Mesocosm

"A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us." – Franz Kafka

“They Found the Bones”

leave a comment »

Joseph Campbell was fond of this anecdote and relayed it in many speeches and lectures. This version is drawn from his book Myths to Live By:

I was sitting the other day at a lunch counter that I particularly enjoy, when a youngster about twelve years old, arriving with his school satchel, took the place at my left. Beside him came a younger little man, holding the hand of his mother, and those two took the next seats. All gave their orders, and, while waiting, the boy at my side said, turning his head slightly to the mother, “Jimmy wrote a paper today on the evolution of man, and Teacher said he was wrong, that Adam and Eve were our first parents.”

My Lord! I thought. What a teacher!

The lady three seats away then said, “Well Teacher was right. Our first parents were Adam and Eve.”

What a mother for a twentieth-century child!

The youngster responded, “Yes, I know, but this was a scientific paper.” And for that, I was ready to recommend him for a distinguished-service medal from the Smithsonian Institution.

The mother, however, came back with another. “Oh, those scientists!” she said angrily. “Those are only theories.”

And he was up to that one too. “Yes, I know,” was his cool and calm reply; “but they have been factualized: they found the bones.”

The milk and sandwiches came, and that was that.

Advertisements

Written by Mesocosm

March 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: