Would you take a lizard and squish it, and then stomp on it until it's flat, and then keep stomping until it's been broken up into carbon and water and look at that and then say, "Aha! Now I understand a lizard."?

The short answer is, "Of course not."

The long answer is much more interesting, and begins with, "Well, no, but I should understand that a lizard has water and carbon in it, and I had better also understand water and carbon on their own. Then I might have a shot at understanding a lizard."

I find this comes up surprisingly often in conversations at 3am.

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