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Sometimes called touch me not. If you have never done so, touch the seed pod when it is nearly ripe. The resultant explosion is guaranteed to make you jump - if you dare!
I really hate this plant - as anyone who has spent hot, sticky days pulling it up, with the horseflies having a picnic on your back, would do.
Can I ask you about your Darwin quote? I've never seen that one. Where does it come from?
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)
The quote was picked up 2nd hand from a textbook, many years ago.
When I came to check up on it, I first thought it was Dr Seaman's old microbiology text (out of date when I read it, but he was my tutor at the time) - but he was the one who quoted A A Milne at the head of the chapter on classification ("the feeling on me grows and grows, that no-one ever really knows, if those are these, or these are those"). So I must have sold or binned the one with the Darwin quote.
I've since checked various quotation web-sites, and failed to find a definitive source. Several attribute it to him, but do not cite the origin - e.g.
I just checked the Complete works of CD online at http://darwin-online.org.uk/
This is a comprehensive site that includes a lot of Darwin's correspondence (not sure how much- there are 14,000 letters) and all his published work. The phrase 'Nature will tell you a direct lie' is simply not in any of the online work.
If Darwin did say or write this, I'd like to know the context. Sounds like the kind of thing he might say out of frustration, rather than a considered belief. Darwin was spectacularly good at getting nature to reveal the truth.
was one of the truly great scientists of all time. Like the other great people, it is amusing (and occasionally reassuring) to know that they can be frustrated by the natural world.
However, since you have a reliable source that can't substantiate the assignation of the quote, I've deleted it.
Maybe we should have a competition to come up with a replacement quote from Darwin that would be appropriate for iSpot. There must be dozens. Any ideas?
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