Laws for Living

“I don’t know. I don’t see how a law for turtles and butterflies could be of much relevance to us. I assume that turtles and butterflies follow the law you’re talking about.”

“That’s right, they do. As to relevance, the laws of aerodynamics weren’t always relevant to you, were they?”


“When did they become relevant?”

“Well…when we wanted to fly.”

“When you want to fly, the laws governing flight become relevant.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And when you’re on the brink of extinction and want to live for a while longer, the laws governing life might conceivably become relevant.”

“Yes, I suppose they might.”


-Daniel Quinn, Ishmael


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