has a within as well as a without,
taking place on both
the physical and psychic
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
"There are two
theories of evolution. There is
the genuine scientific
theory; and there is the talk-radio pretend version, designed not to
enlighten but to
deceive and enrage." - Edward Humes
"Variability is not
actually caused by man; he only unintentionally exposes organic beings to new
conditions of life, and then nature acts on the organization and causes it to
vary. man can and does select the variations given to him by nature, and thus
accumulates them in any desired manner.
Mankind thus adapts animals and
plants for his own benefit or pleasure. Mankind may do this methodically, or he
may do it subconsciously
by preserving the individuals
most useful or pleasing to him without any intention of altering the
It is certain that he can largely
influence the character of
a breed by selecting, in each successive generation, individual differences so
slight as to be inappreciable except by an educated eye. This
subconscious process of
selection has been the great agency in the formation of the most distinct and
useful domestic breeds. That many breeds produced by man have to a large extent
the character of natural species, is shown by the inextricable doubts whether
many of them are varieties or aboriginally distinct species.
no reason why the principles which have acted so efficiently under
domestication should not have acted under nature. In the
survival of favored individuals and
races, during the constantly recurrent struggle for existence, we see a
powerful and ever acting form of selection.
The struggle for existence
inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio of increase which is common
to all organic beings. This high rate of increase is proved by
calculation, by the rapid increase
of many animals and plants during a succession of peculiar seasons, and when
naturalized in new countries.
More individuals are born than can possibly
survive. A grain in the
balance may determine which
individuals shall live, and which shall die, which variety or species shall
increase in number, and which shall decrease, or finally become
As the individuals of the
same species come in all regards into the closest competition with each other,
the struggle will generally be most severe between them; it will be almost
equally severe between the varieties of the same species, and next in severity
between the species of the same genus.
On the other hand the struggle will often be severe between beings remote
in the scale of nature. The slightest advantage in certain individuals, at any
age or during any season, over those with which they come into competition, or
better adaptation in however slight a
degree to the surrounding physical conditions, will, in the long run, turn the
having separated sexes,
there will be in most cases a struggle
between the males for the possession of the females. The most vigorous
males, or those which have most successfully struggled with their conditions of
life, will generally leave most progeny. Success will often depend on the males
having special weapons, or means of
defense, or charms; and a slight advantage will lead to victory.
geology plainly proclaims that each land
has undergone great physical changes, we might have expected to find that
organic beings have varied under nature, in the same way as they have varied
Variabilty in nature can only be
explained by natural selection.
How Small Genetic Differences Give Rise to Racial
Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial
Man, though acting on external characters
alone and often capriciously, can produce within a short period a great result
by adding up mere individual differences
in his domestic productions; and everyone admits that species present
individual differences. But, besides such differences, all
naturalists admit that natural
varieties exist, which are considered sufficiently distinct to be worthy of
record in systematic works.
has drawn any clear distinction between individual differences and slight
varieties; or between more plainly marked varieties and sub-species and
species. On separate continents, and on different parts of the same continent
when divided by barriers of any category, and on outlying
islands, what a multitude of forms exist,
which some experienced naturalists
rank as varieties, others as geographical races or sub-species, and others as
distinct, though closely allied species!
If then, animals and plants do
vary, let it be ever so slightly or slowly, why should not variations or
individual differences, which are in any way beneficial, be preserved and
accumulated through natural selection, or the
survival of the fittest?
If man can by patience select variations useful to him, why, under
changing and complex conditions of life, should not variations useful to
nature's living products often arise, and be preserved or selected? What limit
can be put to this power, acting during long ages and rigidly scrutinizing the
whole structure, and habits of each creature, -
favoring the good and rejecting
I can see no limit to this power, in slowly and beautifully
adapting each form to the most complex relations of life. The theory of
natural selection, even if we
look no farther than this, appears to be in the highest degree
As each species tends by its geometrical rate of
reproduction to increase inordinately in
number; and as the modified
descendants of each species will be enabled to increase by as much as they
become more diversified in habits and structure, so as to be able to seize on
many and widely different places in the economy of
nature, there will be a constant
tendency in natural selection to preserve the most divergent offspring of any
Hence, during a long continued course of modification, the
slight differences characteristic of
varieties of the same species, tend to be augmented into the greater
differences characteristic of the species of the same genus. New and improved
varieties will inevitably supplant and exterminate the older, less improved,
and intermediate varieties; and thus species are rendered to a large extent
defined and distinct objects.
