Listing down some interesting quotes from the book 'A brief history of nearly everything' by Bill Bryson.

  • Although the creation of a universe might be very unlikely, Tryon emphasized that no one has counted the failed attempts.
  • He makes an analogy with a very large clothing store: "If there is a large stock of clothing, you're not surprised to find a suit that fits."
  • "Huge parts of the world are still unexplored" "In terms of trilobites?" "No, in terms of everything"
  • Oh fuck, not another phylum
  • It is very easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of all the intoxicating existence we've been endowed with. But what's life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours -- arguably stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don't. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment's additional existence. Life, in short, just wants to be. But -- and here's an interesting point -- for the most part it doesn't want to be much.
  • To a first approximation, as David Raup likes to say, all species are extinct.
  • ...but you could have all Bdelloid Rotifer experts in the world to dinner and not have to borrow plates from the neighbors.
  • "And I suppose that's why you value someone who spends forty-two years studying a single species of plants, even if it doesn't produce anything terribly new?" "Precisely"
  • From an evolutionary point of view, sex is really just a reward mechanism to encourage us to pass on our genetic material.
  • It cannot be said too often: All life is one. That is, and I suspect will forever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.

Thank you for reading!



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