Pharyngula

Rio. Carnaval. Darwin?

I’m sitting here in Minnesota, anticipating another midweek snowstorm that’s on the way, and what do I learn? If I were in Rio de Janeiro I could be watching Carnaval. Heck, I could be dancing in the streets with a big fruity drink in my hand, blowing kisses to the lovely girls in exotic costumes.

Maybe I could even write it off. Look at this: one of the clubs is celebrating Darwin’s voyage of the Beagle with an hour-long parade. Here’s the announcement from the club.

Science still commemorates 150 years of the first publication of THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES, the book that caused a true world revolution with the Theory of Evolution. The adventure lived by the English naturalist Charles Darwin on board the H.M.S. Beagle, the British ship that in approximately five years travelled around the world and had the mission of mapping South America, where it visited ports in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro. And visited the Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, which awoke the young scientist to the elaboration of his future theories. This scientific expedition will be relived by the samba school Union of the Island of Governor, in the same spirit of adventure present in the themes of past carnivals. The plot, being much more than a simple sea voyage, will travel through the history of the origin of the life and the evolution of species by means of the NATURAL SELECTION. The presentation will follow the sequence outlined by Darwin, one of the fathers of modern biology and ecological conscience, and show how groups descend from others, building a ramification he compares with a TREE OF LIFE. In Darwin’s theory, man loses the status of great master of the world, superior to all, showing that all life is related through a common ancestor. Its central message is that it falls on us a larger responsibility for the preservation of the planet.

It’s perfect. I’m sure it would please the old Victorian gentleman very much to know that his work is being celebrated with a grand party complete with 3500 participants, lots of scantily dressed women, brilliant costumes, and street-shaking music.

If you get the Brazilian station linked to above, you could watch it yourself at 7pm Eastern time tonight. I don’t even get that much.