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Talk:Historical contingency

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We are getting a pretty consistent chunk of search engine traffic from people looking for this term. Would be nice to see this expanded by anyone with said knowledge. tmtoulouse 07:13, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

It's funny, the term occurs to me all the time, but not in biological terms. So many human constructions can only be "improved" along narrow pathways (which may never lead to the "ideal" solution) due to previous decisions. I'm trying to think of a really good, clear example to put in here - so far the best one I can think of is the QWERTY keyboard. Do we have any problem with using an example that is "man made", as in, well, "designed" - I don't want to blur the distinction between design and evolution, but a human scale example might be nice to have. Of course, a really good biological example would be great. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:23, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

So is 'the likely maximum number of digits on a given structure of limb' (before the structure becomes 'impractically complex or structurally weak') one form of contingency and 'there being 5 (or 2-4/6-10 depending upon the planet) on the first species that becomes sufficiently dominant this is the maximum number for non-polydactyl-ating species that evolve from it' another or are they 'aspects of the same thing'? (A centipede-like, jellyfish-like, or cactus-like sentients could use 'feet, tentacles or (suitably modified) spines' in an analogous manner to fingers.) (talk) 14:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)