Threesology Research Journal: The Standard Cognitive Model page 5
The Standard Cognitive Model
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The Standard Cognitive Model

Pentadactyl limb comparisons

Grimm described two consonant shifts involving essentially nine consonants.

(H.O.B. Note: the two consonant shifts and nine consonants bring to mind the two strands of DNA with a 3 X 3 configuration.)

  • One shift (probably a few centuries before the Christian era) affected the Indo-European consonants and is evident in English, Dutch, other Low German languages, and Old Norse.
  • The other shift (about the 6th century AD) was less radical in scope and affected the Germanic consonants, resulting in the consonant system evident in Old High German and its descendants, Middle High German and Modern High German (standard German).

According to the law:

  • The ancient unvoiced p, t, k became the English unvoiced f, th, h and the Old High German f, d, h, producing such correlations as that between the initial consonants of Greek pod-, English fod, and Old High German fuo.
  • The law further stated that the ancient voiced b, d, g became the English unvoiced p, t, k and the Old High German spirant stops f, ts, kh; hence, the correlation between Latin duo, English "two," and modern German zwei (pronounced “tsvai”).
  • Also, the originally voiced bh, dh, gh became the English voiced b, d, g and the Old High German p, t, k; compare Sanskrit bhárati, English “bear,” and the Upper German dialects of Old High German ki-peran (later standard German ge-bären). The Old High German examples show the second shift in addition to the first, which is seen in English.

"Grimm's law." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. Britannica.com: Grimm's law


Grimm's Law

The topic of which language was the first or "mother tongue" of all Indo-European (India and European) languages is referred to as Proto-Indo-European or PIE.


Proto Indo European language consonants
Proto Indo European language vowels

If the shifting pattern-of-threes can be recognized today, does this mean that the original language set the stage for such an occurrence because the physiology of PIEs was three-patterned oriented, or because we of today have been changed into referencing patterns-of-three to correspond to a change in mental computation? Instead of alterations of three items, we don't see shifts in a larger variety of voiced and unvoiced consonants, that remind me of the start and stop codons of which there are three stops and one start... at least that is what researchers see. Similarly, we see three regular and three anti- particles in some groupings of atomic particles, or matter and anti-matter. In other words, a similarity of pattern can be detected. A similarity that must include the absence of larger grouping collections that can be defined as a limitation.

With respect to the idea of trying to determine which language is or is most like the presumed "Mother tongue" of a given set of language users, here is a reference to three different attempts made in antiquity:

3 rulers are noted for carrying out experiments (by isolating children from all spoken language influences) to determine which language would be spoken first, and hence, identify the first language:

  1. Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus (664 - 610 B.C.): According to Herodotus, the Egyptian pharaoh Psamtik I carried out such an experiment, and concluded the Phrygian race must antedate the Egyptians since the child had first spoken something similar to the Phrygian word bekos, meaning "bread". However, it is likely that this was a willful interpretation of their babbling.
  2. Roman Emperor Fredrick II of Hohenstaufen (A.D. 1200's): An experiment allegedly carried out by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in the 13th century saw young infants raised without human interaction in an attempt to determine if there was a natural language that they might demonstrate once their voices matured. It is claimed he was seeking to discover what language would have been imparted into Adam and Eve by God. The experiments were recorded by the monk Salimbene di Adam in his Chronicles, who wrote that Frederick encouraged "foster-mothers and nurses to suckle and bathe and wash the children, but in no ways to prattle or speak with them"; for he would have learnt whether they would speak the Hebrew language (which he took to have been the first), or Greek, or Latin, or Arabic, or perchance the tongue of their parents of whom they had been born. But he laboured in vain, for the children could not live without clappings of the hands, and gestures, and gladness of countenance, and blandishments.
  3. James IV of Scotland (A.D.1473 - 1513): James IV of Scotland was said to have sent two children to be raised by a mute woman isolated on the island of Inchkeith, to determine if language was learned or innate. The children were reported to have spoken good Hebrew, but historians were skeptical of these claims soon after they were made. This experiment was later repeated by the Mughal emperor Akbar, who held that speech arose from hearing, thus children raised without hearing human speech would become mute.


Wikipedia: Word Order

In linguistics, word order typology is the study of the order of the syntactic constituents of a language, and how different languages employ different orders. Correlations between orders found in different syntactic sub-domains are also of interest. The primary word orders that are of interest are:

  • the constituent order of a clause, namely the relative order of subject, object, and verb;
  • the order of modifiers (adjectives, numerals, demonstratives, possessives, and adjuncts) in a noun phrase;
  • the order of adverbials.

