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Darwin8 - things have much in common in their chemical...

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Darwin's own statement was made by analogous reasoning from the common descent of lineages he had established: "I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number." 6 So far, Darwin is not in great opposition to the views of Lamarck, Geoffroy, Macleay, or Owen on the approximate number of major classes of living things. Then, however, he goes on to say Analogy would lead me one step farther, namely to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless, all living
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Unformatted text preview: things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences. [Emphasis mine] It is clear that he thought these arguments influential, and they, or rather more up-to-date versions involving DNA, comparative embryology, and other similarities, are still used today. I do not think the evidence shows that Darwin was influenced in his theory of common descent directly by any precursor, although he clearly was dealing with the same problems set out by Lamarck, Lyell, Grant and Owen that others were....
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