Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin's birthday

raise a glass to Charles Darwin! everyone's favourite bearded evolutionist was born exactly 200 years ago, on February 12, 1809.

the NYTimes has a great series of articles in his honour this week, including this excellent summary of the great man's life by Olivia Judson, and a video of the singing Darwin scholar, Richard Milner. bizarrely, the Globe's business section has an article about Darwin's business acumen.

i was lucky to see the ROM's Darwin exhibit last year, and i'm now working my way through his famous journal, The Voyage of the Beagle; the book highlights his intelligence & curiosity, but also his consistent awe with the world. Darwin was a fantastic writer, overcoming his own debilitating fears to publish the truth. so a toast to Darwin, and his bravery, from all us chimps out here, 200 years later.

(HMS Beagle, cause of much seasickness for Charles Darwin)
"AFTER having been twice driven back by heavy southwestern gales, Her Majesty's ship Beagle, a ten-gun brig, under the command of Captain Fitz Roy, R. N., sailed from Devonport on the 27th of December, 1831." - the opening sentence of The Voyage of the Beagle.

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