jueves, 4 de noviembre de 2010

The man from earth

"JOHN- I wonder if I could ask you a silly question.
ART- John, we're teachers. We answer silly questions all the time.
JOHN- What if a man from the upper paleolithic Survived until the present day?
DAN- What do you mean, survived? Never died?
JOHN- Yes. What would he be like?
BIOLOGO- Well, I know some guys. You ever been to the ozarks?
DAN- It's an interesting idea. What, are you working on a science fiction story?
JOHN- Say I am. What would he be like?
HARRY- Pretty tired.
DAN- Well, seriously, as Art's book title suggests, He might be like any of us.
EDITH- Dan. A caveman?
DAN- Well, there's no anatomical difference Between, say, a Cro-magnon and us.
ART- Except that as a rule, we've grown taller.
LINDA- What's the selective advantage of height?
ART- Better to see predators in tall grass, my dear.
DAN- Actually, tall and skinny radiates heat more effectively in warmer climates.
ART- And as for neanderthals, I mean, we've all seen apish people. That strain's still with us.
EDITH- But he'd be a caveman.
DAN- No, he wouldn't. John's hypothetical man would have lived through 140 centuries?
ART- Yeah, roughly
DAN- And changed with every one of them. I mean, assuming normal intelligence.
Well, we think men of the upper paleolithic were as intelligent as we are. They just didn't know as much. John's man would have learned as the race learned. In fact, if he had an inquiring mind, his knowledge might be astonishing. If you do write that, let me have a look at it. I'm sure you'll make some anthropological boners.
JOHN- It's a deal.
LINDA- What would keep him alive?
EDITH- What does the biologist say?
HARRY- Cigarettes. And ice cream.
All right, all right, I'll play. All right, um, in science fiction terms, i would say... perfect regeneration of the body's cells. Especially in the vital organs. Actually, the human body appears designed to live about 190 years. Most of us just die of slow poisoning.
JOHN- Maybe he did something right, something everybody else in history had done wrong.
ART- What, like eat the food, drink the water, and breathe the air?
DAN- Prior to modern times, those were pristine. We've extended our lifespan in a world that's, uh... not fit to live in.
HARRY- You know, it could happen. The pancreas turns over cells every 24 hours, the stomach lining in three days, the entire body in seven years, but the process falters. Waste accumulates, eventually proves fatal to function. Now if a quirk in his immune system led to perfect detox, perfect renewal, then yeah. He could duck decay.
EDITH- Mm, that's a secret we'd all love to have.
JOHN- Would you really want to do that? Live 14,000 years?
EDITH- Well, if I could stay healthy and I didn't age... I mean, why not?
LINDA- Yeah. What a chance to learn.
HARRY- You know, the more I think about it, yeah, it's possible. Anything is possible, right? After all, one century's magic, another century's science.
They thought Columbus was a nut job, right? Pasteur, Copernicus?
JOHN- Aristarchus long before that. I had a chance to sail with columbus, Only I'm not the adventurous type. I was pretty sure the earth was round, but at that point, I still thought he might fall off an edge someplace...
ART- look around, John. We just did.
DAN- I suppose there's a joke in there somewhere, but I don't get it.
JOHN- There's nothing to get.
DAN- What are we talking about?
ART- We were just talking about a caveman who survives until the present time.
JOHN- As you said, what a chance to learn, once I learned to learn.
DAN- Did you start the whiskey before we got here?"

"Dan: There's absolutely no way in the whole world for John to prove his story. Just like there's no way for us to disprove it. No matter how outrageous we think it is, no matter how highly trained some of us think we are, there's absolutely no way to disprove it! My friend is either a caveman, a liar, or a nut. So while we're thinking about that, why don't we just go with it."

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