科学家宣布在加拿大发现形成时间在 37.7 亿年或 42.8 亿年前的化石，可能是人类所发现的最为古老的化石，是地球诞生后不久——从地质学角度来说——生活在地球上的细菌的残骸。如果获得公认，它们将为地球上的生命出现得非常早提供了证据。很多专家对这项新研究持怀疑态度，或是完全不相信。目前有可靠的证据证明，生命可以追溯到 35 亿年前。地球当时已经存在了 10 亿年。如果这些真是来自 37.7 亿年前的化石，那么它们就能证明，生命当时便已走向多样化，在今日格陵兰所在地的浅海中以及今日加拿大所在地的深海中茁壮成长。如果这些是来自 42 亿年前的化石，那么科学家就有了证据可以证明，海洋形成后不久，地球上很快就出现了生命。
A prescient passage from a forgotten book has been making the rounds since Donald Trump’s election. It’s plucked from a 1998 book titled Achieving our Country. The author is Richard Rorty, a liberal philosopher who died in 2007. The book consists of a series of lectures Rorty gave in 1997 about the history of leftist thought in 20th-century America.
Hilary was my dear friend (one of my dearest), a human being of great depth, a philosopher, learning from Maimonides and Dewey, how to write subtle guides for life, compassionate, a communist or social democrat in the sense of wanting everyone to flourish and not accepting the denial of most humans to advance the few, an anti-racist his life long, a buster-up of the silly antiseptic and self-refuting conventions of centuries-old empiricism and “value-free economics,” a questioner, as philosophers from Socrates are, initially a positivist a la Reichenbach and Carnap (who were way sophisticated about physics and politically decent, but often wooden…), a founder of scientific realism and a realist theory of reference, a pragmatist about good moral judgments as opposed to a self-refuting skeptic, a thinker about what good judgment is in ethics, the arts and religion, a practitioner of a responsive to the suffering and neediness of others, tolerant Judaism, a devotee of his wife, children, grandchildren and friends, a lover of poetry, an anti-fascist. Philosophical questioning is important, but life is the point.