The Andromeda Strain Paradox

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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