2013.01.26

“We talk about the ‘march from monad to man’ (old-style language again) as though evolution followed continuous pathways of progress along unbroken lineages. Nothing could be further from reality. I do not deny that, through time, the most ‘advanced’ organism has tended to increase in complexity. But the sequence from protozoan to jellyfish to trilobite to nautiloid to armored fish to dinosaur to monkey to human is no lineage at all, but a chronological set of termini on unrelated darwiniana trunks. Moreover life shows no trend to complexity in the usual sense—only an asymmetrical expansion of diversity around a starting point constrained to be simple.”

 

— Stephen Jay Gould, “Tires to Sandals,” Eight Little Piggies, New York: W. W. Norton, 1993, p. 322.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: