Dr. Seuss meets Charles Darwin:
"This being the 150th anniversary of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, as well as the 200th anniversary of the great man's birth, Boyd has written On the Origin of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction (Harvard University Press), a searching, free-wheeling book that sets forth a Darwinian view of narrative's place in human history. And Dr. Seuss's Horton fills all of 60 pages, getting equal billing with Homer's Odyssey, the other title chosen to demonstrate Boyd's theories. One section of the book is titled, 'From Zeus to Seuss.'
. . .
Natural selection, motiveless and unconscious as it is, nevertheless follows certain patterns. Again and again it randomly sets in motion possible solutions to problems of survival, fails, then starts again, re-using whatever elements have proven valuable. In time, it can create richer solutions to richer problems.
. . .
Far from draining life's sense of purpose, he argues, Darwinism demonstrates the richness inherent in the human enterprise. Studying our origins makes our possibilities even grander than we could otherwise imagine and - as this remarkable year demonstrates - never ceases to open fresh intellectual territory."
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Why is Dr Seuss on my blog home page?
at 11:00 AM