Monday, June 7, 2010

Mitochondrial Eve - Greg Egan

"In the foyer, a holographic bust of Mitochondrial Eve herself, mounted on a marble pedestal, gazed proudly over our heads. The artist had rendered our hypothetical ten-thousand-times-great grandmother as a strikingly beautiful woman. A subjective judgment, certainly--but her lean, symmetrical features, her radiant health, her purposeful stare, didn't really strike me as amenable to subtleties of interpretation. The esthetic buttons being pushed were labeled, unmistakably: warrior, queen, goddess. And I had to admit that I felt a certain bizarre, involuntary swelling of pride at the sight of her ... as if her regal bearing and fierce eyes somehow "ennobled" me and all her descendants ... as if the "character" of the entire species, our potential for virtue, somehow depended on having at least one ancestor who could have starred in a Leni Riefenstahl documentary."

3.5 out of 5

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