We Are All Stardust de Stefan Klein

I.

The stars are much closer to us than you might have thought. They´re governed by the same natural laws as everything on earth, only under extreme conditions. After all, the cosmos is our environment. With all human being who have ever lived we share the same view of the stars. And ultimately we ourselves are stardust.

Martin Rees

II.

People often wonder why insects fly towards light. One hypothesis is that in nature there is never a light source that´s close. Rather, light always comes from a celestial object, like the sun or the moon. Because the insect can rely on the assumption that sources of light are in optical infinity, it uses the light as a compass. It maintains a fixed angle relative to the rays of light, which in the case of the sun means it just carries on in a straight line, because the light rays are parallel. But in the case of a candle, the rays are not parallel and it spirals in. The point of this parable is that it´s the wrong question to ask what is the survival value of self-burning behavior in moths. It´s not self-burning behavior; it´s a mistake, caused by the fact that moths are now living in an artificial environment where there are man-made lights.

Richard Dawkins.

III.

Professor Hoffmann, do you have a favorite molecule?

Hemoglobin-the red pigment in blood. It´s a molecule of truly baroque magnificence. About ten thousand atoms, mostly hydrogen and carbon, are bound into four chains that coil around one another. The whole thing looks like four tapeworms making love.

Roald Hoffmann.

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