On this, the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth

... I have two simple requests:

  • Stop asking people if they "believe in evolution". Every time I hear some dumb ass politician or right wing theological nut say "I don't believe in evolution", it makes me cringe. Evolution is not some magical mystical process that you take on faith. Do you ever hear the question "do you believe in algebra?" Instead pose the question "do you understand how evolution works?"
  • Go and read The Origin of Species by Natural Selection and The Voyage of the Beagle. These are simply must reads, especially for anyone in the life sciences. Now I can hear many of you exclaim, "I just don't have the time", and to this my answer is, "you're in the 21st century!" by which I mean that you can visit librivox.org and download the audiobooks FOR FREE and then listen to these two masterpieces on your iPod as you pipette the day away. And to help you out here's a link to librivox sites for The Origin and The Voyage.

Charles Darwin was one of the most important scientists who ever lived. His work and the insights he delivered to humanity are breathtaking. So don't simply celebrate the man himself, go out there and emulate Darwin - try to understand how life works, and how the various organisms that inhabit our planet came to take their present form.

Having said that, I need to attend to my protein preps ...

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"Instead pose the question 'do you understand how evolution works?'"

yes indeed

By Acme Scientist (not verified) on 12 Feb 2009 #permalink

I remember enjoying selections of 'Beagle' in college where we read it for a course on the literature of travel.

Origin I opened much more recently.


'Course I know how evolution works. It's an incomprehensibly long chain of unbelievably fortuitous birth defects that gave rise to my eyeball, little toenail, and the sensation of itch.

Among other things.

Hey everyone - don't bother.

By Ian B Gibson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2009 #permalink


You so funny, Donald!