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Category: Biology

What is special about humans?

As soon as somebody asks the question “what is a ____?” we get into trouble. Not because we do not know about the thing in the blank, but because we tend to have the wrong idea about how to answer that question. Since the Greeks, the general feeling is that to answer a question about such matters, one must define the shared and unique features of the type of thing.


What was Darwin’s Origin actually called

So, I got caught parroting half-remembered factoids, to Down House no less, that the Origin dropped the “On” from the start of the title with the fourth edition. In my defence, I was making use of Darwin Online, the Cambridge University site that collates all of Darwin’s publications and a whole lot more, in their list of editions of the Origin in English. So I got called out, and rightly so. If you’re going to be a pedant, at least be an accurate one.

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