"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
"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.
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.
There is 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
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
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
better adaptation in however slight a
degree to the surrounding physical conditions, will, in the long run, turn the
With animals 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
special weapons, or means of defense, or
charms; and a slight advantage will lead to victory.
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 under domestication.
If there has been
any variability under nature, it would be an unaccountable
fact if natural selection had not come into
play. It has often been asserted, but the
assertion is incapable of proof, that the amount of variation under nature is a
strictly limited quantity.
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
No one 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
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
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 the bad?
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 one species.
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 dominant.
This tendency in the large groups to go on
increasing in size and diverging in
character, together with the inevitable contingency of much
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 time."
"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
That 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
Sexual 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 birds.
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
"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
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 evidence.
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
Charles Darwin, naturalist, excerpts from Origin of the
"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
throughout recorded history
as well as common human
suggest a common human
analysis suggests that there was an
mother of all homo
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
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
handPounding 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.
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
a mutant primate with a
strange DNAWhen 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.
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.
4 and 17 are different among all 4 species.
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 fertility.
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 populations.
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
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
The evidence favors a fusion event in the human
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 appear.
Some may raise the objection that if the fusion was a naturalistic
event, how could the first human ancestor with the fusion have successfully
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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