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Farewall greeting from Alexander Erich Kohts // Прощальное приветствие Александра Федоровича Котс

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Published on Apr 8, 2011

Allow me to say a few words of farewell.

Presently you and I will part.
But in parting, we shall stand in solidarity
and recall that without a complete
and profound knowledge of nature
it is not possible to fashion
a modern and free scientific worldview.

And even if some of you say: this very scientific worldview
serves one well when he is behind the pulpit,
in the laboratory, and in the museum, but
one must not rely on it during the difficult moments
of one's life.

Believe me, only those who have not thought
through the evolutionary idea can speak thusly.
But having pondered it to its impenetrable depths,
it is specifically in the idea of evolution
where we find the answers on all matters of daily life.

And this is not a mere talk.
And I pledge this entire museum which was created
half a century ago literally from nothing and just
because of these evolutionary depths
stood and stand behind each of my butterflies' wings
and each of my birds' feathers.

And on parting with you, perhaps for all time,
I ask you to accept this final covenant.

My goal was not to charge you with new facts
or new ideas. My task was entirely different one
and the more perceptive of you, perhaps,
have understood what it was.

Take just a little of the faith I have in science!
My love of science...

Will sow in you the spark of my enthusiasm,
and this spark, I beg you, to carry with you,
and let burn unnoticed and unseen until the moment
when, perhaps, for you comes the time
to look up and around or when fatigue
or reflection overcomes and you may
ask yourself, what could give theory of evolution
to the life. And then remember these walls
and my words.

And let my little spark begin to smolder in you,
and take hold of you, and burn and give warmth,
and give you strength to continue to serve
our great motherland, the country of our great people.

With this request, and these wishes,
with this covenant, let me bid farewell.

Translated by Sunny M. Bosco

http://www.kohts.com

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