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Simon Conway Morris

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If one compares the sequence of amino acids that go to form the protein haemoglobin, it becomes apparent that humans and chimps are identical and do not differ in a single site ...
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p.151

 
Simon Conway Morris

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The fallacy of genetic determinism is to suppose that the genes "make' the organism. It is a basic principle of developmental biology that organisms undergo a continuous development from conception to death, a development that is the unique consequence of the interaction of the genes in their cells, the temporal sequence of environments through which the organisms pass, and random cellular processes that determine the life, death, and transformation of cells. As a result, even the fingerprints of identical twins are not identical. Their temperaments, mental processes, abilities, life choices, disease histories, and death certainly differ despite the determined efforts of many parents to enforce as great a similarity as possible.

 
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Age may have one side, but assuredly Youth has the other. There is nothing more certain than that both are right, except perhaps that both are wrong. Let them agree to differ; for who knows but what agreeing to differ may not be a form of agreement rather than a form of difference?

 
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Identical in the physical processes by which he originates—identical in the early stages of his formation—identical in the mode of his nutrition before and after birth, with the animals which lie immediately below him in the scale—Man, if his adult and perfect structure be compared with theirs, exhibits, as might be expected, a marvellous likeness of organization. He resembles them as they resemble one another—he differs from them as they differ from one another.—And, though these differences and resemblances cannot be weighed and measured, their value may be readily estimated; the scale or standard of judgment, touching that value, being afforded and expressed by the system of classification of animals now current among zoologists.

 
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What was your favourite single player Quake level? One of the forty identical greenish-brown castles or one of the forty identical brownish-green castles? (2 December 2004)

 
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Looked at from the perspective of twentieth-century earth, we see three great stages in the dynamic process of the universe. To this whole process, as it spreads out over perhaps ten billion years of time and ten billion light years of space, we give the name evolution, and we see three great patterns within it. The first is physical evolution. This presumably started with the development of the most elementary particles (whatever they may be); then of neutrons, protons, electrons, and radiations; then of elements from hydrogen to uranium and beyond formed by combining protons and electrons; then of chemical compounds; then finally of increasingly complex molecules from amino acids, and proteins to the great watershed of DNA, the beginnings of life.

 
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