A rare glimpse of the cave of crystals

Mexico’s Cave of Crystals stunned geologists when it was first discovered in 2000. The underground chamber contains some of the largest natural crystals ever found – some of the selenite structures have grown to more than 10m long. Professor Iain Stewart got a rare glimpse of the subterranean spectacle while filming for the new BBC series How the Earth Made Us.

ADDENDUM: Post title I should have thought of from @Durf: “It’s the Glittering Caves of Aglarond!”

A rare glimpse of the cave of crystals

Fred Hoyle has ingeniously speculated that, if we had been born with eight digits and therefore became accustomed to octal arithmetic instead of decimal, we might have invented binary arithmetic and hence electronic computers a century earlier than we did (since 8 is a power of 2).

pp. 87, Richard Dawkins The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

Evolutionary Perspectives featuring Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond and Douglas Adams

I finally got around to listening to this three hour marathon of brilliance — Darwinism in biology, philosophy, anthropological history, cognitive science and its influence on a hilarious lay-scifi writer.

For me this panel was full of personal heroes. I have been a huge fan of Douglas Adams and his work for years. I did my undergrad work in theoretical linguistics where I first became acquainted with Steven Pinker who hugely influences on my own views of the brain and psychology. My graduate work in political philosophy lead me to Richard Dawkins, who finally convinced me of my own atheism. I now consider myself part of his army.

Through Dawkins and the Four Horsemen (which includes another personal hero: Christopher Hitchens) I became familiar with Dan Dennett, a well respected philosopher whose work I have yet to read. As for Jared Diamond, though I have seen his television series (Guns, Germs and Steel) two of his unread books are still sitting in my anti-library.

All of these men have amazing achievements to their names, and their speeches and interaction are extremely stimulating. Highly recommended viewing.

Evolutionary Perspectives featuring Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond and Douglas Adams