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Descent of Man [ 1871]

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Author Topic: Descent of Man [ 1871]  (Read 2881 times)
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« on: February 09, 2009, 02:38:26 am »

Thus we can understand how it has come to pass that man and all
other vertebrate animals have been constructed on the same general
model, why they pass through the same early stages of development, and
why they retain certain rudiments in common. Consequently we ought
frankly to admit their community of descent: to take any other view,
is to admit that our own structure, and that of all the animals around
us, is a mere snare laid to entrap our judgment. This conclusion is
greatly strengthened, if we look to the members of the whole animal
series, and consider the evidence derived from their affinities or
classification, their geographical distribution and geological
succession. It is only our natural prejudice, and that arrogance which
made our forefathers declare that they were descended from demigods,
which leads us to demur to this conclusion. But the time will before
long come, when it will be thought wonderful that naturalists, who
were well acquainted with the comparative structure and development of
man, and other mammals, should have believed that each was the work of
a separate act of creation.

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