This is the Twenty First Century



'(...If you could only see what I've seen with your eyes)'
This is not noticeably audible on the song, although it appears at the top of the lyric sheet. My speakers certainly wont go up loud enough to hear if it's there. Maybe there's an audiophile out there has heard it? Rich Harding said: "I'm pretty sure the quote is a misquote of 'If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes' by the replicant Roy Batty to the Chinese bloke who made the eyes for the replicants, from the Ridley Scott film Bladerunner."


'A wise man once said... ...And evolution'
Opinion is divided as to exactly which scientists are referred to in the song. Some best guesses follow. 

My initial thought was that it might be Richard Dawkins, a scientist who emphatically states that there is no god and that we are all just a series of chemical reactions, and mechanical processes, powered by instinct. He brooks no leverage with the notion that there might be a soul or God. However, having just read a big book about evolution and having learnt that Darwin wrote an entire book about flowers and their sex organs, I'm rather more inclined to think it's Darwin being referenced. However;

From http://b.cartage.org.lb/web/bio/bio/D/Dawkins/1.html
"Dawkins, Richard (1941-)
"British zoologist whose book The Selfish Gene 1976 popularized the theories of sociobiology (social behaviour in humans and animals in the context of evolution).

"In The Blind Watchmaker 1986 he explained the modern theory of evolution. Dawkins was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and educated at Oxford, where from 1975 he held academic posts.

"In The Selfish Gene he argued that genes - not individuals, populations, or species - are the driving force of evolution. He suggested an analogous system of cultural transmission in human societies, and proposed the term 'mimeme', abbreviated to 'meme', as the unit of such a scheme. He considered the idea of God to be a meme with a high survival value. His contentions were further developed in The Extended Phenotype 1982, primarily an academic work. "
  
Rich also suggests Stephen Hawking. Professor Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time, who certainly gets to the point of almost equating numbers and God. From http://b.cartage.org.lb/web/bio/bio/H/Hawking/1.html

"Hawking, Stephen William (1942-)
"English physicist whose work in general relativity - particularly gravitational field theory - led to a search for a quantum theory of gravity to explain black holes and the Big Bang, singularities that classical relativity theory does not adequately explain.

"Hawking's objective of producing an overall synthesis of quantum mechanics and relativity theory began around the time of the publication of his seminal book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, written with G. F. R. Ellis, 1973. His most remarkable result, published in 1974, was that black holes could in fact emit particles in the form of thermal radiation - the so-called Hawking radiation.

"Hawking was born in Oxford, studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and became Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge 1979.

"Hawking's most fruitful work was with black holes, stars that have undergone total gravitational collapse and whose gravity is so great that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. Since 1974, he has studied the behaviour of matter in the immediate vicinity of a black hole, concluding that black holes do, contrary to expectation, emit radiation. He has proposed a physical explanation for this 'Hawking radiation' which relies on the quantum-mechanical concept of 'virtual particles' - these exist as particle-antiparticle pairs and are supposed to fill 'empty' space. Hawking suggested that, when such a particle is created near a black hole, one half of the pair might disappear into the black hole, leaving the other half, which could escape to infinity. This would be seen by a distant observer as thermal radiation.

"Confined to a wheelchair because of a rare and progressive neuromotor disease, Hawking remains mentally active. His book A Brief History of Time (1988) gives a popular account of cosmology and became an international bestseller."

'A wise man once wrote... natural selection'
Shaye Lewis said: "I think they're all different guys... I think the natural selection guy may be Darwin."

"Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882)
"English scientist who developed the modern theory of evolution and proposed, with Alfred Russel Wallace, the principle of natural selection. After research in South America and the Galápagos Islands as naturalist on HMS Beagle 1831-36, Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). This explained the evolutionary process through the principles of natural and sexual selection. It aroused bitter controversy because it disagreed with the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

"The theory of natural selection concerned the variation existing between members of a sexually reproducing population. According to Darwin, those members with variations better fitted to the environment would be more likely to survive and breed, subsequently passing on these favourable characteristics to their offspring.

"On the Origin of Species also refuted earlier evolutionary theories, such as those of French naturalist J B de Lamarck. Darwin himself played little part in the debates, but his Descent of Man (1871) added fuel to the theological discussion, in which English scientist T H Huxley and German zoologist Ernst Haeckel took leading parts.

"Darwin also made important discoveries in many other areas, including the fertilization mechanisms of plants, the classification of barnacles, and the formation of coral reefs. Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, the grandson of Erasmus Darwin, and studied medicine at Edinburgh and theology at Cambridge. His first book was Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by HMS Beagle 1839. By 1844 he had enlarged his sketch of ideas to an essay of his conclusions, but then left his theory for eight years while he studied barnacles. In 1858 he was forced into action by the receipt of a memoir from A R Wallace, embodying the same theory.

"Darwinism alone is not enough to explain the evolution of sterile worker bees, or altruism. Neo-Darwinism, the current theory of evolution, is a synthesis of Darwin and genetics based on the work of Austrian scientist Gregor Mendel. "


'The universe demystified, Astronomy instead'
Shaye Lewis said: "I think this line is a direct reference to Walt Whitman's When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer."


When I Heard the Learn'd Astronome



When I heard the learn'd astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured

with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.



Walt Whitman (1819-1892)


'There's a man up in a mirrored building And he just bought the world'
A general feeling is that this might refer to Bill Gates, although it could just as easily refer to someone like real life James Bond villain Rupert Murdoch.

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