Darwin at the edge of the visible universe

Conway Morris, S. (2010) Darwin at the edge of the visible universe. EMBO Rep, 11 (12). p. 898. DOI 10.1038/embor.2010.176

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/embor.2010.176

Abstract

“Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”, observes Shakespeare's Jaques bitterly in As You Like It. Today, we might bristle with prosthetics that keep our senses ticking along, but unless your job as a fighter pilot or tea specialist depends on 20/20 vision or subtle taste, then for the most part lack of acuity in our senses passes largely unremarked. It was not always so. For much of human history, defects in seeing, hearing or smelling the sabre-tooth tiger had irreversible consequences. One does not have to subscribe to the Rousseauean notion of the ‘noble savage’ to appreciate the example of the native Tierra del Fuegians Jemmy Button and York Minster—returning to their homeland on the Beagle—delighting in pointing out distant ships that none of the English crew could see until a telescope was hoisted to their less acute eyes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2010AREP, IA61,
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: EMBO Rep
Volume: 11
Page Range: p. 898
Identification Number: 10.1038/embor.2010.176
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2010 16:52
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:00
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1972

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