By Isaac Asimov

ISBN-10: 0880299398

ISBN-13: 9780880299398

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Kronos, his brothers, his sisters, and their progeny then ruled the Universe. Kronos feared that he would be served by his children as he had served his father (a kind of cycle of irreversible changes) and devoured his children as they were born. He was duped by his wife, however, who managed to save her lastborn, Zeus, and spirit him away to safety. Zeus grew to adult godhood, rescued his siblings from his father's stomach, warred against Kronos and those who followed him, defeated him, and replaced him as ruler.

Can we expect further mutations? Of course! They happen all the time, as I said earlier. I wonder, though, if further physical mutations are likely to be incorporated into human structure by natural selection very often. After all, our physical bodies are not the important thing about us anymore. Our bodies can't fly as birds can, for instance, but who cares? We have airplanes that can go faster than any bird, and we even have rockets that will take us to the moon, and no bird can fly there. No, what is important about human beings is their enormous brain.

An even more condensed object would be a black hole. This would be a star (or any object) that would be condensed to the point where even neutrons would smash together and break down so that the resulting matter would collapse to zero volume (a "singularity"). The existence of black holes was first suggested in 1939, but there was no chance of detecting one until satellites were designed and launched beyond the atmosphere for the purpose of picking up x-rays from space. In 1971 an x-ray source called Cygnus X-l was found to be an invisible object circling a massive star.

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66 Essays On the Past, Present & Future by Isaac Asimov


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