Some languages use relatively fixed word order, often relying on the order of constituents to convey grammatical information. Other languages—often those that convey grammatical information through inflection—allow more flexible word order, which can be used to encode pragmatic information, such as topicalisation or focus. However, even languages with flexible word order have a preferred or basic word order,[1] with other word orders considered "marked".

Constituent word order is defined in terms of a finite verb (V) in combination with two arguments, namely the subject (S), and object (O). Thus, a transitive sentence has six logically possible basic word orders:


H.O.B. note: this pattern reminds me of the Major premise- Minor premise- Conclusion sequencing.
  1. about half of the world's languages deploy subject–object–verb order (SOV);
  2. about one-third of the world's languages deploy subject–verb–object order (SVO);
  3. a smaller fraction of languages deploy verb–subject–object (VSO) order

The remaining three arrangements are rarer:

  • verb–object–subject (VOS) is slightly more common than object–verb–subject (OVS)
  • object–subject–verb (OSV) is the rarest by a significant margin

Here's another resource: Britannica.com: Word Order

Recent work in comparative linguistics suggests that all, or almost all, attested human languages may derive from a single earlier language. If that is so, then this language—like nearly all extant languages—most likely had a basic ordering of the subject (S), verb (V), and object (O) in a declarative sentence of the type "the man (S) killed (V) the bear (O)." When one compares the distribution of the existing structural types with the putative phylogenetic tree of human languages, four conclusions may be drawn. The word order in the ancestral language was SOV. Except for cases of diffusion, the direction of syntactic change, when it occurs, has been for the most part SOV > SVO and, beyond that, SVO > VSO/VOS with a subsequent reversion to SVO occurring occasionally. Reversion to SOV occurs only through diffusion. Diffusion, although important, is not the dominant process in the evolution of word order. (iv) The two extremely rare word orders (OVS and OSV) derive directly from SOV.

Recent work in genetics, archeology, and linguistics indicates that all behaviorally modern humans share a recent common origin. The date involved is often identified with the sudden appearance, roughly 50,000 y ago, of strikingly modern behavior in the form of more sophisticated tools as well as painting, sculpture, and engraving. This new Upper Paleolithic culture differed dramatically from the Mousterian culture of the anatomically modern humans from whom the behaviorally modern humans emerged. The cause of this abrupt change has been attributed to the appearance of fully modern human language and this is a plausible conjecture. With regard to language, Bengtson and Ruhlen have presented evidence that suggests that all or almost all attested human languages share a common origin. That origin need not necessarily refer all of the way back to the time when behaviorally modern humans emerged and peopled the Old World. There could have been a "bottleneck" effect at a much later time, with a single language spoken then being ancestral to all or most attested languages. If that is so, then that ancestral language, like nearly all modern languages, must have had a dominant ordering of the subject, verb (V), and object (O) in simple declarative sentences such as "the man (S) killed (V) the bear (O)." One should note that there is great variation in the rigidity of the basic word order in different languages, in part due to the fact that the syntactic functions of subject and object are often marked on the noun, as in Russian, which permits all six possible orders to yield grammatical sentences. Nonetheless, the basic word order of Russian is clearly SVO, and the other orders reflect special emphasis or other pragmatic factors. Australian languages, in particular, are known for their extremely free word order, and it has been claimed that some of those languages have no basic order. Still, as we shall see, the basic word order reported for most Australian languages is normally SOV, although other orders are also found.

Greenberg noted that of the six possible orders, only three are commonly found: SOV, SVO, and VSO. The great insight of Greenberg's paper, however, was not just an inventory of existing types—which obviously was long overdue—but the recognition that there were strong correlations between what seemed to be unrelated syntactic structures. Thus, for example, an SOV language usually places the genitive before the noun (GN; e.g., "the man's dog") and uses post-positions, whereas a VSO language usually places the genitive after the noun (NG; e.g., "the dog of the man") and uses prepositions. (Nowadays, these correlations are described in terms of head-first and head-last constructions.) In light of such correlations it is often possible to discern relic traits, such as GN order in a language that has already changed its basic word order from SOV to SVO. Later work has shown that diachronic pathways of grammaticalization often reveal relic "morphotactic states" that are highly correlated with earlier syntactic states. Also, internal reconstruction can be useful in recognizing earlier syntactic states (8). Neither of these lines of investigation is pursued in this paper....

