Saturday, February 21, 2009

Huxley beards Wilberforce

(So the blog is going to take an academic lean, becoming my notebook as I have very few readers. My thoughts at the moment are... chaotic. Biopolitics everywhere I look. Cyborg - humans walking relaxedly into symbiosis with their ipods. To ground myself, I will turn to the books:)

1860: Huxley, champion of Darwin's materialism beards (pwn's) jackass Bishop after monkey comment. read:

"I was happy enough to be present on the memorable occasion at Oxford when Mr Huxley bearded Bishop Wilberforce. There were so many of us that were eager to hear that we had to adjourn to the great library of the Museum. I can still hear the American accents of Dr Draper's opening address, when he asked `Air we a fortuitous concourse of atoms?' and his discourse I seem to remember somewhat dry. Then the Bishop rose, and in a light scoffing tone, florid and he assured us there was nothing in the idea of evolution; rock-pigeons were what rock-pigeons had always been. Then, turning to his antagonist with a smiling insolence, he begged to know, was it through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey? On this Mr Huxley slowly and deliberately arose. A slight tall figure stern and pale, very quiet and very grave, he stood before us, and spoke those tremendous words - words which no one seems sure of now, nor I think, could remember just after they were spoken, for their meaning took away our breath, though it left us in no doubt as to what it was. He was not ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor; but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used great gifts to obscure the truth. No one doubted his meaning and the effect was tremendous. One lady fainted and had to carried out: I, for one, jumped out of my seat; and when in the evening we met at Dr Daubeney's, every one was eager to congratulate the hero of the day. I remember that some naive person wished it could come over again; and Mr Huxley, with the look on his face of the victor who feels the cost of victory, put us aside saying, `Once in a life-time is enough, if not too much.' "

So Huxley grabbed a transcendent moment of human-monkey relative acceptance. Who will do the same for robots? Is that relationship equally as evolutionary?


1 comment:

Dr. Cosmos said...

The beard-second is a unit of length inspired by the light year, but used for extremely short distances such as those in nuclear physics. The beard-second is defined as the length an average beard grows in a second, or about 5 nanometers[1].

One beard-second equals 50 Ångströms (10-10 m).