Why life on Earth exists - how human and non-human life began - are mysteries humankind has been exploring as long as our brains have been developed enough to form the questions. Next to theories on the origin of the universe, no one issue is as controversial or mind-bendingly huge in scope.
Imagine our distant ancestors gazing up at the stars. Did it cross their minds how wondrous the sky was, with the sun and the moon, plus myriad sparkling stars, shooting comets and meteors? Could they conceive of an "infinity," or were they too concerned with eating - and not being eaten - to engage in more than a survivalist mentality? The answer to this would seem to be a resounding yes as, based on the prevalence of creation myths at the foundation of most cultures it seems likely that as soon as early humans developed a sense of self they started wondering where they came...
Beyond the Book
Wendy Northcutt, who has a degree in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley, is the creator of the "Darwin Awards," pop culture's nod to Darwin's theory of the survival of the fittest, awarded annually to one person voted to have "improved our gene pool by removing themselves from it." In other words, someone who - through his or her sheer stupidity - was either killed or made sterile during a totally preventable act.
The Five Rules for this most auspicious award:
- Inability to reproduce - Nominee must be dead or rendered sterile
- Excellence - Astoundingly stupid judgment
- Self-selection - Cause of one's own demise
- Maturity - Capable of mature judgment
- Veracity -...