A Douglas Adams Google Doodle graces the search engine’s home page today, and fans of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy series have been tweeting and Facebooking their reactions to the interactive cartoon.
Douglas Adams’ Google Doodle commemorates the influential work of the British writer, who passed away of a sudden heart attack in 2001 at the age of 49. After Adams’ death, biologist Richard Dawkins wrote in the dedication of his 2006 book The God Delusion that “science has lost a friend, literature has lost a luminary, the mountain gorilla and the black rhino have lost a gallant defender.”
The Douglas Adams Google Doodle is full of references to the author’s works, including the number 42, Marvin the “paranoid android,” the words “Don’t Panic” and some interactivity.
At Adams’ funeral, he was quoted as having said of life and its complexity in relation to humans:
“If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat. Life is a level of complexity that almost lies outside our vision; it is so far beyond anything we have any means of understanding that we just think of it as a different class of object, a different class of matter; ‘life’, something that had a mysterious essence about it, was God given, and that’s the only explanation we had.”
The quote continues:
“The bombshell comes in 1859 when Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species. It takes a long time before we really get to grips with this and begin to understand it, because not only does it seem incredible and thoroughly demeaning to us, but it’s yet another shock to our system to discover that not only are we not the centre of the Universe and we’re not made by anything, but we started out as some kind of slime and got to where we are via being a monkey. It just doesn’t read well.”
Head on over to Google to see Douglas Adams’ Google Doodle to commemorate his 61st birthday.