that I am almost human —
a quantity of beautiful and delicious berries
which I will eat
and save my species from extinction
while humming “There, There.”
— WDS 6/22/2012
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
link below to the online version of “Origin of Species”
In this extraordinary phylogenetic tree, every (yes, every) mammal is shown in evolutionary relationship with all the other mammals. Can you find us?
This link discusses a fascinating idea — that there are more things out there that we do not know about than there are things that we do know about. What an affront to our instinctive hubris.
cool and amazing video
finish Ch. 16 notes
ch. 16 guided reading is due
review for quiz
quiz – evolution (ch. 16)
I love Julia Child. It makes me happy just watching someone with that much talent have that much fun. I think a big part of her genius was her freeness and unconsciousness — she trusted herself more than she worried about the outcome. Very few of us achieve that in life.
So, here is Julia teaching us about primordial soup. I want to be able to teach this well some day.
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
Origin of Species (1859)
This beautiful passage is at the very end of the concluding chapter of OOS. It’s pretty amazing that someone with the analytical ability of Darwin could also write prose like that. Our education system today would probably steer a student of Darwin’s intellect and interest in the natural world toward a course of study emphasizing quantitative and technical studies with disinterest or outright contempt for literature and classical studies. It was precisely Darwin’s ability as a polymath that made him one of the great thinkers and communicators of all time.