Throwback Thursday #6 – Darwin Day

Phone AncestorsHappy Darwin Day!

February 12th makes the birth of one of the most famous scientists known today: Charles Darwin. Darwin Day is a celebration of his birth and his achievements, and so today’s Throwback Thursday is to do with that.

Nature have a great collection of articles about biodiversity, nature, climate change, and Darwin.

Over at Exodus, they have a great comic strip showing the evolution of Darwin Day. This starts with the birth of Darwin, follows his life and career, and shows the push for Darwin Day to become an official holiday.

Obviously, Charles Darwin wrote “On the Origin of Species“, the groundbreaking book on evolution by natural selection. An excellent four minute summary of it can be seen below, by D. Eric Franks:

The four words: heredity, variation, selection, and time. Well worth understanding.

Perhaps my favourite symbol of Darwin Day, and the greatest image drawn by Charles Darwin himself, is the very first sketch he drew of an evolutionary tree, with two simple words scrawled above it: “I think”. Jackscanlan expresses my thoughts on this well, explaining the beauty of that image and those two words.

The Oxford University Press Blog have a fantastic infographic concerning Darwin’s Dice, exploring how chance plays a role in the theory of Natural Selection.

Another video now, this time by comedian Robin Ince. He extols the virtues of Darwin’s nose, and it’s an amusing and short clip. He also theorises that Darwin, if he were born today, might well be a stand-up comedian, because he was “very good at noticing things”.

Noticing things is one of the reasons why Charles Darwin is so famous today. Over at The Importance of Being Wrong, Michael Ramscar talks about the importance of knowing how to look, of Darwin’s contribution to the study of child psychology, of learning colour words, and of ageing gracefully. It’s a long read, but worth it.

Finally, despite all the evidence available, many people still don’t accept Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. What’s worse, there are even many medical and biology students who believe in creationism, and deny the facts of science (The Telegraph). There’s a whole rant that could happen now, but I shall resist, and finish up this Throwback Thursday here.

Happy Darwin Day, you lovely apes you. Onwards!

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2 Responses to Throwback Thursday #6 – Darwin Day

  1. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #7 – Kepler | Richer Ramblings

  2. Pingback: Throwback Thursday #8 | Richer Ramblings

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