Life’s Little Joke

Stephen Jay Gould

I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND why a raven is like a writing desk, but I do know what binds Hernando Cortés and Thomas Henry Huxley together.  On February 18, 1519, Cortés set sail for Mexico with about 600 men and, perhaps more important, 16 horses. Two years later, the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán lay in ruins, and one of the world’s great civilizations had perished.


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