"You feel okay?" Thorne said.
"Better all the time," Malcolm said. He sighed. His body relaxed. "You know, there's a reason why people like morphine," he said.
Sarah Harding adjusted the inflatable plastic splint around Malcolm's leg. She said to Thorne, "How long until the helicopter comes?"
Thorne glanced at his watch. "Less than five hours. Dawn tomorrow."
Harding nodded. "Okay. He'll be okay."
"I'm fine," Malcolm said, in a dreamy voice. "I'm just sad that the experiment is over. And it was such a good experiment, too. So elegant. So unique. Darwin never knew."
Harding said to Thorne, "I'm going to clean this out now. Hold his leg for me." More loudly, she said, "What didn't Darwin know, Ian?"
"That life is a complex system," he said, "and everything that goes along with that. Fitness landscapes. Adaptive walks. Boolean nets. Self-organizing behavior. Poor man. Ouch! What are you doing there?"
"Just tell us," Harding said, bent over the wound. "Darwin had no idea..."
"That life is so unbelievably complex," Malcolm said. "Nobody realizes it. I mean, a single fertilized egg has a hunderd thousand genes, which act in a coordinated way, switching on and off at specific times, to transform that single cell into a complete living creature. That one cell starts to divide, but the subsequent cells are different. They specialize. Some are nerve. Some are gut. Some are limb. Each set of cells begins to follow its own program, developing, interacting. Eventually there are two hundred and fifty different kinds of cells, all developing together, at exactly the right time. Just when the organism needs a circulatory system, the heart starts pumping. Just when hormones are needed, the adrenals start to make them. Week after weed, this unimaginably complex development proceeds perfectly--perfectly. It's incredible. No human activity comes close. 馬康姆