I was listening to the audio book The Greatest Show on Earth on my walk. Dawkins mentions the somewhat familiar fact that Darwin had a copy of Mendel’s theories in his library, but it’s pages remained uncut. If Darwin had read those pages, Dawkins speculates, the history of biology would have changed greatly.
The opposite theme is so much more common. What if some artist hadn’t met another in a cafe? What if he had been on that plane that crashed? What if I hadn’t gone that way on my walk? It’s almost refreshing to know that Darwin was a knife stroke and an idle afternoon away from great progress. The world missed a profound innovation that day he troubled over a letter to a cousin and napped.
I hear these things and see a torn up ad under a bush. I don’t have free time, but I’m in a period of far less structure and pressure, and a whole world of opportunity. I will miss the greatest opportunities, and the least. I just hope that I cut that damned page.