Happy Birthday Chuck! More importantly Darwin shares his birthday with the best nephew in the world. Darwin, and Lincoln, don’t know how lucky they are. I’ve spent a little of the last 24 hours checking out Darwin related stuff on the web though I keep telling myself that I am just going to pull The Descent of Man of the bookshelf for a real read. Instead I brain puttered with Darwin in mind. Here are some of the things I stumbled upon.
Youtube is awash in Darwin related videos. Mark Steel has a fabulous lecture on Darwin and David Attenburough has a nice documentary of two hundred years of Darwin as well. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a funny speech on “Stupid Design”, Terry Eagleton has a nice, academic, speech on Faith and Reason. Do your own search; any good ones send my way.
Splintered Sunrise celebrates Darwin Day with a piece on the limits of scientific thought among the leading politicians in the north of Ireland. This being the US, one need not look that far for evidence of such limitations. In Cincinnati, a hotbed of Biblical literalism, last year the Cincinnati Zoo proposed a joint ticket venture with the Creation Museum (no, it is not a joke). Fortunately even in that backwater on The Ohio the public outcry was too much and the Zoo relented.
And finally I found this article from The Friends of Charles Darwin website on the real story behind the supposed dedication of Das Kapital to Darwin. It turns out not to be the case, the real case being much more interesting as you can read here. As usual in Marx’s circle the “villain” is Edward Aveling. The romantic in me occasionally wishes to whisk back in time and rescue dear Eleanor from the clutches of that hideous little man.
It is shocking to me that there is still a “debate” on evolution. Of course Darwin didn’t get everything right. No one does. Still, when one steps back from all of the silliness and views Darwin’s accomplishments in context they are awe inspiring. We know where we come from, more or less, which is a helluva long way to finding out where we might be going. The light of science can truly be a candle in the dark. Thank you Charles Darwin.