From Schuyler Waynforth's blog entry on the Violet Ground Beetle:
William D. Hamilton is an evolutionary theorist, one of the most amazing of evolutionary theorists, who died in 2000 of a cereberal hemorrage brought on by malaria. His burial request was this:I will leave a sum in my last will for my body to be carried to Brazil and to these forests. It will be laid out in a manner secure against the possums and the vultures just as we make our chickens secure; and this great Coprophanaeus beetle will bury me. They will enter, will bury, will live on my flesh; and in the shape of their children and mine, I will escape death. No worm for me nor sordid fly, I will buzz in the dusk like a huge bumble bee. I will be many, buzz even as a swarm of motorbikes, be borne, body by flying body out into the Brazilian wilderness beneath the stars, lofted under those beautiful and un-fused elytra which we will all hold over our backs. So finally I too will shine like a violet ground beetle under a stone.I cried reading that. The wonderful athiesm in it all makes my heart leap with joy. I like that kind of reincarnation. It reminds me of Lee Hayes' song:If I should die before I wake,Bill Hamilton wasn't buried in the Brazilian wilderness. He was buried in Wytham Woods.
All my bone and sinew take
Put me in the compost pile
To decompose me for a while
Worms, water, sun, will have their way,
Returning me to common clay
All that I am will feed the trees
And little fishies in the seas.
When radishes and corn you munch,
You may be having me for lunch
And then excrete me with a grin,
Chortling, "There goes Lee again."
Twill be my happiest destiny
To die and live eternally.
Schuyler's blog isn't there anymore, but here is more about Schuyler