9.0 A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

The audio book is like listening to Douglas Adams sarcastically spinning yarns that turn out to be true.

“You have been extremely – make that miraculously – fortunate in your personal ancestry.  Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth’s mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides, has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so.  Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life’s quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result, eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly, in you.”

And here, the author quotes the history of the discovery of the laws of thermodynamics by Kelvin…

“There are four laws.  The third of them, the second law, was recognized first.  The first, the zeroeth law, was formulated last.  The first law was second.  The third law might not even be a law in the same sense of the others.  In briefest terms… One, you can’t win, Two, you can’t break even, and Three, you can’t get out of the game.”


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