What could be a more delicious irony than an article discussing how a quoted insight into evolution evolved over time, and eventually was widely believed to have been written by Darwin!
Since the conclusion of the piece is a forgone conclusion, I re-state it here, so that nobody forgets exactly what is being tracked down and analyzed:
“In conclusion, in 1963 Leon C. Megginson delivered a speech that contained a passage presenting his interpretation of Charles Darwin’s ideas. Megginson did not claim that he was quoting the words of Darwin. Nevertheless, over time, in a multistep process this passage has been simplified, shortened, altered, and reassigned directly to Darwin.”
“In 2009 Nick Matzke, a graduate student in biology, investigated the source of this saying, and he located the key citations dated 1963, 1964, and 1982 which were detailed previously in this article. The “Darwin Correspondence Project” presented Matzke with an award for helping to explicate the provenance of this expression.”
Website: Panda’s Thumb, Article title: Survival of the Pithiest, Article author: Nick Matzke, Date on website: September 3, 2009, Website description: Articles and forum on the topic of evolution. (Accessed pandasthumb.org on May 4, 2014).
[I’m not sure this link (above) is entirely functional since 2009… Maybe googling “Darwin Correspondence Project” would yield better results… ]