Re: Are we "special"?

Paul Z. Myers (
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 19:32:58 -0500

In article <58n606$>, wrote:

> In article <>
> (Noel Dickover) writes:
> > In article <>, says...
> > > A lot of that strong interest in ourselves is a result of
> > > anthrocentric-thinking about humans as being "special". This type
> > > of flawed thinking goes WAY back in time (long before Darwin)
> > Granted. You won me over on that one.
> You may have given up too easily. Why is it flawed thinking?
> Something that occurred to me while driving to work in my internal
> combustion engined wheeled vehicle:
> Darwin's two major works were the "Origin of Species"
> and the "Descent of Man".

"Origin of Species" is NOT about human evolution.

> From this I would conclude that Darwin recognized something special
> about humans.
> Tom Clarke

Works by Charles Darwin:

Structure and distribution of coral reefs, 1842.
A monograph on the sub-class Cirripedia, 1851-54
A monograph on the fossil Lepadidae, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great
Britain, 1854.
A monograph on the fossil Balanidae and Verrucidae of Great Britain, 1854.
On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation
of favoured races in the struggle for life, 1859.
The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex, 1871.
The expression of the emotions in man and animals, 1872.
The movements and habits of climbing plants, 1875.
The variation of animals and plants under domestication, 1875.
The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom, 1876.
The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects, 1877.
The different forms of flowers on plans of the same species, 1877.
The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, with
observations on their habits, 1881.

(I left out the travelogues and geological works)

>From this I would conclude that Darwin recognized something "special"
about barnacles and plants.

Paul Myers Department of Biology Temple University Philadelphia, PA 19122