Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book of Animals

Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.

Charles Darwin?

Erasmus Darwin?

Nope, abu Uthman al-Jahith in his 'Book of Animals'. an islamic intellectual of East African descent writing a thousand years before Darwin. Pretty impressive. Al-Jahith died in Basra in 869 AD. His exact cause of death is not clear, but a popular story is that an accident, where the books piling up his private library, toppled over and crushed him, caused his death. He died at the age of 93.

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