Curt Stager

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In existographies, Curt Stager (1- AE) (1956- ACM) (LH:1) is an American zoologist, geologist, biologist, specializing in lake ecology and paleoecology, noted for []


Stager's 2014 Your Atomic Self, wherein he attempts to argue for an atomic-centric view of things, turnover rate sort of philosophy.

In 2014, Stager, in his Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe, building on the so-called "Mike Adams" crawling carbon compounds biochemistry quote, the Carl Sagan you are "star stuff" model, and the atomic turnover rate model, attempted to present a "you are atoms" which live forever (after you die) type of philosophical outlook on human existence; the following is the abstract: [1]

“You will follow your oxygen atoms through fire and water and from forests to your fingernails. Hydrogen atoms will wriggle into your hair and betray where you live and what you have been drinking. The carbon in your breath will become tree trunks, and the sodium in your tears will link you to long-dead oceans. The nitrogen in your muscles will help to turn the sky blue, the phosphorus in your bones will help to turn the coastal waters of North Carolina green, the calcium in your teeth will crush your food between atoms that were mined by mushrooms, and the iron in your blood will kill microbes as it once killed a star. You will also discover that much of what death must inevitably do to your body is already happening among many of your atoms at this very moment and that, nonetheless, you and everyone else you know will always exist somewhere in the fabric of the universe. You are not only made of atoms; you are atoms, and this book, in essence, is an atomic field guide to yourself.”

Here we see what seems to be a "conservation of atoms" type of existence model.

While this type of discussion seems to be digging in the good direction, e.g. in respect to "continuity theory" (as replacement for the mythical afterlife models), we do note that we see a certain amount of "atomic anthropism", or anthropomorphizing nature, and panbioism-teetering themed language, e.g. talk of "dead oceans", "stars living", "stars dying", how iron can "kill a star". This brings to mind John Tyndall's "dead atoms" (1874) arguments, albeit Tyndall argued in the abioism direction. The correct point of view, is to employ not anthropisms (anthrop-isms)[2], but atomos-isms[3], and hence the abioism and life terminology reform language corrections.[4]

Stager’s books in theme, although he doesn't cite these authors, seems to be a mixture of Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish: a Journal into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2008)[5] and his The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People (2013)[6], along with Robert Sterner and James Elser’s 2002 Ecological Stoichiometry: the Biology of the Elements from the Molecules to the Biosphere[7], both of which employ the human molecular formula point of view.


Stager completed his BA in 1979 in biology and geology at Bowdoin College, his PhD in 1985 in zoology and geology at Duke University, and presently is the chair of lake ecology and paleoecology at Paul Smith’s College.[8]


Quotes | Employed

The following are quotes employed by Stager:

“Unknowingly, we plough the dust of stars, blown around us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.”
— Ihab Hassan (1985), Paracriticisms (pg. 99)[9]; cited by Curt Stager (2014) in Your Atomic Self (pg. 1)

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Stager:

“Here’s to those ancestral stars whose relatively short lives and violent deaths made us — and our atoms — what we are.”
— Curt Stager (2014), Your Atomic Self (pg. xi)
Atomic motions cause the waxing and waning of rivers, so too do they produce the transient body that you — whatever ‘you’ means[10] — currently inhabit before its substance flows back into the great global sea of atoms. Consider, then, the particles that are departing your body at this very moment. There is no need to wait for death to scatter you to the winds, waters, and soils of the world. It is already happening.”
— Paul Stager (2014), Your Atomic Self (pg. #) [11]

End matter

See also


  1. Stager, Curt. (2014). Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe (pg. 86). MacMillan.
  2. Anthropos – Wikipedia.
  3. Atomos – Wikipedia.
  4. Thims, Libb. (66AE). Abioism: No Thing is Alive, On the Non-Existence of Life (pdf). Publisher.
  5. Shubin, Neil. (2008). Your Inner Fish: a Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (Lucy, pgs. 26-27; first life, pg. 121). Random House.
  6. Shubin, Neil. (2013). The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People (§: pg. #; end note, pg. 198). Random House.
  7. Sterner, Robert and Elser, James. (2002). Ecological Stoichiometry: the Biology of Elements from Molecules to the Biosphere (human molecule, empirical formula pg. 3; discussion, pgs. 47, 135). Princeton University Press.
  8. Curt Stager (faculty) –
  9. Hassan, Ihab. (1985). Paracriticisms: Seven Speculations of the Times (pg. 99). Publisher.
  10. Compare: yourself.
  11. Your Atomic Self (quotes) – GoodReads.
  12. Atomism – Hmolpedia.

External links

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