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161593.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:34 am Reply with quote

It's like a bonsai elephant!

162937.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:01 am Reply with quote

Darwin only used the word 'evolution' once, in the closing paragraph of The Origin of Species. He preferred the term "descent with modification". The Latin word evolvere means to unroll, and it was used before the 19th C to refer to the unrolling of a book.


162944.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:50 am Reply with quote

Flashy - you'll have to shower after visiting that website...

162970.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:53 am Reply with quote

Darwin only used the word 'evolution' once, in the closing paragraph of The Origin of Species.

I can find several uses of it in this online text, especially in chapters 7 and 10.

163383.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:10 pm Reply with quote


163439.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:16 pm Reply with quote

Quite right, Chris. I'll never look at etymonline again.

163522.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:29 am Reply with quote

There is, of course, a chance that the original first-edition text is as described, and that he included it more often in subsequent editions.

Yes, this seems to be the case. Origin was first published in 1859, and this online version of the first edition doesn't use the word 'evolution' at all (although the last word is 'evolved').

That edition I linked to previously is 1872, so must have received quite a few changes. Darwin was quite keen on editing and updating his text, to make it more accessible and understandable by more people.

Etymonline is in the clear!

163524.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:35 am Reply with quote

Wiki says this:
In January 1871 Mivart published On the Genesis of Species, the cleverest and most devastating critique of natural selection in Darwin's lifetime. Darwin took it personally and from April to the end of the year made extensive revisions to the Origin, using the word "evolution" for the first time and adding a new chapter to refute Mivart. He told Murray of working men in Lancashire clubbing together to buy the 5th edition at fifteen shillings, and he wanted a new cheap edition to make it more widely available.

163547.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:46 am Reply with quote

Very interesting: so the question could be something like "What changes did Darwin make between the first and second editions of his book on evolution?" The answer: he added evolution to it.

163603.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:29 am Reply with quote

For goodness' sake don't give the bloody creationists any more ammunition!

163611.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:43 am Reply with quote

LOL. Don't worry - they don't even have any guns...

167153.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:33 am Reply with quote

Since humans and chimps branched off the evolutionary tree, chimps have evolved more than humans. At least according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Bakewell, Zhang and a colleague found that substantially more genes in chimps evolved in ways that were beneficial than was the case with human genes.

The results could be due to the fact that over the long term humans have had a smaller effective population size compared with chimps.

linkity link

167185.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:22 am Reply with quote

I've been following this quite closely, and most of the reports (retorts) from biologists are complaining that 'more evolved' doesn't really mean anything, other than a nice 'contrary sounding' fact that the media like.

The bottleneck theory is right, though - undoubtedly. We were down to a few hundred thousand at one point, which is why we're all so similar compared to most other mammals. Cheetahs had it far worse: they're all about as closely related to one another as identical twins...

170306.  Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:51 am Reply with quote

What did T-Rex evolve into?

Chickens, apparently. Or perhaps I'm reading too much into this:

Scientists from North Carolina State University think they have established the first proper molecular evidence for the hypothesis (that birds are descended from dinosaurs), thanks to the discovery of a small amount of soft tissue preserved in a 68-million-year-old T-rex leg bone unearthed in Montana in 2003. Normally, such tissue is destroyed during the fossilisation process. But in this case scientists were, for the first time, able to extract protein from the remains, and identify it as collagen, a material that gives bone its shape and strength. Further tests revealed the presence of amino acids (protein building-blocks) which, when compared with those of other animals, were found most closely to resemble those in chicken bones.

The Week, 28/4/07

170365.  Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:38 am Reply with quote

T-Rex coudn't have evolved in to chickens because it went extinct, of course.

The DNA comparison shows that they were remarkably similar in certain parts of their genome, though. It's another bit of evidence that shows that birds evolved from what was left of the smaller dinosaur species that didn't get wiped out.

But I bet T-Rex tasted of chicken...


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