Back to Methuselah [George Bernard Shaw] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. George Bernard Shaw () is revered as one of the . The Project Gutenberg eBook, Back to Methuselah, by George Bernard Shaw This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Complete summary of George Bernard Shaw’s Back to Methuselah. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Back to Methuselah.

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Nobody would listen to him. The human mind has been soaked in heredity as long back as we can trace its thought.

If you like eating the tender tops of trees enough to make you concentrate all your energies on the stretching of your neck, you will finally get georeg long neck, like the giraffe.

However, as society changed, she found herself being lifted out of poverty, and also, like the archbishop, has risen to a ministerial position.

One might as well expect Napoleon to be a fencer, or the Georgee Royal to know how many beans make five any better than his bookkeeper. What is My Religious Faith, pp. She is outraged when Burge-Lubin declines the offer.

Back to Methuselah

As such the archbishop got into the habit of staging his own death and then taking on a new identity. It threw the authority of science on the side of the Socialist who said that he who would reform himself must first reform society.

There is hardly a laborer attached to an English country house who has not taken a litter of kittens or puppies to the bucket, and drowned all of them except the one he thinks the most promising. As the anti-Bradlaugh member would have put it, there must be somebody behind the something: She learns of the Archbishop’s longevity with great interest but no evident surprise and it soon emerges that she, also, is long lived and remembers Archbishop Haslam from the time she was parlour maid for Franklyn Barnabas.

Neither the rulers nor the ruled understand high politics. Shaw adds a new twist to the idea of the corruption of humanity as we see with the conversation with the serpent. Confucius—nominally a consultant from China— is, de factothe head of government. Darwin’s industry was enormous. And if other and still indispensable habits and modifications have been built on the ones we wish to discard, we must provide a new foundation for them before we demolish the old one. My answer is that it sometimes does.


The foreigners live no longer than the English, but they mature early. Evolutionism was the rage before Queen Victoria came to the throne. This, I would argue, is a case of weakness of faith because change is not only good, but necessary, and those who are strong in their faith can change things without destroying the faith.

The Socialists were specially encouraged by Darwin’s insistence on the influence of environment. Both are speaking English, but their cultural backgrounds are so different that communication is not easy.

Back to Methuselah/Preface – Wikisource, the free online library

The final scene we see humanity at their apex. Pedigree men counted pedigree dogs and pedigree horses among their most methsuelah possessions. In procession, youths carry a new tunic, ewers of water, geore sponges and, finally a huge egg, which is placed upon the altar. As is indicated in the book of Proverbs, the reason that the book is being compiled is so that the son may learn from the mistakes of the father.

Hereditary peers, hereditary monarchs, hereditary castes and trades and classes were the best known of social institutions, and in some cases of public nuisances. Instead of sculptures, he has brought a scientist, Pygmalionwho is a greater artist than the world has seen before. If the driving power behind Evolution is omnipotent only in the sense that there seems no meyhuselah to its final achievement; and if it must meanwhile struggle with matter and circumstance by the method of trial and error, then the world must be full of its unsuccessful experiments.

Christ may meet a tiger, or a High Priest arm-in-arm with a Roman Governor, and be the unfittest methuselay survive under the circumstances.

Though Lamarck’s way, the way of life, will, aspiration, and achievement, remained still possible, this newly shewn way of hunger, death, stupidity, delusion, chance, and bare survival was also possible: Even its pessimism as it faces the cooling of the sun and the return of the ice-caps does not degrade the pessimist: It will benefit anyone open minded and ready to not mistake the book’s scientific or science fiction credentials with its intellectual value.

Factors which formerly methuselahh to be considered one by one in succession are integrated into what seems a single simple factor. Now, older and much wiser, he decided to approach it again, though we must be aware that Metuuselah rejects the idea of evolution being based around natural selection, otherwise described as ‘red in tooth and claw’.

Berhard fact Shaw spends quite a long passage of the preface highlighting how natural selection is so obvious it has become the selling point of Darwinism for all types of people and affiliations. Good blood and breeding were eagerly sought after in human marriage.


His proof is that the butterfly immediately settles again on the flower, and repeats the performance every time the lizard springs, thus shewing that it learns nothing from experience, and–Weismann concludes–is not conscious of what it does. He knew that gardeners had spent their lives trying to breed black tulips and green carnations and unheard-of orchids, and had actually produced flowers just as strange to Eve.

Cutting off the tails of several generations of mice is not voluptuous enough to tempt a scientific Nero. Shaw also advocates what he calls homeopathy as a pedagogical method, arguing that society “can only be lamed and enslaved by” education.

Schopenhauer was credited with inventing the distinction between the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Works which troubled Cromwell on his deathbed. Burge-Lubin is chiding himself indulgently for mixing romance with business when Barnabas bursts in, completely overwhelmed.

Back to Methuselah – Wikipedia

Except for the brothers, only the housemaid is greatly influenced by the prospect of longevity, for she turns out to be the only one who has really read Conrad’s book. It will be a busy day at the nursery: It was the best He could think of then; but when it gy out wrong on His hands He made you and me to fight the croup for Him.

If the giraffe can develop his neck by wanting and trying, a man can develop his character in the same way. The idea is that a short life span hinders the ability to be able to evolve, which is why the politician’s shas cry is ‘Back to Methuselah’. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.

Once humanity can increase its lifespan, humanity can gain wisdom, and bernnard gaining wisdom, humanity and evolve into the next stage. Back to Methuselah But it was not its social vices that brought it low. An attempt by one of the most intelligent thinkers, gack, people of last century to peep into future of evolution – beyond the present limits of where we are.

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