Chapter

<i>Candide, Jurassic Park</i>, and Noah

Alexandre Meinesz

in How Life Began

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780226519319
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226519333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226519333.003.0009
Candide, Jurassic Park, and Noah

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This chapter begins with a discussion of Voltaire's most famous tale, Candide, ou l'optimism, published in 1759. The story of Candide is a long series of mishaps, calamities, and catastrophes endured during an extended voyage through Europe, America, and the Caribbean, during which Candide constantly questions his worldview. The multiple disastrous, unexpected, life-altering events that seemed to follow Candide on his journey were used by Voltaire to call attention to the fragility of existence. The chapter then considers the film Jurassic Park and theories for the extinction of dinosaurs. This is followed by a discussion of the importance of cataclysmic events and their crucial impact on the history of life.

Keywords: Voltaire; Candide, ou l'optimism; dinosaurs; cataclysmic events; history of life

Chapter.  8948 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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