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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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Immutable Species.
Some Collected Thoughts Thereon.

One Morgan silver dollar was the daily remuneration for a man's travail.
The obverse was the Lady Liberty, renounced at first by receivers of that dollar.
"She is depicted as an unattractive female."
But so much for the obverse; it is the reverse we wish to consider.

Both Linnaeus and Darwin, and of course many others,
Struggling against the concept of the Scala Naturae and the immutability of species,
Realized the great variation within species viewed, resulting from their studies,
And which did cause the perennial rift between Creation and Evolution.
"Species are immutable as created by god."

Now look at a particular specie (a piece of money; a coin),
And compare this to the biological question.
On the reverse of the Morgan is an eagle with a tail, of course.
The mint in 1878 pressed out eagles with a tail of eight feathers.
"Impossible!" cried out the ornithologists of the day--
"Raptors have only an odd number of tail feathers;
One in the center and the remaining on each side to make the odd total."
So, immutability comes to the enlightened fore,
With the mint (Philadelphia--we had four others!)
Reusing the remaining 8 tailed coins by striking over with the seven,
Resulting in a 7 over 8, with four feather tips still showing beneath,
And proceeded on with the 'proper' created (evolved?) odd number.
So, in 1878, the Morgan eagle had 8, 7 over 8, and 7 tail feathers, all in one year!
Now, today, does this manifest the conflict of the 'immutability' of our 'sacred coins',
As well as the 'god created, fixed morphology' of the living creatures around us?

Frank Maurer 1 December 2022.

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