In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Crazy Cake
  • Chris Anderson (bio)

It took the universe 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing book.

—John Mather, on the cover of Michael Dowd's Thank God for Evolution

It took the universe 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing chair.It took the universe 13.7 billion years to produce this amazing pen.It took the universe 13.7 billion years to produce that amazingrhododendron outside my window and the winter wren overflowingin that rhododendron, that amazing, bubbling winter wren, overflowing,not to mention my ears, which hear it, and my eyes, which see it.It seems that life is almost indecently eager to evolve eyes,Richard Dawkins says. The compound eye of an insect or a prawn,he says, or camera eyes like ours or a squid's, or parabolic reflector eyes,like those of a limpet. This is all going somewhere, in other words.It's cumulative. It's purposeful. It's always coming to a point.It takes an entire universe to make an apple pie, Carl Sagan says.It takes an entire universe to make a banana split, with whip creamand a cherry on top. It takes an entire universe to make a crazy cake,the way Mom used to, before she died. No eggs. Just thumb three wellsinto the cocoa and the flour, then pour oil into one well, vinegarinto the second, and vanilla into the third. Stir, bake, let cool, and frostwith vanilla frosting. Oh, how I loved it! I couldn't stop eating.Stars had to explode to produce all the ingredients. Eons for the wheat.Think of the skies above the fields and the color of the skies.Think of the winter wren: 2/3rds of its body is devoted to the productionof song. It's such a tiny thing, it weighs barely an ounce, but insidethat feathery body the bones hollow and the lungs expandand the melody and purity of that song keep bubbling and pouring out.Amazing. The wren is merely a space, an emptiness,through which song is produced. It is otherwise hardly even there. [End Page 269]

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is a professor of English at Oregon State University and a Roman Catholic deacon. He has written, co-written, or edited fourteen books in a variety of genres and on a variety of subjects, including Free/Style: A Direct Approach to Writing (Houghton Mifflin, 1992); Edge Effects: Notes from an Oregon Forest (Iowa, 1993), a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in creative nonfiction; and Teaching as Believing: Faith in the University (Baylor, 2004). He recently published a volume of poems, The Next Thing Always Belongs (Airlie, 2011).



Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 269
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.