Dominant species belonging to the larger
groups within each class tend to give birth to new and dominant forms; so that
each large group tends to become still larger, and at the same time more
divergent in character. But as all groups cannot thus go on increasing in size,
for the Earth would not hold them, the more dominant groups beat the less
This tendency in the large groups to go on increasing in size
and diverging in character, together
with the inevitable contingency of much
extinction, explains the
arrangement of all the forms of life in groups subordinate to groups, all
within a few great classes, which has prevailed throughout all
"We can to a certain extent understand how it is that there
is so much beauty throughout nature;
for this may be largely attributed to the agency of selection.
beauty, according to our sense of it, is not universal, must be admitted by
everyone who will look at some venomous snakes, at some fishes, and at certain
hideous bats with a distorted resemblance to the human face.
selection has given the most brilliant colors, elegant patterns, and other ornaments to the
males, and sometimes to both sexes, of many birds, butterflies, and other
animals. With birds it has often rendered the voice of the male musical to the
female, as well as to our ears.
fruit have been rendered
conspicuous by brilliant colors in contrast with the green foliage, in order
that the flowers may be easily
seen, visited, and fertilized by insects, and the seeds disseminated by
How it comes that certain colors, sounds, and forms should give
pleasure to man and the lower animals, - that is, how the sense of
beauty in its simplest form was first
acquired, - we do not know any more than how certain odors and flavors were
first rendered agreeable."
"It can hardly be supposed that a false
theory would explain, in so satisfactory a manner as does the theory of natural
selection, the reason all living things have much in common, in their chemical
composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their
liability to injurious influences.
recently been objected that this is an unsafe method of arguing; but it is a
method used in judging of the common events of life, and has often been used by
the greatest natural
philosophers. The undulatory theory of light has thus been arrived at; and
the belief in the revolution
of the Earth on its own axis was until lately supported by hardly any direct
It is no valid objection that science as yet throws no
light on to the far higher problem of the essence or origin of life."
"When we no longer look at an
organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as something wholly beyond his
comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a
long history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the
summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, in the same way
as any great mechanical invention is the
summing up of the labor, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of
numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more
interesting does the study of natural history become!"
interesting to contemplate a tangled 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 upon
each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around
"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 Earth 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."
" False facts are highly injurious
to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if
supported by some evidence, do little
harm, for everyone takes a
salutary pleasure in proving their falseness;
and when this is done, one path towards
error is closed and the way to truth is
often at the same time opened."
"I see no good
reason why the views given in this volume should
shock the religious feelings of
anyone. It is so easy to hide our ignorance under such expressions
as the "plan of creation," "unity of design," etc., and to think that we give an
explanation when we only restate a fact."
naturalist, excerpts from Origin
of the Species
"What is wrong with the idea that God created
evolution as an extremely long process in which life forms change over time and
positive changes, relative to the environment, increase the chances that a life
form will pass on its genes to the next generations. Something tells me God is
not in a hurry." - Steve Paskay
"There are eminent scientists and
theologians who, while accepting the
established findings of science, from the
big bang to the evolution of our
species, also perceive creative
spirit and palpable compassion
within themselves to the extent that they cannot rule out an ultimate
divine energy and
presence within everything that exists." - Bill McAuliffe
analysis suggests that there was an
Eve, the mother, and an
Adam, the father, of
all homo sapiens.
We are all just one big happy family ! Versatility is the
hallmark of the primate hand. With minor variations between species,
thirty-five joints accommodate the palm and fingers to branches and objects of
all sizes, shapes, and orientations. Six layers of muscles produce movements
that propel the animals and effect gripping patterns used in maintaining feeding and
resting positions, securing an infant's hold on its
mother, removing parasites from the
fur, catching insects, plucking fruits, extracting foods from their
source, and positioning objects for tactile,
olfactory, and visual scrutiny.
Multiple structural constraints on
mobility stabilize joints in regions that are habitually exposed to stresses
during these positional and manipulatory activities. The locations and
configurations of these constraints vary considerably among species, as do the
relative proportions of hand segments, reflecting the diversity of their
locomotor and feeding patterns.
The key to the versatility of primate hands is to be found in the
nature of the thumb and the fingertips. The thumb is structurally and
functionally differentiated from the rest of the fingers. The tips of all five
digits are relatively broad, with moist, ridged, sensitive palmar pads that are
supported by nails. The advantages of a grasping hand are most apparent in the
levels of the forest where vines,
bushes, and the slender upper and outer branches of the canopy offer the least
purchase to a paw with claws on the fingertips.
Differentiation of the
thumb provides the ability for prehension of objects by one hand. The variety
and skill of prehensile activities depend upon the details of joint structure, the relative length of
the thumb and fingers, the sensory nerve supply to the distal digital pads, and
the motor control of hand movements by the
the human hand
Pounding with hand-held hammer
stones has possibly been the tool-using and tool-making activity with the
greatest frequency and antiquity in
hominid evolution. It is an activity which directs large, repetitive forces
toward the central region of the palm.
Production of forceful and
accurate blows by a hand-held stone requires control of the hammer stone by
firm precision grips which assure both retention of the stone in the hand and
fine adjustments in its orientation by the thumb and fingers.
Stabilization of objects that are held in the other hand and pounded by
hammer stones in the production of tools also requires firm precision grips and
the ability to vary the orientation of the stone.
The central region of
the modern human palm is stabilized, buttressed, and protected against
intrinsic and extrinsic forces associated with the grasp and manipulation of
stones in pounding by robust bones and a fat-pad.
