Re: Are we "special"?

Thomas Clarke (
13 Dec 1996 13:31:34 GMT

In article <> (Paul Z. Myers) writes:
>In article <58n606$>, wrote:

>> 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.

I didn't say it was.

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

>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)

I said "major works". By this I meant, and perhaps should have
explicity stated, book length works that an average educated 20th century
person is likely to have read.

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

I don't have the data to hand to compare the lengths of the
works you cite so you may be right that only a small portion of
Darwin's work dealt with man.

Perhaps the survival of the two works OoS and DoM says more about
the intellectual milequ of the last century than about Darwin

I still think man is unique among animals, though.

Tom Clarke