The origin and evolution of word order by Murray Gell-Mann and Merritt Ruhlen, PNAS October 18, 2011 108 (42) 17290-17295

Because different people place their ideas as being more important than others, like Communists arranging a three-step Democracy → Socialism — Communism as a developmental lineage, and the fact that we can recognize different languages placing words into different orders involving Subject, Object, Verb, we need to look at the orders in which patterns are occurring in genetics, physics, philosophy, art, mathematics, etc... This too involves why we are arranging social classes the way we do as well as how we are aligning school grades, traffic light colors, etc..., not to mention why some claim that their god is first and others second, third, last... In other words, we arrange the same basic components of ideas in different ways, yet the same underlying pattern is being used and no one is looking at the pattern(s) as if they are survival expressions for a given type of environment such as the present one which is undergoing an incremental deterioration. In other words, use of a particular order as an expression of an attempted equilibrium is little more than a rationalization... a generalization.

Hence, there is no reason for us to deny the possibility that we will encounter patterns in our ideologies which can be compared linguistically, but not to the point that we exclude the consideration that the patterns seen in linguistics are representative of something more fundamental such as the "threes" occurring in genetics (DNA's triple code); in planetary geology (Earth is in the 3rd position); and physics (protons- neutrons- electrons)... all of which are ideas subject to change according to the influences of the incremental deterioration of the planet on all of biology. While some take this as a given, they do not necessarily identify those patterns which are applicable to multiple other subjects, such as is described in the image involving the anatomy of vertebrates and sociological thought processing.

The analogy between the Pentadactyl limb and human social structure and functioning is an easily understood comparison suggesting that the process of thinking (at least in some respects) may thus correlate with early structures as well, including those outside the realm of the three Germ layers (Endoderm- Mesoderm- Ectoderm), such that precursive remnants are present in other than mammalian life forms. For example, when we think of the idea of Communism represented by the basic criteria of Communalism and Commonism, the fact that we can see such characteristics in the social insects (bees, ants, termites), suggests that either their is a biological connection, or that a certain manner of biology under a given set of environmental pressures, will result in similar behavioral expressions. However, the reader should not overlook that we are combining, language, cognition and anatomy. Indeed, the acts of hearing and seeing and speaking and thinking and writing are occurring. And all of them involve a recurring pattern-of-three as well as a few other patters, all of which express a limited quantity amongst all the infinity of numbers available. No less, it occurs on the 3rd planet from a source of solar energy by way of a triplet-pattern genetics by way of a triple-pattern atomic structure. And yet some readers will claim this recurrence of "three" is a coincidence just as the three-step (Democracy → Socialism → Communism) is a coincidence of sociological consideration, because it appears that the same process of exerting a limitation on quantitative usage in our descriptions also limits what, how, when and where, we consider that which we do... or don't do. While in many instances humans appear to be able to substitute one for another, the overall quantity remains limited... though some intentionally exceed what might be labeled a common pattern of limitation.

It is of need for us to refresh our memories with respect to the development of Comparative anatomy in order to understand how it was once viewed and how it is presently defined, so as to assist in our construction of a "comparative cognition" within and outside a given type of organism. In other words, we need to establish how cognition might be compared amongst all those creatures developing with a three Germ layer origin and those with a two germ layer origin, and those with a one Germ layer origin suggested as being the sponge... which is viewed as an animal. It must be further noted that the three Germ layers are referenced as being Distinct, which is a label enabling us to describe the presumed 4th Germ layer as being Indistinct, whereby in any case (whether you agree or disagree with the labels), we have the presence of a 3 to 1 ratio which must be viewed as another recurring cognitive pattern, where our human idea of "cognitive," as related to the brain/mind, may itself be a mislabeling if other than vertebrates exhibit it within the parameters of their respective biological makeup, which are nonetheless subjected to our mental processes of deduction.

