Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Darwin Day!


          As many of you probably are aware, today, February 12th, is Charles Darwin's birthday. This was 201 years ago, and it's almost 151 years since the publication of his theory in On The Origin of Species. Since then, with all the mountains of evidence we have today, of which has become the basis of all modern biology and modern medicine, much of which would not be possible if it were not for our understanding of the process of evolution by adaptation through natural selection. And there is so much more that we have learned since Darwin's time. Not only have we made numerous discoveries that have added up to mountains of evidence that proves Darwin's theory was right, but we have filled in the gaps in what Darwin didn't know, such Mendell's discoveries of heritability and since Watson & Crick discovered DNA which led to modern genetics. Darwin did not know anything about genetics in his time, it hadn't been discovered yet. And Darwin's ideas, which led to the modern scientific theory of evolution as we know it today, not only reveal to us how amazing and beautiful our biological history is concerning how we got here, but has made possible so much of what modern medicine can provide us with today which has allowed human beings to now live longer on average than human beings have lived ever before in history!
          Darwin's ideas were some of the most important discoveries in scientific history, and therefore I agree that he is a man deserving of remembrance. This is especially true considering that now, over 150 years since his book was published, there are still huge numbers of history deniers here in America and around the world who are basically denying history and clinging to their fundamentalistic world views like children clapping their hands over their ears and wailing "does not! does not! does not!". This leads to so many children being denied a good education in science and the reality of the world around us and the history of our existence.
          There is more I would like to say on this, but I have to get to class, and then work after that. I will however leave you with a couple of good videos.....The first one is Richard Dawkins speaking about Darwin's Universal Impact, the second is Michael Shermer speaking on "Why Darwin Matters, and the third one is President Barack Obama, this time last year, speaking about the importance of science and Darwin at the end. Enjoy......





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