Retrospective Quotes (3 quotes)
Contrary to the legend, Darwin's finches do not appear to have inspired his earliest theoretical views on evolution, even after he finally became an evolutionist in 1837; rather it was his evolutionary views that allowed him, retrospectively, to understand the complex case of the finches.
I want to argue that the sudden appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it ... Evolutionary sequences are not rungs on a ladder, but our retrospective reconstruction of a circuitous path running like a labyrinth, branch to branch, from the base of the bush to a lineage now surviving at its top.
To err is to be as though truth did not exist. To lay bare the error to oneself and others is retrospective discovery.