Posted by: Dan | March 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

It is hard to realize that the living world as we know it is just one among many possibilities; that its actual structure results from the history of the earth. Yet living organisms are historical structures: literally creations of history. They represent, not a perfect product of engineering, but a patchwork of odd sets pieced together when and where opportunities arose. For the opportunism of natural selection is not simply a matter of indifference to the structure and operation of its products. It reflects the very nature of a historical process full of contingency.

From François Jacob, in his 1977 article Evolution and Tinkering

For more than a quote, check out Allen MacNeill’s recent post on Chance and Necessity.


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