Mark Twain on Why We’re Here

February 12, 2014 at 6:25 pm (Uncategorized)

This quotation from Mark Twain arrived in my inbox this morning courtesy of Skeptics magazine’s weekly newsletter in an article about intelligent design. Worth sharing. It reminded me of that graphic about the ascent of man from ape to upright human Richard Dawkins hates so much because it posits an intelligent path to where we are. (Which is not to suggest that’s Twain’s intent here) Evolution isn’t a design. It just is.

“Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world’s age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man’s share of that age; and anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would, I dunno.”

—Mark Twain, “Was the World Made for Man?” 1903

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1 Comment

  1. Albert Kaplan said,

    Marvelous quote of Samuel Clemens. Several years ago I was able to acquire an unknown double ambrotype of our hero, likely made in Nevada in 1861. Proceed to http://www.kaplancollection.com.

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