Reading The Ancestor’s Tale.
I have now learned sometihng so shocking that I am still reluctant to beliee it, but it looks as though I am going to have to. Hippos’ closest relatives are whales. The even-toed ungulates include whales!
This makes me think. I was not whatsoever surprised to learn this. And certainly not shocked. I wonder when the day will come that a cladistic revolution like this one will actually stir me into a deeper reaction than “Oh? That’s interesting!”. And I wonder what’s preferable? Being so open to new thoughts, new evidence, that nothing shocks you? Or getting a little more set in your thinking, so that your world might actually be fundamentally shaken occasionally, as science progresses?
I wonder if it’s a generational thing; maybe people my age are so used to the world ever-changing, having seen technology like mobile phones and the internet evolve from bulky simplicity to exquisite complexity as we were struggling through puberty, that we’re unable to even feign surprise. Or maybe I will eventually grow up. Maybe the next time the tree of life sees a significant change I will be shocked.
Time will tell.