The Andromeda Strain Paradox

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The author’s used copy of The Andromeda Strain (photo via author).The Andromeda Strain ParadoxMichael Crichton’s 1969 thriller The Andromeda Strain, about an extraterrestrial plague arriving in New Mexico on a crashed satellite, contains an apparent paradox (to avoid a minor spoiler relating to this 51-year-old novel, skip to the next paragraph). There are only two survivors from the small town where the satellite crashed, and they have nothing in common: a 69-year-old man addicted to Sterno (the cans of methanol used to fuel the fires under chafing dishes), and a healthy infant. A series of m…

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