We no doubt became the humans we are from having learned – will we ever know how? – that we were going to die. . . But, by ending up destroying our lives, death constructs them: without the stiff cadaver it leaves behind, without the sex it was long believed to imply or the irreversible time it brings about, would we ever have painted the walls of caves, lit fires, sung within the lacework of language, danced for the gods, observed the stars, demonstrated geometrical theorems, loved our companions, educated children, lastly lived in society?
Michel Serres, Hominescence, translated by Randolph Burks