Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Did the First Giraffe Have a Navel, Revisited

In an earlier post I asked, "Did the First Giraffe Have a Navel?". Turns out this is an old question:

These authors seem no more startled at a miraculous act of creation than at an ordinary birth. But do they really believe that at innumerable periods in the earth's history certain elemental atoms have been commanded suddenly to flash into living tissues? Do they believe that at each supposed act of creation one individual or many were produced? Were all the infinitely numerous kinds of animals and plants created as eggs or seed, or as full grown? and in the case of mammals, were they created bearing the false marks of nourishment from the mother's womb? The Origin of Species, By Charles Darwin (1859)

1 comment:

William Mitchell said...

I'm surprised Darwin published this passage, yet hesitated for years to publish "Descent of Man," which presents the seemingly less inflammatory argument for sexual selection. Biographies say he feared the consequences.

Unlike natural selection, sexual selection seemingly can coexist with Biblical creation. But it does argue conclusively that all humans are descended from a common ancestor. Apparently the latter was more frightening to 19th-century Britain than implied blasphemy. :-)