Keith gives a good answer from one viewpoint. But we may carry matters
further back if we think of basic sensitivity to various types of
stimuli. Touch is found in the sensitivity of bacteria to attachment, and
also in the repulsion reflex of paramecia, for example. I recall that
_Balantidium coli_ does not bounce off on contact, and so bores through
the intestines of its hosts. Vision can probably be ascribed to the red
spot of Euglena and certainly to the eye spots of helminths. But the
algae and blue-green bacteria seem to have a more rudimentary ability to
orient relative to light. However, the formation of images probably is
first found in arthropods' compound eyes. I can't separate taste from
smell at the most basic level of chemical sensitivity. It is evident in
bacteria as well as fungi and protozoa. The earliest sensitivity to
vibration that comes to mind is the earthworm. The earliest production of
sounds for signalling is probably among arthropods. As Keith notes, just
what does Jeans mean?
On Sun, 21 Oct 2001 17:03:10 -0400 george murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On skimming Sir James Jeans' Science & Music (first published in
1937) I noted the closing sentence:
"Students of evolution in the animal world tell us that the ear
was the last of the sense organs to arrive; it is beyond question the
most intricate and the most wonderful."
Is the statement in the first clause now correct? If so, it
suggests an interesting theological reflection.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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