Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial “missing link” between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.The 47million-year-old primate – named “Ida” – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution. The Guardian 2009
In this, the Sabbath vigil of my life, I found
Myself prostrate, all helpless on the ground,
For sin had made me blind. It was as though
Throughout my life I strayed, and did not know
Where I was going or from whence I came,
Just led by some ephemeral, dancing flame
Snuffed out once it was glimpsed, and dead to sight
Before it could be fixed – the moth’s mad flight
More full of rhyme and reason than my life,
Now so replete with grief and full of strife.
I’ve looked at ev’ry explanation that
There is of life, and none come near to sat-
Isfying all criteria of truth,
Or come up with the necessary proof
That they’re the answer. All require a leap
Into absurdity – alright for sheep
Who find their comfort in conformity,
But useless for all lone-wolves such as me.
There is a way to make it work, of course,
Which is: to put on blinkers like a horse
And go just where the drayman tells you to.
But in your heart you’ll know it to be true
That, even though you’re willing to work hard,
All roads end up inside the knacker’s yard.
“Arbeit macht frei” is true to a degree,
But not the way we wish that it could be.
A product of conception, you will be
From life aborted, howe’er belatedly.
Meanwhile, you strive where chance gives no reward:
Your feeble hand upturns an empty gourd.
And so our ends are like a jelly-fish:
Sans spine, sans brain, a wat’ry upturned dish
Borne on through vastness we cannot perceive,
Still less control enough to steer. Believe
We may, but proof of purpose or a plan
Revealed consistently denied, we can
Not fabricate from our own stuff, for we
Are empty, blind, insensate, falsely free,
Borne on by tides, by winds, by currents, all
Uncomprehended, landing where we fall.
The birds seem free; no wonder, then, the dove
Is symbol of God’s Spirit from above.
But what became of all the other kinds
Of beasts not taken to the ark? – They died.
So we: into oblivion. We: free
To die and be forgotten; the elect
Disclose God’s will to naturally select.
Just like a snail I leave a glistening train
To be erased by the first fall of rain;
Or, like the scarab, roll a ball of dung,
My pyramid for when I have no tongue
To extol my own deeds. For like that bird,
(Though it may seem unlikely and absurd)
The phœnix, from the ashes (I surmise)
Once fire is spent I presently will rise
To live again; although we know within
That in this legend ashes are the “fin”.