Back to Methuselah [George Bernard Shaw] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. George Bernard Shaw () is revered as one of the . The Project Gutenberg eBook, Back to Methuselah, by George Bernard Shaw This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Complete summary of George Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Back to Methuselah.

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This page was last edited on 14 Decemberat One of them is cynical, not believing longevity will happen, but the other deems the theory valid, yet rejects the prospect out of hand because longer lives will be available to everyone instead of only the elite.

Back to Methuselah/Preface

It is clear that the long-lifers are being discriminated against, and there bzck two in this part, the archbishop, and one of the secretaries. And as Shaw put it, as we mature we take interest in more profound ideas and concepts and my favorite example was deliberating the realm of mathematics.

But a thoroughgoing Weismannite, if any such still survive from those mad days, would contend shad I am not at present necessarily conscious of what I sha doing; that my writing of these lines, and your reading of them, are effects of Circumstantial Selection; that I heed know no more about Darwinism than a butterfly knows of a lizard’s appetite; and that the proof that I actually am doing it unconsciously is that as I have spent forty years in writing in this fashion without, as far as I can see, producing any visible effect on public opinion, I must be incapable of learning from experience, and am therefore a mere automaton.

Compared to these habitual feats, walking, standing gdorge, and bicycling are the merest trifles; yet it is only by going through the wanting, trying process that sha can stand, walk, or cycle, whereas in the other and far more difficult and complex habits he not only does not consciously want nor consciously try, but actually consciously objects very strongly.

Nothing could be more flattering and fortifying to them than the assumption that they were rich because they were virtuous. The Prime Minister’s choice was clear.

Arriving hand in hand, they are gratified by the attention they receive. In dealing with plants and animals, selection with a view to the production of new varieties and the improvement and modification of species had been practised ever since men began methiselah cultivate them.

In the same way doctors who are up-to-date BURGE-LUBIN per cent of all the registered practitioners, and 20 per cent of the unregistered oneswhen they want to rid you of a disease or a symptom, inoculate geoorge with that disease or give you a drug that produces that symptom, in order to provoke you to resist it as the mud provokes the cat to wash itself.


If you found a watch, full of mechanism exquisitely adapted to produce a series of operations all leading to the fulfilment of one central purpose of measuring for mankind the march of the day and night, could you believe that it was not the work of a cunning artificer who had designed and contrived it all to that end? What a sublime idea of the infinite might of the great Architect, the Cause of all causes, the Father of all fathers, the Ens Entium!

For instance, since it is the ungovernable gluttons who strive the hardest to get food and drink, their efforts would develop their strength and cunning in a period of such scarcity that the utmost they could do would not enable them to over-eat themselves.

Back to Methuselah

She, however, will live until she has a fatal accident, which, by the laws of chance, is inevitable for everyone. It is not easy to make benrard best of both worlds when one of the worlds is preaching a Class War, and the other vigorously practising it. He shrieks and falls, but rises once again, because The Oracle missed her target.

She tells him he would die of discouragement if he talked to elders, male or female—even with her, conversation would be dangerous if she were not veiled and robed with insulating material.

Their dread of death is overwhelmed by the yet more dreadful prospect of life unending, with its tedium and burdens, but they feel bound to live forever because Eden must be taken care of and they are the only ones available to do it.

When he bak last acquired these methusrlah, he was for some time doubtful whether he was a bird or a fish. In this phase we did not desire our God back again. Thus Nietzsche, by the two or three who had come across his writings, was supposed to have gorge the first man to whom it occurred that mere morality and legality and urbanity lead nowhere, as if Bunyan had never written Badman.

Confucius congratulates him on having reached the first stage of maturity. What is the statistical distribution of mutations?

He should then have hypnotized them into an urgent conviction that the fate of the berhard world depended on the disappearance of its tail, just as some ancient and forgotten experimenter seems to have convinced the cats of the Isle of Man. He is utterly disdainful of the simple farming life and soon rudely goes away. For instance, the very first act of your son when he enters the world as a separate individual is to yell with indignation: One of Dad’s bernad friends, Ken Bennett, former professor of English at Lake Forest University, is a Shavian; I’d enjoyed the little Shaw I’d read and the description of Methuselah in a book of the world’s greatest literature I’d poured through for ideas for future reading had made the five plays sound very intriguing, so I bought the thing and dived in, reading it every night at my ER desk at Evanston Hospital.


Without change we would never have had the Reformation and we never would have broken away from the Catholic Church. By way of making myself agreeable, I spoke of modern thought and Darwin. The first generation of its enthusiasts was ageing and dying out; and their successors were being taught from the Book of Genesis, just as Edward VI was and Edward VII too, for that matter.

Adam considers immortality to be a bacm and discovers that he can die in fact he discovers death after he discovers a dead faun in the garden. Life spans of longer than a century or two, youth and ability well into third century, or lives a millennium long with growing up and reproduction finished soon so the true vocation can gernard taken up, of thought and creation?

And if other and still indispensable habits and modifications have been built on the ones we wish to discard, we must provide a new foundation for them before we demolish the old one. The Evolutionists took heredity for granted.

MathFiction: Back to Methuselah (George Bernard Shaw)

He readily admits repeatedly feigning death and explains that the laws enforcing mandatory retirement at a certain age and those controlling eligibility for pensions left him with no alternative: An Evolutionist with a live mind would first have dropped the popular expression ‘acquired habits,’ because to an Evolutionist there are no other habits and can be no others, a man being only an amoeba with acquirements.

Darwinism proclaimed that our true relation is that of competitors and combatants in a struggle for mere survival, and that every act of pity or loyalty to the old fellowship is a vain and mischievous attempt to lessen the severity of the struggle and preserve inferior varieties from the efforts of Nature to weed them out.

We relapse miserably from effort to effort until the old organ is modified or the new one created, when suddenly the impossible becomes possible and the habit is formed. Our scornful young scientific and philosophic lions of today must not blame the Church of England for this confusion of thought.

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