“Symphonies in Innocence”

“Rats can become fascinating—a handful of cottony, fluffy, clean-as-silk little baby ratlets, pink and white symphonies in innocence, with clean little soft paws that cling to your fingers so timidly, and tiny soft ever-inquiring little pink noses touching your skin so lightly that you know, only thus, how faeries feel.”  

That was from a letter from J.B. Rhine (the man who ran the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory) to his sister-in-law.  It really warmed me towards him.  Who can resist someone with such tender feelings towards those small, helpless creatures?  Rhine had conducted years of experiments based on Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s theories of evolution. This is not an area I know a lot about, but I do know that Darwin’s theories have ruled the day and Lamarck’s ideas have been generally rejected.  But according to this Scientific American article, some neuroscientists at Tufts University (my alma mater) are taking another look at Lamarck’s ideas.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Rhine.

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