7 October 2009

Mike Atherton hits it out of the ground on The Origin.

An article in today's (London) Times looks at four writers' science epiphanies. It's a good read and instructive to see how the scientific scales dropped from formerly indifferent eyes.

Cricketer Mike Atherton's contribution particularly made me cheer, even before coffee. Atherton was a superb batsman who had the misfortune to captain the England cricket team when we were a particularly indifferent, cross-eyed malco-ordinated outfit regularly pummeled by all comers. But on science he times it beautifully off the bat and cover drives it for a four...
In our house, David Attenborough is a living god and it is to the great man that I defer most of my children’s questions through his wonderful documentaries. It is hard to think that there is a better living broadcaster: expertise, lightly worn, combined with unbridled, childlike enthusiasm and a lovely, warm voice makes him the perfect conduit between ignorance and scientific knowledge.

His recent programme, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Lifewas epic television. It made me realise that you cannot go through life having not read the most important scientific book ever, and so On the Origin of Species is lying by my bedside.
No hang on, he slogs it brutally a out of the ground for a 6:
After all, you wouldn’t want your son growing up as a loony creationist, would you?
Damn right Mike.

(For our American readers who may not get the cricket references: hitting a '4' means that the batsman hits the ball to the boundary but it bounces at least once on the way. The cover-drive is a particularly elegant batting shot. Hitting a 6 means that the batsman really gives it some humpty and wallops the ball clean over the boundary rope.)

4 comments:

Bob O'H said...

No hang on, he slogs it brutally a out of the ground for a 6:
Sorry, I'm confused. This must be some other Mike Atherton I was previously unaware of.

God, BTW, is currently revealing his wisdom unto us mortals on R4.

Hmmm. word verification: argubiff

Mike said...

I've just enjoyed reading this post but couldn’t help wondering if “gives it some humpty and wallops the ball clean over the boundary rope” is really going to help your US readers.

Peter McGrath said...

Mike, if they can't get this crystal clear description we will have to prescribe an intensive course of test Match Special language therapy so that we are no longer two nations divided by a common language.

Bob: chortle (from a Yorkshire cricket fan).

Peter McGrath said...
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