Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Essay: "The Lives of a Cell." Lewis Thomas. 1971.

Ten-second review: The single cell with its complexity.... "...with too many working parts lacking visible connections...." is like the complexity of the earth and the earth is most like the single cell.


“Man is embedded in nature.”

“My cells…are ecosystems more complex than Jamaica Bay.”

“Our genomes are catalogs of instructions from all kinds of sources in nature, filed for all kinds of contingencies.”

“Evolution is still an infinitely long and tedious biologic game, with only the winners staying at the table.”

“I have been trying to think of the earth as a kind of organism, but it is no go. I cannot think of it in this way. It is too big, too complex, with too many working parts lacking visible connections…most like a single cell.”

Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000.

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