It is of historical comparative interest for those involved in a research effort concerning Communism to make note of the Age in which Marx and Engels lived in order to gain some sense of the social environment of intellectual activity taking place in different areas of research, those the topics and discoveries may or may not have had a direct/indirect impact on the ideological "strain" of contemplations taking place in sociological and other currents such as psychology, physics, mathematics, etc..., most of which took place in the European theater of social development prior to the advent of the Nazi Third Reich.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, well-known in anthropological linguistics, postulates that language may not only describe the world we inhabit but also mould the way we experience it. This paper argues that an individual's language may similarly determine his conception of disease. Possible relationships between linguistic features and disease concepts are cited for the Eskimo, the Navaho, and the Chinese, and it is suggested that, in European languages, the extensive use of spatial metaphors to express abstract concepts may encourage a more rigid categorization of disease and inhibit the ability to conceive of multiple factors in disease causation. The use of nouns rather than verbs to express the idea of illness could lead to a static view of disease and tends to separate illnesses as distinct entities rather than defining them as aspects of bodily functioning. The bipolar structure of Indo-European languages, setting subject against predicate and noun against verb, may play a part in the persistence of the mind-body dichotomy and restrict the holistic perception of man with nature. These linguistic features, in leading to a conception of disease as a rigidly defined, unchanging, unicausal thing, may encourage an over-use of surgery and lead to difficulty in perceiving social and psychological factors in disease.

The relationship between language and disease concepts. by Warner R., Int J Psychiatry Med. 1976-1977;7(1):57-68.; PMID: 1052084


How we define language, just as how we define Communism, or health, intelligence, religion, etc., determines how far back in time we can go to find the origin thereof.

Notice that the following lineup involves British/English, German, and French, with other countries starkly absent. Like the development or origin of language which some claim to have been an "emergent property" arising after a characteristic change in the brains of humans and the environment took place (or "collided"), one must consider that the dominant insurgence of so many important ideas in various subjects occurring in a relatively small European geographical "theater" might well be served if we look up the occurrence(s) as one might the development of a disease. Since the onset of language has and continues to create situations which bring about death and other atrocities, it too might well be viewed as a disease, just as we might view the increase in human population as a disease because of its destruction of so many species and other resources which are not renewable. Just because such ideas are not conventional doesn't mean they are wrong.

  • German Philosopher Karl Marx: born May 5, 1818, Trier, Rhine province, Prussia [Germany], and died March 14, 1883, London, England
  • German Philosopher Friedrich Engels: born Nov. 28, 1820, Barmen, Rhine province, Prussia [Germany], and died Aug. 5, 1895, London, England
  • French Chemist and Microbiologist Louis Pasteur: born December 27, 1822, Dole, France and died September 28, 1895, Saint-Cloud
  • English Surgeon Joseph Lister: born April 5, 1827, Upton, Essex, England, and died Feb. 10, 1912, Walmer, Kent
  • German Physician Robert Koch: born Dec. 11, 1843, Clausthal, Hannover [now Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany] and died May 27, 1910, Baden-Baden, Germany
  • German Biologist August Weismann: born Jan. 17, 1834, Frankfurt am Main and died Nov. 5, 1914, Freiburg im Breisgau, German
  • English Surgeon Edward Jenner: born May 17, 1749, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England died Jan. 26, 1823, Berkeley
  • English bacteriologist Almroth Wright: born Aug. 10, 1861, Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire, England and died April 30, 1947, Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire
  • British Naturalist Charles Darwin: born February 12, 1809, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England and died April 19, 1882, Downe, Kent
  • British anatomist and paleontologist Sir Richard Owen: born July 20, 1804, Lancaster, Lancashire, England and died Dec. 18, 1892, London

Does the occurrence of so many important ideas in a relatively small geographical area in a relatively small time period, represent what might be termed an epidemic? While the world is at present obsessed with the Corono virus, we should also think in terms of world-embraced ideologies as pandemics since so many of them have resulted in more deaths than this virus. Just imagine how very stupid and panicky the public would get if all the deaths caused by heart attacks was labeled a viral epidemic instead of a health issue disease. No less, Christianity, Islam and Communism have all resulted in contributing to the death of millions. Incidently, we might also view military activity as a disease(s) affecting mood and mind, though love, money and sex might well be included as pandemics that have attained a stature of being viewed as symbiotic organisms as well. This is not to say that there have been historical pandemics we are not aware of and that we might also claim the extinction of multiple species by an asteroid as a pandemic occurrence. How we define a specific occurrence or collection of related occurrences inclines us to be accordingly predisposed. By extension, we could include any topic such as music, mathematics, sports, jokes, laughter, obesity, fan-atics, Democracy, Capitalism, etc., as a pandemic occurrence with a patient "0" (zero), though this reference is a misnomer due to a typographical error: Mistaking the letter "O" for zero led to Gaetan Dugas being branded "Patient Zero" in the AIDS crisis of the early 80s.

Indeed, we do not know if Life and all of Existence is not a disease.

