An astonishing discovery

Plot, plot, plot. Of course I read for plot. Who doesn't? All I'm saying is, I do recognize that there can be more to a book than just plot. I will probably pick up The Plot Against America again some time. I'm sure it's a great book. Maybe it was just bad timing. Have you ever had it happen that you don't like a perfectly good book just because it clashes with the book you just finished? I might have liked Kite Runner if I hadn't just read Atonement, for example. Anyway, enough of that. Movin' right along . . . .

I made an astonishing -- astonishing! -- discovery yesterday. I can't stop grinning over this. Last month's book group selection was The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. I absolutely loved this book, even though I only read half of it. If you think evolutionary theory is the most beautiful thing ever, and if Darwin happens to be your personal hero, you will love, love, love this book. And if you also happen to be an absolute sucker for scientists who spend months and months on a desert island measuring millimeter differences in the size of finch beaks, well, you will love this book even more. This book was selected for our "community reads" program, and the actual scientists are giving a talk right here in town tomorrow evening. I am so there!

Anyway, my discovery. Yesterday afternoon as I was whipping through the last bit of the book my eye happened to light upon a quote by Darwin. Sez he: ". . . I cannot admit that man's rudimentary mammae, bladder drained as if he went on all four legs, and pug-nose were designed." Isn't this EXACTLY what I've been saying? And even threatening to make a bumper sticker out of? If we're so intelligently designed, why do men have nipples? And Darwin said. The. Exact. Same. Thing. Ok, he called them rudimentary mammae, but still. Pride goeth before a fall, I know, but I'm just so chuffed that Charles Darwin and I independently arrived at the same exact thought. Wow.


  • I read the Kite Runner before Atonement and it didn't help. In fact, reading Atonement just made me realise why exactly I didn't like the Kite Runner.

    I love the Darwin quote!

    posted by Blogger Lucy on 2:15 PM  

  • How refreshing to hear from someone who thinks highly of Darwin.

    posted by Blogger Quillhill on 7:36 PM  

  • Thanks for the heads up on The Beak of the Finch-- it sounds like something I'd love. And my beef is why exactly is there a problem reconciling religion and science? Darwin's theory WORKS, we can see it in action all around us. So what's the big deal? Where's the conflict? Religious literalism drives me nuts, because it seems to be entirely missing the point.

    posted by Blogger Martha on 11:55 AM  

  • I agree with Martha, there. It bugs me SO MUCH when religious people argue with science . . . as if a supreme being would be incapable of creating evolution. Evolution is obvious and fascinating and marvelous. To me, that speaks for encompassing design (I know you probably don't agree with me . . . )

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 5:09 PM  

  • Hi Julie,
    I'm breezing in as dawn's early light approaches and my weary eyelids are drooping almost as low as my "you know what's![lol]". I've missed your blog so much! :)

    I've not read Kiterunner in favor of choosing other books over it like Saturday, also by Ian M. as you undoubtedly know. I just began it for book group, but immediately noticed the familiar title Atonement (although with my crazily too busy life, who knows if it looked so familiar b/c of ethnic guilt since our family was sick on THAT DAY Last Yr, but I digress, as usual.)

    I wished we were reading Atonement first in book group, but they probably read it last year when I wasn't a member so I'll check it out of the library. I'll also search your archives when my green eyes are more alert and can digest your terrific post.

    I've seen that quote and love it!, although I wish that IE wasn't even around to need brain surgery....BTW, I received your email. Thx. I haven't had time to...but I will.... looking forward to that!! :)

    posted by Blogger GEL on 6:12 AM  

  • I like Darwin. He's so sensible.

    posted by Anonymous Ella on 5:32 PM  

  • Your book club sounds so much more interesting than mine. I have been toying with picking up Beak of the Finch. If you made that bumper sticker, I would so buy it!

    posted by Anonymous Nixie Knox on 9:04 PM  

  • Try telling a bunch of college men (and I use the term loosely) that men have nipples because in utero, we're all the same (actually, basic "female structures") and ovaries and testicles have the same original tissue. That's fun. Even in this day and age, they get all riled up about "But the Bible says Eve was made from Adam's rib." Right. Exactly.

    posted by Blogger Teacher lady on 12:04 PM