking then you would have raised the only thing in the world that matters.

People should be very careful when choosing the future fathers and mothers of their children. For that reason alone, it is extremely mean to demand a marriage certificate for life, just for one night of embracement.

But now for the final exam: If you expect to be a net saver during the next five years, should you hope for a higher or lower stock market during that period? Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have risen for the "hamburgers" they will soon be buying. This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.

The natural effect of sorrow over the dead is to refine and elevate the mind.

My mother refused to let me fail. So I insisted.

The generosity of others suffer sore, as if she was responsible.

Awake remembrance of these valiant dead, And with your puissant arm renew their feats. You are their heir; you sit upon their throne; The blood and courage that renowned them Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege Is in the very May-morn of his youth, Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises. Henry V, Act I, Scene 2

Thor was the God of Thunder and, frankly, acted like it.

In making these accusations I am aware that I am making myself liable to articles 30 and 31 of the law of 29 July 1881 regarding the press, which make libel a punishable offence. I expose myself to that risk voluntarily.

Women are wise impromptu, fools on reflection.

A novelist who writes nothing for 10 years finds his reputation rising. Because I keep on producing books they say there must be something wrong with this fellow.