On June 13, 2013, twelve days after this episode aired, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that human genes may not be patented. An opposite ruling happened in Australia the previous February.
The title is a quote from the final chapter of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" (1859), which ends, "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." It is also the title of a 2005 book about evolutionary developmental biology, a topic featured on the show.
When Rachel Duncan makes her offer to Sarah, she says, "You will be free to live as you wish with Kira. Provided for, unmonitored, but available. Call it sovereignty-association." When Quebec first attempted to separate from Canada in 1980, the Parti Québécois used the term "sovereignty-association" to describe its proposed relationship with English Canada. Quebec would have been politically autonomous, but economically connected to the rest of Canada.