Leafs and Women, oil on canvas, early work by Farangis Yegane.
‘In full accordance with this general theory is Plato’s story, in the Timaeus, of the origin of species. According to this story, man, the highest of animals, is generated by the god ; the other species originate from him by a process of corruption and degeneration. First, certain men degenerate into women. Later, step by step, they degenerate into the lower animals. Birds, we hear, came into being through the transformation of harmless but too easy-going people who would trust their senses too much ; land animals came from men who had no interest in philosophy; and fishes, including shell-fish, degenerated from the most foolish, stupid, and unworthy of all men. It is clear that this theory can be applied to human society, and to its history.’
(7) In the Timaeus (42b f., goe ff., and especially 9 id f. ; cp. also the Phaedrus, 248d), Plato describes what may be called the origin of species by degeneration (cp. text to note 4 to chapter 4, and note 1 1 to chapter 1 1) : Man degenerates into woman, and later into lower animals.
K. R. POPPER, THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES, VOL I: THE SPELL OF PLATO, LONDON, 1945.