Having spent my entire work life in healthcare, I was doubly fascinated by several key passages in Bryson’s wonderful book about the “shells” we carry around all of our lives. I’ll start at the beginning and end with a quote from the last chapter:
“That is unquestionably the most astounding thing about us—that we are just a collection of inert components, the same stuff you would find in a pile of dirt. I’ve said it before in another book, but I believe it’s worth repeating: the only thing special about the elements that make you is that they make you. That is the miracle of life.”
“DNA is extremely stable. It can last for tens of thousands of years. It is nowadays what enables scientists to work out the anthropology of the very distant past.”
“Altogether, the human brain is estimated to hold something on the order of two hundred exabytes of information, roughly equal to “the entire digital content of today’s world,” according to Nature Neuroscience.*1 If that is not the most extraordinary thing in the universe, then we certainly have some wonders yet to find.”
“The largest source of foodborne illness is not meat or eggs or mayonnaise, as commonly supposed, but green leafy vegetables. They account for one in five of all food illnesses.”
“According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, between 50 and 60 percent of terminally ill patients report having intense but highly comforting dreams about their impending passing.”
It was simply the most fascinating book I have ever read about what makes us tick. It solidifies for me who makes us tick. It’s all one large miracle in the hands of the Creator that ceaselessly fascinates my abundant curiosity. I think the above might well start you on this journey with Bill Bryson as your guide.