05 June 2006

My wife does NOT look like a trilobite

A handsome trilobite.

In March, my wife and I attended a conference in Portland. The first lecture we attended was on the concept of authenticity in the writings of Heidegger--pretty dense stuff. Kristen, being the amazing person she is, was trying her hardest to support me and connect with this aspect of my life. The discussion took a turn toward the topic of ontology. When she heard the word "ontology" her face lit up and she whispered to me, "Ontology recapitulates phylogeny." Of course, she meant to refer to the dominant biological theory that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. We had a good laugh over it.

Tonight we resurrected the discussion and debated whether ontology actually does recapitulate phylogeny or not. I explained that the meaning of the original theory was that in the process of development from zygote to fetus, an organism roughly displays all of the phylums through which it passed on the road to evolving up to the phylum that it now inhabits. Her apt reply: "I have never looked like a trilobite." What could I say? In my opinion, that is a solid refutation of the theory.

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