Darwin Day!

Think hard. Go deep.

Happy Darwin Day, everyone! Thanks for helping to make the Violent Metaphors community a place where we celebrate intellectual bravery and relentless curiosity, in keeping with Darwin’s legacy.

Here are a few links in honor of today:

  • Did you know that Darwin’s children doodled on his “Origin” manuscript? You can see their sketches here.
  • Creationists tend to raise the same objections to evolution over and over again. Here are Phil Plait’s responses to a number of them (h/t to Washington Post for the last two links ).
  • If I’m being completely honest, I found “On the Origin of Species” to be a rather boring book. World-changing, but not a thrilling read. “The Voyage of the Beagle”, on the other hand, is fantastic and I highly recommend it! You can download the full book for free here.
  • What does it mean to be human? Understanding the history of our species helps us answer this question. If you’re a little rusty on your human paleontology, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has an excellent, easy to read guide for you.
  • Help improve science education in your community by visiting the National Center for Science Education’s webpage. They keep track of legislation that threatens science education in public schools, and have resources for community members who want to help.
  • Finally check out this page to find an event in your town celebrating Darwin today! I’m planning on toasting the great man tonight with a nice bottle of champagne (sent to me by one of my mentors as a congratulatory gift for becoming a professor. It seems fitting!).

Have you got any evolution-related links you’d like to share? Please post them in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Darwin Day!

  1. John Richardson February 12, 2015 / 11:58 am

    To tell the truth, I found Darwin’s first (shorter) edition of On the Origin of Species to be quite a good read, penetratingly clear, and marvellously convincing 🙂

    And, every day is Darwin Day if your species reproduces with variation and has variable reproductive success 😉

  2. Randy Wright February 12, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Post some related links? I thought you’d never ask. The miscreant who doodled this one is a good friend of mine (and runner-up for a Pulitzer last year).

    http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2165107-155/bagley-cartoon-darwin-and-the-utah

    Here’s the background story:

    http://www.sltrib.com/home/2150311-155/new-school-science-standards-for-utah

    Seriously, the Scopes Trial is still being argued here, as I’m sure it is in many parts of Texas. Here’s a sample of the thinking:

    Newmeyer believes Utah’s proposed guidelines took positions on controversial subjects, with students expected to accept as fact concepts that remain under debate — at least politically.

    “That is true with global warming, that is true with Darwinian evolution and a number of other things,” he said. “It’s not a science class in these areas. It’s an indoctrination class.”

    • Jennifer Raff February 12, 2015 / 2:17 pm

      That’s depressing.

      Three out of the four places I’ve lived and done science in (Indiana, Utah, Illinois, Texas) are among the worst for anti-science legislation aimed at schools. And now I’m moving to Kansas! Argh. At least I’ll have plenty to blog about.

  3. Colin February 12, 2015 / 11:37 pm

    Here are some photos I took at and around Down House, Darwin’s estate:

    Darwin's kitchen garden and greenhouse
    Down House read garden
    The Sandwalk II
    Down House
    Ugly dog

  4. randycrockett2014 April 5, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Great blog. Thank you for writing it. Do you suppose there are good reasons why evolution brought us religion?

  5. asim Akhtar April 11, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    Celebrate Darwin day, the guy the science community has deemed false for theories that have been taught to children in schools. Let’s instead give actual scientists a day for helping actually evolve our way of thinking.
    How about National Scientists Day!

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