Darwinian Theory in verse....from 1891...

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Helen, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    A friend of mine found a curious Students' Song Book some time ago at the Second Hand Book Fair of Barcelona, published by Bayley and Ferguson, "Published for the Scottish Students", in London and Glasgow, May 1891. Here is one of the songs it contained:

    THE DARWINIAN THEORY

    1.
    Oh! have you heard the news of late,
    About our great original state?
    If you have not, 1 will relate
    The grand Darwinian theory.
    Take care as you saunter along the street,
    How you tread on the dust beneath your feet:
    You may crush a cherub in embryo sweet,
    For each atom may hold a germ complete,
    Which, by some mystical process slow,
    And selective power, to a monkey may grow,
    And from that to a man, the truth to show
    Of the grand Darwinian theory.

    2.
    The beginning of all was a little cell,
    Composed of what substance no one can tell,
    Endowed with a power to develop and swell
    Into general life by this theory.
    With a power to select what it wished to be_
    A fungus or flower, a bush ox a tree,
    A fowl of the air, or a fish of the sea,
    A cow or a sheep, a bug or a flea,
    Or, if tired of these, it may change its plan:
    Be a cat or a dog, or O-rangoo-tan,
    But culminating at last in a man
    By this grand Darwinian theory.

    3.
    Your attention, ladies_ let me win it;
    Just think of this theory for a minute;
    Is there really not something distressing in it_
    To, think that you sprang from a monkey?
    That delicate hand was a monkey’s paw,
    Those lovely lips graced a monkey’s jaw,
    Those handsome ankles, so trim and neat,
    One time surmounted a monkey’s feet;
    Those sparkling eyes a monkey did lend,
    That graceful form from one did descend,
    &gt;From a monkey you borrowed the Grecian bend,
    By this grand Darwinian theory.

    4.
    Such murderers we_far worse than Cain,
    For darker deeds our characters stain;
    For thousands of brothers we’ve eaten and slain,
    By the grand Darwinian theory.
    When sitting at breakfast, and picking the wing
    Of a pigeon, or grouse, or of some other thing;
    Or dining on mutton_ or lamb, if in spring;
    Or on salmon, or trout, or on cod, or on ling_
    Gaze into the future, and say, can’t you see
    What horrible cannibals we must be,
    Devouring the flesh, which may yet become we,
    By the grand Darwinian theory?

    5.
    But why should the theory end with man?
    If he has been less, surely more he can,
    And should be, by the great developing plan
    Of the grand Darwinian theory.
    Why should he not on this earth yet be,
    An angel, or god, like Mercury,
    With a wing on each shoulder, each ankle and knee?
    Oh! how delightful then it will be,
    When sighing and wishing your sweetheart to see,
    To wipe your beak, and just upwards flee,
    Like birds.... and meet your love on a tree,
    On the top of a hill, by this theory.
     
  2. Loren B

    Loren B
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    Love It!!!
     
  3. Phillip

    Phillip
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  4. CalvinG

    CalvinG
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    1- The theory does not espouse that each atom may hold the ability to become a living creature. This misdescribes both the original Darwinian theory and modern-day Neo-Darwinism.

    2- This is inconsistent with both Darwin's theory and modern-day Neo-Darwinism. No single is seen in either of these theories as having the power to volitionally select what manner of life it will become. Moreover, there is no basis in either theory to believe that a creature which is one form of multicellular organism might tire of what it is and decide volitionally to become something else entirely.

    3- Neither theory posits that present-day man descended from any primate existing today. The theories only suggest that present-day primates share a common ancestor.

    4- I know of no scientist who would accuse anyone of murder for eating the flesh of other creatures not members of the eater's own species. The notion of "murder" implies a value judgement, and science is not capable of value judgements.

    5- You correctly state that the theory does not end with man. However, neither theory allows for easy formation of wings to allow men to fly. I also know of no basis on which either theory can be applied to enable man to become "a god."

    Why anyone would love or support a ditty that doesn't rightly describe the belief it assails is something I don't think I will ever understand.
     

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