Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The very dark house

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In the old times, the knowledge of biology was perhaps similar to what could be made out in a very large, very dark house. Many objects could be more felt than seen with equal dimness, once the eyes got used to the darkness; and scientists were conscious of the limiting conditions under which they worked. In our time, however, a few very powerful and very narrow beams of light have been thrown into a few corners of this dark house, and several things can be seen in a clarity and illumination that almost distort their significance. But at the same time we have lost our dark-adaptation; and since we all have a tendency to follow the light, we have moved into these cozy corners, to the detriment of the rest, which still is, by far, the major part of nature. In pointing this out one runs the risk of being accused of trying to spread darkness.

Erwin Chargaff, Essays on Nucleic Acids

Written by nevalalee

February 11, 2018 at 7:30 am

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