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How Life BeganEvolution's Three Geneses$
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Alexandre Meinesz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226519319

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226519333.001.0001

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Candide, Jurassic Park, and Noah

Candide, Jurassic Park, and Noah

(p.172) Chapter 8 Candide, Jurassic Park, and Noah
How Life Began

Alexandre Meinesz

University of Chicago Press

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

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