common descent

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It is scientifically reasonable to argue further (on the basis of DNA and other molecular evidence) that this "unfolding" occurred by biological descent from a common ancestor or limited group of ancestors; and finally, that natural selection by the environment for advantages conferred by genetic change is an important driving force in the process.
A good scientist can accept the evidence for the factuality of biological descent with variation from a common ancestor, while at the same time recognizing that no satisfactory theory of the process yet exists; it is a problem still to be solved.
If we situate him within the history of interaction between language theory and evolutionary thought in the nineteenth century, Huxley's writings on the Synoptic Problem look like an attempt to extend the parallels between the linguistic descent of language and the biological descent of species that intellectuals like August Schleicher (1821-68) and Charles Lyell (1797-1875) had already explored.
Yet, anxious to demonstrate that linguistics had matured into a genuine natural science, Schleicher argued that Darwin's metaphorical strategy failed to appreciate the true import of the relationship between linguistic and biological descent.
Analyzing genealogies as social charters rather than records of biological descent, Szonyi found that later editions tended to claim earlier and more prominent focal ancestors than their predecessors, revealing how lineages of humble origin tried to raise their social prestige and remove suspicion that they were descended from the lowstatus Dan or She aborigines who had initially populated Fujian.
In Christianity, however, the notion of family goes beyond that of biological descent.
In the long run, these ideas will lead to a situation where our people are defined not by their relation to a living culture and community of people, but by their biological descent from an ancestor who was an Indian.
I have said that strict biological descent will not do for identification of posterity--either of the American people of 1787 or of ourselves.

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