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“Vertebrate-centric” is the latest PC sin?

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From New Scientist:

THE evolutionary history of life on Earth is usually told from a vertebrate-centric point of view: the progression from fish to amphibians to reptiles to mammals to apes, culminating with humans.

But Scott Richard Shaw wants none of that. Mammals, he writes in Planet of the Bugs, are “just one unlikely sidebar on the history of life”. The main story is about the millions of species of insects that dominate the planet, both in number and in ecological importance. So Shaw provides an insect-centred view of life’s evolution. Chapter by chapter, he moves through the great geologic periods, providing each one with an entomological spin.

Thus the Silurian period, traditionally regarded as an “Age of Fishes” is recast as the time when insects’ ancestors became the first animals to venture on to land. The Jurassic, famed for its huge, long-necked dinosaurs, achieves its real fame for Shaw as the birthdate of wasps, a vastly more diverse group of animals.

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Billions of bugs will buy and read this book, count on it. Some people might be interested too.

How soon do readers think we will get round to “life forms-centric,” a narrow and irrational preference for the histories of living things and their artifacts, as opposed to non-living ones.

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8 Replies to ““Vertebrate-centric” is the latest PC sin?

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    Just beginning to read “Independent Birth of Organisms” by Dr Senapathy (thank you to UD poster who recommended it).

    Not so focused on “progression from fish to amphibians to reptiles to mammals to apes, culminating with humans” but more fish to fish, amphibian to amphibian, reptile to reptile, mammal to mammal, ape to ape, and human to human. Interesting Theory of Evolution that pulls no punches showing Darwin was wrong.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Shaw’s unusual perspective on life can be delightfully askew: why, he asks, do we give our loved ones flowers instead of stink bugs, when many of the latter are just as colourful and sweet-smelling?

    Or we could give our loved ones wasps since they are “vastly more diverse” than mammals and could use the good publicity.

  3. 3
    william spearshake says:

    Holmes is absolutely correct. All human endeavour is biased by the fact that we are human. Evolution research is no exception. But if evolution research is affected by this bias, ID is blinded and hog-tied.

  4. 4
    ppolish says:

    “ID is blinded and hog-tied.” Really, WS? I think Holmes would prefer “Anesthetized and stuck with a pin”. Just saying.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    BS: “But if evolution research is affected by this bias, ID is blinded and hog-tied.”

    It is so obvious how one logically follows from the other.

    Or not.

  6. 6
    william spearshake says:

    WS: “BS: “But if evolution research is affected by this bias, ID is blinded and hog-tied.”
    Mung: “It is so obvious how one logically follows from the other.”

    I am glad that you agree with me. Thank you for your support.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    BS: “But if evolution research is affected by this bias, ID is blinded and hog-tied.”

    Mung: “It is so obvious how one logically follows from the other.”

    BS: “I am glad that you agree with me. Thank you for your support.”

    Of what use is a support that has no foundation?

  8. 8
    william spearshake says:

    BS: “But if evolution research is affected by this bias, ID is blinded and hog-tied.”

    Mung: “It is so obvious how one logically follows from the other.”

    BS: “I am glad that you agree with me. Thank you for your support.”

    Mung: “Of what use is a support that has no foundation?”

    My point exactly.

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