Thursday, 3 August 2017

Concluding The Time Machine For Now

I wondered here why the Time Traveller was inclined to believe that it was an inner planet, not the Moon, that had eclipsed the red giant sun in "...that remote and awful twilight..." (Chapter 14, p. 95) It pays to reread a book in its proper order. While he was travelling towards "The Further Vision":

"All trace of the moon had vanished." (Chapter 14, p. 90)

The Time Traveller's Three Successive Theories About 802,701 AD
(i) The Eloi's ancestors conquered Nature.
(ii) The Eloi's ancestors conquered Nature and their fellow men.
(iii) The Eloi's ancestors conquered Nature and their fellow men but those fellow men's descendants are now in control.

Wells' explanation of intelligences matches Anderson's in Is There Life On Other Worlds? See The Appearance Of Intelligence and Scientific Speculation And An Artistic Convention.

"It is a law of nature we overlook, that intellectual versatility is the compensation for change, danger, and trouble. An animal perfectly in harmony with its environment is a perfect mechanism. Nature never appeals to intelligence where there is no change and no need of change. Only those animals partake of intelligence that have to meet a huge variety of needs and dangers." (Chapter 13, p. 87)

Mankind is a double accident: temporary local negative entropy that has, uniquely on Earth, become intelligent.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I'm reminded of Anderson's "The High Ones." We see in that story an alien which deliberately sought, by means of the total state, to make itself "perfectly in harmony with its environment. With the result that the Zolotoyans became no longer an intelligent race! Chilling and gruesome!


    1. Sean,
      "The High Ones" is relevant but I couldn't remember the title.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      "The High Ones" sticks in my mind as a horrid example of what might happen if certain bad ideas and policies are followed and institutionalized!