Attack of the Jellyfish!

Jellyfish Gone Wild!!

There’s an H.P. Lovecraft story in there, somewhere. (Although Lovecraft seemed to prefer mollusks to coelenterates. Hey, it looks like the term coelenterate is now obsolete — jellyfish are now phylum Cnidaria. Since when?)

Reminds me of AP biology class in high school. Classmate J. Harrison (who attended medical school with me, and apparently is now an internist practicing in Bethesda) asked Mr. Williams how to kill a Portuguese Man-Of-War: since it is a colony of cells, it might simply regroup if you attack it with a physical weapon (e.g., a two-handed sword or a mace). Mr. Williams became very indignant, saying, “Now, what kind of question is that? It has as much right to live as you do. No, I’m not going to answer that question. Next question?”

And that reminds me of some intriguing statements of a certain Princeton philosopher, about the relative worth of animal life versus human life.

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Published in: on 13 December 2008 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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