Re: Are we "special"?

Thomas Clarke (
15 Dec 1996 04:24:50 GMT

In article <> Phillip Bigelow <> writes:
>Someone wrote:

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

Belay that. Please substitute the word "unusual" for "special" as I
elaborated in another response on a branch of this thread.

>I would not conclude that at all. I would come to the
>opposite conclusion: that Darwin's _Descent of Man_ recognised
>the interconnectedness and similarities that humans have with
>the rest of the animal kingdom, particularly with that of other
>apes. Darwin recognized that humans are a part of nature, not
>separate from it.

Apparantly I have to shout. I AGREE WITH THIS.
I also think man in a most unusual animal.

> From your response, I would guess that you haven't read Darwin's
>_Descent of Man_, or you have forgotten what you read.

>From your response you have not read much that I have written on
this thread. Man evolved just as any other animal, however, man
is an unusal animal. Is this so hard?

>Thomas Clark wrote:
>> > I still think man is unique among animals, though.

>Typed-in as Tom glances over at his handy pocket version of
>The Book of Genesis.

Phillip, I think you are a bigot. Prejudiced against any idea
that does not agree with the orthodoxy that you learnrned in high
school biology. I doubt if you will be ever able to break away
from your hide bound ideas and make a contribution to your field.

>There is nothing unique about human anatomy. It is only
>a matter of degree of morphological adaptation; it is not
>one of a radical new evolutionary concept.

So what are you saying? Cannot a morhological adaptation be
unique, as in the language structure of the brain (I cited an
article, don't have it to hand) which lead to the highly
unusual human behavior oflanguage?

>Humans are morphologically rather generalized animals, with
>only two exceptions that could be classified as "major"
>1) Rearranged hip structure, and 2) large
>frontal lobes of the cortex. ....
>Most of the rest of human anatomy is rather mundane
>and unremarkable (for a member of the Mammalia).
>Darwin wrote this over a century ago. It is quite sad that Darwin's
>point still has to be reaffirmed from time to time on a
>science newsgroup such as this one.

Yes. Yes, Of course, Of course.
But those two exceptions apparently make all the difference.

But Darwin, a member of the species Homo sapiens, wrote the book
explaining how his species was mostly the same at other mammalian
species. This is a most unusual thing for a member of a species to

Tom Clarke