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First Paragraph
Chapter XI - Theories of the Origin of Life
William James Sidis'
The Animate and the Inanimate

"According to our hypothesis, life always has existed and always will exist under all conditions in some form, though that form may be quite different from any form of life that comes within our experience. If we trace back the ancestry of present-day life, we will always be able to trace it back to some life, though it may be in such a form that it might be extremely difficult to recognize it as life. Thus, there never was a time when life started on the earth; it merely developed into its present complex form from some simpler form that existed on earth when the earth was in a molten or even in a vaporous condition; still farther back, it can be traced to some extremely simple form of life that existed as far back as the nebula out of which the solar system originated; we shall later attempt to trace it back beyond the nebula."

Comments by site author:

Italics and color are ours for emphasis.

Here we see Bill Sidis' bottom-line position on life and its origins. It agrees fundamentally with our position that life is intrinsic in nature. Nature is 'alive.' Flux is crux. (He also agrees with this Pirsigean axiom, i.e., change is absolute, and we will show you his comments on flux elsewhere as we continue our studies of Sidis', The Animate and the Inanimate.)

From a few tidbits we have read, in The Animate and the Inanimate, we see WJS as almost a proto-Neo-sapien. You must remind yourself continuously that Bill Sidis wrote these words before and during 1920! He published The Animate and the Inanimate January 6, 1920! He was only 21 years old!

We may just begin to grasp his vast intuitive, intellectual, and heuristic powers.

As we continue our reading, we see affirmation of his own heuristics aligning more of Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality, MoQ, and its scientific dual, quantum science. Expect to see more here during November, 1999, and fruition during December, 1999.

Simply, we are awed!

Thanks for reading,

Doug. (6Nov99)

Our sincere thanks to Dan and Tom Mahony for sharing their copy of Sidis' book with us. Please visit Dan's new site at, and join his email list, SIDIS-L. Contact us for more information about Dan's email list, and see our link to his site on our top page. Dan will gradually add huge amounts of Sidis material to his site. Watch for it.

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