darwin: build them and they will run

The man with the biggest club has all the fun…

…As a book, The Origin of Species gains enormously from the range of interests that a natural scientist could still, in the mid-nineteenth century, allow himself. It is a work of original research- as original as anything ever published- yet it is also a vast panorama of the natural world seen in the light of natural selection and in the almost endless perspective of geological time as it was now understood. Its author was not merely another evolutionist, or even one who, like Alfred Russell Wallace, had seen where the key to evolution lay. He was a geologist who had produced the modern theory of the formation of coral reefs, and explained, on geological grounds, the gaps in the fossil record.

—How were these sounds presumed to have been selected? Writing 12 years after his magnum opus “The Origin of Species”, Charles Darwin assumed that mimicry of the natural world, mixed with selection and variation, would give rise to the tens of thousands of words of the modern language. That would make a lot of sense if more words were like “Mao”, the Chinese word for cat. But what of the English word cat? Where did we get that from? MyEtymology.com tells me that it’s from the Proto-Germanic root “kattuz,” but that doesn’t much seem like a sound we would expect – a cat-like sound. —Read More:http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/07/20/intelligent-design-in-language/ image:http://www.chaplin.pl/films/hisprehistoricpast/hisprehistoricpast.html

Wallace was a painstaking research worker, one of the world’s leading authorities on barnacles, who devoted much of the latter part of his life to the fertilization of orchids and the activities of earthworms. His equipment as a student of nature was virtually complete. The former undergraduate beetle collector was geologist, botanist, zoologist, and later, physical anthropologist. He was a paleontologist who had himself dug up a fossilized Megatherium ( an extinct ground sloth), and ecologist who had observed the inter-relations of organic life in tropical forests and in the grounds of Down House, his Kent home, and a former sportsman who was fully aware of the effects, in dog breeding, of selection by man. The first chapter of the Origin was called “Variation under Domestication.”

—In the Origin of Species Darwin almost completely avoided mention of man. Indeed the only comment on man is a brief passage near the end: “In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” (Darwin, 1859, p. 458, 1st edition).
It was Sir Francis Galton (Whitney, 1990), Darwin’s half-cousin, who immediately pursued the implications for psychology. Galton was one of the many scientists who, upon exposure to Darwin’s theory of natural selection, reacted by saying something along the lines of “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?” By 1865 Galton had published two papers dealing with the inheritance of individual differences, published under the title Hereditary Talent and Character, which were then elaborated in his 1869 book, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences (Galton, 1869).—Read More:http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v21/v21n2p20_whitney.html image:http://cheesecakeslice.blogspot.ca/2012/10/lobby-cards-prehistoric-women-1966.html

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