A secure grasp and
controlled maneuvering of stones by the thumb, fingers, and palm are
facilitated by a unique pattern of hand proportions and joint-and-muscle
configurations that permit cupping of the hand and the formation of a wide
variety of grips.
The proportionately long thumb and short fingers with
broad fingertip pads are able to maneuver the stones and to hold them firmly,
exploiting the leverage of the fingers, or bracing the stones against the palm.
The unique arrangement of intrinsic musculature and orientation of
joints along the second, third, and fifth rays,
favoring rotation of the
fingers, allow optimal positioning of the thumb and fingers for grasping and
orienting the stones.
Grips that were found through experimentation to
accommodate and control the stones most comfortably and effectively involved
primarily the thumb, index, and third fingers. These included the pad-to-side
and three-jaw-chuck thumb/finger grips and extensions of these grips that
incorporate the palm as a passive buttress. The three-jaw-chuck thumb/finger
grip is most effective both for wielding hammer stones and for throwing stones.
Stones of about 500 grams, comparable in size to tennis balls, are held
by the thumb, index, and third fingers, frequently against the side of the
flexed fourth finger which in turn is buttressed by the flexed fifth finger as
a support. The tip of the thumb and index and third fingertips control the
orientation of the stone and keep it away from the palm, so that the leverage
of these rays is exploited in propelling the stone. The pressure and leverage
of these rays are important factors in controlling the rotation and speed of an
object thrown by the hand.
The modern human hand structure of the
joints along the fifth ray probably contributes to the effectiveness of the
finger/active-palm squeeze grip, which employs all the fingers and active
convergence of the palm around a cylindrical tool, such as an antler hammer, to
secure it, so that the tool functions as an extension of the hand and/or arm.
The use of small modern tools such as needles and pencils involves the
rotation and translation
of objects by the pads of the fingertips opposed to the tip of the thumb pad,
exploiting a unique human compartmentalization of these
mutant primate with a strange DNA
When one looks at the chromosomes of
humans and the living great apes (orangutan, gorilla, and
chimpanzee), it is immediately
apparent that there is a great deal of similarity between the number and
overall appearance of the chromosomes across the four different species.
There are differences but the overall similarity is striking.
The following observations can be made about similarities and
differences among the four species.
The great apes have 24 pairs of
chromosomes while humans have only 23 pairs.
Except for differences in
non genetic heterochromatin, chromosomes 6, 13, 19, 21, 22, and X have
identical banding patterns in all four species.
Chromosomes 3, 11, 14,
15, 18, 20, and Y look the same in three of the four species (those three being
gorilla, chimps, and humans), and chromosomes 1, 2p, 2q, 5, 7 - 10, 12, and 16
are alike in two species.
Chromosomes 4 and 17 are different among all
Most of the chromosomal differences among the four species
involve inversions - localities on the chromosome that have been inverted, or
swapped end for end. This is a relatively common occurrence among many species,
and has been documented in humans. An inversion usually does not reduce
Other types of rearrangements include a few translocations
(parts swapped among the chromosomes), and the presence or absence of nucleolar
organizers. All of these differences can be observed to be occurring in modern
The largest single chromosomal rearrangement among the
four species is the unique number of chromosomes (23 pairs) found in humans as
opposed to the great apes (24 pairs).
There are two potential naturalistic explanations for the difference in
chromosome numbers - either a fusion of two separate chromosomes occurred in
the human line, or a fission of a chromosome occurred among the apes.
The evidence favors a
fusion event in the human line.
The chromosomes were apparently joined
end to end, and the ends of chromosomes (called the telomere ) have a
distinctive structure from the rest of the chromosome. Evidence suggests that
the vicinity of chromosome 2 where the fusion is expected to occur, we see
first sequences that are characteristic of the pre-telomeric region, then a
section of telomeric sequences, and then another section of pre-telomeric
sequences. In the telomeric section, it is observed that there is a point where
instead of being arranged head to tail, the telomeric repeats suddenly reverse
direction - evidence of fusion.
In chromosomes that have been fused we
should see evidence of two centromeres, the distinctive central part of the
chromosome. Evidence of fusion exists as remnants of the 2p and 2q centromeres
Some may raise the objection that if the fusion was a
naturalistic event, how could the first human ancestor with the fusion have
We have all
heard that the horse and the donkey produce an
infertile mule in crossing because of a
different number of chromosomes in the two species.
chromosome number are known to occur in many different animal species, and
although they sometimes seem to lead to reduced fertility, this is often not
The last remaining species of wild horse, Przewalski's
(sha-val-skis) Wild Horse has 66 chromosomes while the domesticated horse has
64 chromosomes. Despite this difference in chromosome number, Przewalski's Wild
Horse and the domesticated horse can be crossed and do produce fertile
offspring which possess 65 chromosomes.
rearrangement has recently been discovered, this one shared both by humans and
chimpanzees, but not found in any of the other monkeys or apes that were
This rearrangement was the movement of about 100,000
DNA pairs from human chromosome
1 to the Y chromosome10.
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