In the present excursion of interconnecting various orientations in our presumed comparative analysis, we must strive to connect or disavow any comparative connection between animals and non-animals, whereby the assigned "communism" practices of social insects is to be viewed as a distinction from that Communism being labeled a human exercise, though the two, on a very basic level, do exhibit similarities. Our efforts in the present comparative exploration, is an exercise which does not limit information solely to vertebrate animals. Indeed, all of biology must be looked at as well as instances of non-biological structures being used as projections of cognitive application. In other words, while we may claim to see a given pattern in a non-animate object, the object may not in fact have such a pattern but is being used by one or more humans to express their inclination to see a given pattern in it.

And yes, I realize that suggesting the existence of an ideas related to an uncommon comparative anatomy, or comparative activity, comparative intellectuality, comparative bio-chemistry, comparative atomic structure, comparative environmental processing/reactionism, etc... or other non-standard inter-connectivity between different types of life forms; other than in some overall general sense, may raise a few eyebrows and produce a few chuckles... if not outright dismissive reactions— nonetheless the exploration of such may produce evaluative methodologies or criteria that may be useful in other subject areas within the adopted vernaculars of a given study area. No doubt advancing the idea of germ theory amongst professionals who refused to accept it was to be an expected response by those cultivated to think in one way and shared as the adopted world-view of realty; just as the theory of continental drift, gametes and spermatozoa, vaccines, origin of the moon, continental drift and plate tectonic theory, hygiene, vitamins (such as to prevent scurvy), etc., met with their detractors, just as the theory of god... or I should say the origin of life hypothesis that has not yet been established with experimental proof. However, even when an idea has been shown to be effective, it may be many years before the practice becomes an established routine, such as in the case of vaccination.

Some Historical examples: of ideas that became standard orientations but during their inception did not find an open-armed reception:

(Germ Theory) in medicine, the theory that certain diseases are caused by the invasion of the body by microorganisms, organisms too small to be seen except through a microscope. 1) The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, 2) the English surgeon Joseph Lister, and 3) the German physician Robert Koch are given much of the credit for development and acceptance of the theory. In the mid-19th century Pasteur showed that fermentation and putrefaction are caused by organisms in the air; in the 1860s Lister revolutionized surgical practice by utilizing carbolic acid (phenol) to exclude atmospheric germs and thus prevent putrefaction in compound fractures of bones; and in the 1880s Koch identified the organisms that cause tuberculosis and cholera.

Although the germ theory has long been considered proved, its full implications for medical practice were not immediately apparent; bloodstained frock coats were considered suitable operating-room attire even in the late 1870s, and surgeons operated without masks or head coverings as late as the 1890s.

"germ theory." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. (Britannica.com: Germ Theory)

(Germ-plasm theory) concept of the physical basis of heredity expressed by the 19th-century biologist August Weismann. According to his theory, germ plasm, which is independent from all other cells of the body (somatoplasm), is the essential element of germ cells (eggs and sperm) and is the hereditary material that is passed from generation to generation. Weismann first proposed this theory in 1883; it was later published in his treatise Das Keimplasma (1892; The Germ-Plasm: A Theory of Heredity). This view contradicted Lamarck's theory of acquired characteristics, which was a prevalent theory of heredity of the time. Although the details of the germ-plasm theory have been modified, its premise of the continuity of hereditary material is the basis of the modern understanding of the process of physical inheritance.

"germ-plasm theory." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. ( Britannica. com: Germ Plasm Theory)

Dramatic though they undoubtedly were, the advances in chemotherapy still left one important area vulnerable, that of the viruses. It was in bringing viruses under control that advances in immunology—the study of immunity—played such a striking part. One of the paradoxes of medicine is that the first large-scale immunization against a viral disease was instituted and established long before viruses were discovered. When Edward Jenner introduced vaccination against the virus that causes smallpox, the identification of viruses was still 100 years in the future. It took almost another half century to discover an effective method of producing antiviral vaccines that were both safe and effective.

In 1897 the English bacteriologist Almroth Wright introduced a vaccine prepared from killed typhoid bacilli as a preventive of typhoid. Preliminary trials in the Indian army produced excellent results, and typhoid vaccination was adopted for the use of British troops serving in the South African War. Unfortunately, the method of administration was inadequately controlled, and the government sanctioned inoculations only for soldiers that "voluntarily presented themselves for this purpose prior to their embarkation for the seat of war." The result was that, according to the official records, only 14,626 men volunteered out of a total strength of 328,244 who served during the three years of the war. Although later analysis showed that inoculation had a beneficial effect, there were 57,684 cases of typhoid—approximately one in six of the British troops engaged—with 9,022 deaths.

