Monday, January 23, 2006

The Upanishads, Creation, Pierre de Maupertuis, Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, Patrick Matthew and Alfred Russel Wallace

According to The Upanishads, the Hindu New Testament:

God is within all the created world (immanent) and outside all the created world (transcendent).

God creates matter out of himself.

God becomes immanent (within all) until the end of evolution when the immanent has all again become transcendent (outside the created world). The created world evolves into the transcendent God.

Why?

For the joy of creation.

Why is there evil?

For the joy of good arising from it.

Why darkness?

That the light may shine more.

Why suffering?

For the instruction of the soul and the joy of sacrifice.

Why the infinite play of creation and evolution?

For pure joy.

The more the lower self is forgotten in good works, and in the realisation of the beautiful and the true, the quicker becomes the process of evolution.

Amazon.com: The Upanishads (Penguin Classics): Books: Anonymous ...

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Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859.

From: http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro22.html

Darwin Didn't Discover Evolution or Natural Selection

by David N. Menton, Ph.D.

The French astronomer and mathematician Pierre de Maupertuis (1698-1759) is generally credited with being among the first to have developed an essentially modern theory of evolution which included a process of random change (mutation) and natural selection.

In his book Essaie de Cosmologie he said: "Chance one might say, turned out a vast number of individuals; a small proportion of these were organized in such a manner that the animals organs could satisfy their needs. A much greater number showed neither adaptation nor order; These last have all perished - thus the species which we see today are but a small part of all those that a blind destiny has produced."

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Why did giraffes get long necks? Lamarck suggested that the long neck is attributed to the frequent stretching of the neck as giraffes reached for food.

From: http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro22.html

Jean Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829) ... proposed in 1809 two principles that purported to explain the source of the variation that led to new and useful structures in living organisms.

The first of these - called the "law of use and disuse" -- proposed that new organs (or modification of old ones) arise spontaneously through need satisfied by "use" and, accordingly, disappear through "disuse."

The second - called the "law of inheritance of acquired characteristics" -- proposed that physical characteristics acquired by "use" are passed on to offspring. These so-called "laws" are perhaps best illustrated by the popular example of the giraffe's neck.

According to Lamarck, the giraffe once had a neck no longer than that of a zebra, but as the early giraffes stretched their necks to feed from the highest limbs of a tree, their necks got longer and longer (as a result of use based on need). This acquired trait was then presumably passed on to subsequent generations of giraffes who would be born with long necks.

From: Patrick Matthew

In 1831 Patrick Matthew developed a theory of natural selection nearly thirty years before the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1859.

Matthew was born on a farm in Scotland in 1790.

Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Matthew traveled widely in Europe, but spent most of his life on his estate in Scotland, where he owned and managed an orchard of over 10,000 fruit trees. He died on June 8, 1874. Matthew is an obscure figure in the history of evolutionary thought; relatively little is known about his life. He was not a trained scientist, and his evolutionary insights lie buried in the middle of his books and articles on agriculture and politics...

Matthew's theory lacked Darwin's concept of evolution as an ongoing, continuous process. Matthew did not see evolution as the gradual accumulation of favorable variations leading to adaptation, nor did he believe in extinction except by catastrophe. Matthew saw species as classes of similar organisms, not as interbreeding populations. He also never relinquished his belief in natural theology: he wrote to Darwin in 1871 that "a sentiment of beauty pervading Nature. . . affords evidence of intellect and benevolence in the scheme of Nature. This principle of beauty is clearly from design and cannot be accounted for by natural selection." The phrase quoted above, "There is more beauty and unity of design in this continual balancing of life to circumstance," sums up Matthew's attitude to natural selection: it showed the workings of Providence, of the designed laws of nature.

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From: http://www.wku.edu/~smithch/index1.htm

In February of 1858, ... Alfred Russel Wallace suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, connected the ideas of Thomas Malthus on the limits to population growth to a mechanism that might ensure long-term organic change. This was the concept of the "survival of the fittest," in which those individual organisms that are best adapted to their local surroundings are seen to have a better chance of surviving, and thus of differentially passing along their traits to progeny. Excited over his discovery, Wallace penned an essay on the subject as soon as he was well enough to do so, and sent it off to Darwin.

Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859.




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