February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Darwin

2 million people are wishing Darwin a happy 200th birthday year - Care to join them on Facebook? (Read more about it here and here.) 

Also, on this occasion, as we celebrate Darwin, evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll (who is a Professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin) reminds us that..
..we should take this opportunity to celebrate more than just one man and an idea. We should celebrate the spirit that drove Darwin and many other exceptional people to explore previously unseen parts of the world and to unearth the history of life. Their adventures and discoveries have transformed our view of nature and our place in it.
Do read the article to read about the heroic journeys and work of Alfred Russel Wallace and Henry Walter Bates, who "undertook even longer voyages under more difficult conditions than Darwin" in arriving at their theories of evolution / natural selection. 

Also, a great collection of articles about Darwin, courtesy Forbes magazine and  the best Darwinian sites on the web, according to the Guardian of UK.

The picture is from here. All copyrights with whoever owns it. Please attribute the link (which is where I found it) if you use this great picture!

Addendum: I file this away under life's little coincidences -- in the past 48 hours, I heard and read something that pertains to Darwin (in a way!), although at that time I did not appreciate that Darwin's 200th birthday was coming up this week!

1) Heard a scientist/entrepreneur say that it is not the smartest, not the fittest... but those that adapt will survive the current economic scenario.

2) "It's not the strongest who survive, but the ones who adapt best. And in order to adapt, we need to create, and in order to create, we need stimulus, and in order to get stimulus, well, ...you need to read this book!" - That's from the book, Stimulated, which I started reading earlier this week.

Previous posts on Darwin (and Lincoln's) 200th Birthday: 1, 2, 3, 4.

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At the school dances white and black girls shook on the floor, by Anais Duplan

Today, a poem  by  Anaïs Duplan,  from the Bennington Review. [AT THE SCHOOL DANCES WHITE AND BLACK GIRLS SHOOK ON THE FLOOR.]  ...