"medicine, history of." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. ( Britannica.com: History of Medicine)

Continental drift and Plate Tectonics:

The idea of a large-scale displacement of continents has a long history. Noting the apparent fit of the bulge of eastern South America into the bight of Africa, the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt theorized about 1800 that the lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean had once been joined. Some 50 years later, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini, a French scientist, argued that the presence of identical fossil plants in both North American and European coal deposits could be explained if the two continents had formerly been connected, a relationship otherwise difficult to account for. In 1908 Frank B. Taylor of the United States invoked the notion of continental collision to explain the formation of some of the world's mountain ranges.

The first truly detailed and comprehensive theory of continental drift was proposed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist. Bringing together a large mass of geologic and paleontological data, Wegener postulated that throughout most of geologic time there was only one continent, which he called Pangea. Late in the Triassic Period (which lasted from approximately 251 million to 199.6 million years ago), Pangea fragmented, and the parts began to move away from one another. Westward drift of the Americas opened the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian block drifted across the Equator to merge with Asia. In 1937 Alexander L. Du Toit, a South African geologist, modified Wegener's hypothesis by suggesting two primordial continents: Laurasia in the north and Gondwana in the south.

"continental drift." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. ( Britannica.com: Contintental Drift)

Sir Harold Jeffreys was one of the strongest opponents of Wegener's hypothesis. He believed that continental drift is impossible because the strength of the underlying mantle should be far greater than any conceivable driving force. In North America, opposition to Wegener's ideas was most vigorous and very nearly unanimous. Wegener was attacked from virtually every possible vantage point—his paleontological evidence attributed to land bridges, the similarity of strata on both sides of the Atlantic called into question, and the fit of Atlantic shores declared inaccurate. This criticism is illustrated by reports from a symposium on continental drift organized in 1928 by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. The mood that prevailed at the gathering was expressed by an unnamed attendant quoted with sympathy by the great American geologist Thomas C. Chamberlin: “If we are to believe Wegener's hypothesis, we must forget everything which has been learned in the last 70 years and start all over again.” The same reluctance to start anew was again displayed some 40 years later by the same organization when its publications provided the principal forum for the opposition to plate tectonics.

"plate tectonics." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. (Britannica.com: Plate Tectonics)

(Comparative anatomy is) the comparative study of the body structures of different species of animals in order to understand the adaptive changes they have undergone in the course of evolution from common ancestors. The field is largely confined to the study of the vertebrate animals.

  • Modern comparative anatomy dates from the work of Pierre Belon, who in 1555 showed that the skeletons of humans and birds are constructed of similar elements arranged in the same way.
  • From this humble beginning, knowledge of comparative anatomy advanced rapidly in the 18th century with the work of the Count de Buffon and Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, who compared the anatomies of a wide range of animals.
  • In the early 19th century, Baron Georges Cuvier placed the field on a more scientific basis by asserting that animals' structural and functional characteristics result from their interaction with their environment. Cuvier also rejected the 18th-century notion that the members of the animal kingdom are arranged in a single linear series from the simplest up to humans. Instead Cuvier arranged all animals into four large groups (vertebrates, mollusks, articulates, and radiates) according to body plan.
  • Another great figure in the field was the mid-19th-century British anatomist Sir Richard Owen, whose vast knowledge of vertebrate structure did not prevent him from opposing Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Darwin made extensive use of comparative anatomy in advancing his theory, and it in turn revolutionized the field by explaining the structural differences between species as arising out of their evolutionary descent by natural selection from a common ancestor.

Since Darwin's time, the study of comparative anatomy has centered largely on body structures that are homologous—i.e., ones in different species that have the same evolutionary origin regardless of their present-day function. Such structures may look quite different and perform different tasks, but they can still be traced back to a common structure in an animal that was ancestral to both. For example, the forelimbs of humans, birds, crocodiles, bats, dolphins, and rodents have been modified by evolution to perform different functions, but they are all evolutionarily traceable to the fins of crossopterygian fishes, in which that basic arrangement of bones was first established. Analogous structures, by contrast, may resemble each other because they perform the same function, but they have different evolutionary origins and often a different structure, the wings of insects and of birds being a prime example of this.

"comparative anatomy." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013. ( Britannica.com: Comparative Anatomy)




Date of Origination: Saturday, 14th March 2020... 6:11 AM
Date of Initial Posting: Sunday, 10th May 2020... 9:02 AM
Updated Posting: Sunday, 1tth May, 2020... 8:33 AM