Sunday, June 3

Coincidence And The Improbable Babel Fish And The Zebra Crossing

Zebra on a zebra crossing

A quote by Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001), author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:-

"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.

The argument goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'

'But,' says Man, 'The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'

'Oh dear,' says God, 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanished in a puff of logic.

'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white ...
... and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing."

Babel Fish from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe

What is a Babel Fish?

The Babel Fish is small, yellow, and simultaneously translates from one spoken language to another.

When inserted into the ear, its nutrition processes convert sound waves into brain waves, neatly crossing the language divide between any species you should happen to meet whilst travelling in space.

Some say that the evolution of the Babel fish could not have been accidental, and hence that it proves the non-existence of God.

Arthur Dent, a surviving Earthling, commented only 'Eurgh!' when first inserting the fish into his ear canal. It did, however, enable him to understand Vogon Poetry - not, necessarily, a good thing.

Other Similar Sunday Posts:
Life Isn't Always As It Seems
You Don't Have A Soul
It's National Tell A Lie Day

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  1. A quote from Douglas Noel Adams -

    " I just want to mention one thing, which is completely meaningless, but I am terribly proud of - I was born in Cambridge in 1952 and my initials are D N A! "

  2. My BF is a great Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan. It 's not really my thing but I got into it a little as I 'had' to watch some of it. Good quote.

    1. Thanks Suzie - you 'had' to watch it? How obedient, not like you!

  3. Great quote! I miss Douglas Adams. What other wonders would this guy have written if he'd lived longer?

    1. The great unknown about lots of talents who pass on too early.

  4. Fascinating. Small enough to insert into the ear canal of a human which makes its brain about the size of a pin head. I assume the fin remains outside the ear canal to unconsciously absorb all it translates.

    Fun post!

  5. Read the book and loved it -never saw the film.
    I also like 'terri patrick's' comment! Good times, Mike.

    1. Thanks Dixie. Good times, indeed.