February 12, 2009

If Charles Darwin were alive today, he'd be Simon Cowell

Like I blogged earlier, today's Darwin's 200th birthday and amidst all the celebration (I'm going to do my bit by attending what promises to be a great discussion about Darwin), there are gems like this article by Carol Midgley that I'd like to share.
If Charles Darwin were alive today, he'd be Simon Cowell 
The nearest we get to witnessing the survival of the fittest is in The X Factor

How would Charles Darwin feel if he were alive today, a radio show asked this week? Much like the rest of us I imagine - pretty depressed.

Oh, I suppose he could enjoy a smug “told you so” over the Vatican's admission on Tuesday that the theory of evolution may, erm, be on the right track after all. And he could have a laugh by clicking on www.creationism.org and discovering that there are still people who believe that Noah really did squeeze all those animals on to the Ark because, and this is a quote, “one could fit, for example, a dozen brachiosaurus eggs in the trunk of a car, with room to spare!”

But there'd be bad stuff too. On the Origin of Species wouldn't be much of a seller down at WH Smith because there's no tie-in fitness DVD and he doesn't have a story to tell about his time in rehab. It's doubtful he'd get his own series with the BBC because they've already got one beardie talking about Nature and that's Bill Oddie.

And I reckon he'd be consulting his lawyers right now about the weird, commemorative £2 coin that the Royal Mint has just brought out in his honour. Have you seen it? It features a picture of Darwin gazing into the eyes of an ape with an expression that seems to say: “Your place or mine?”

But I'd guess the thing that would most depress Darwin in 2009 would be that he'd start to wonder whether he'd got his theories all wrong. I certainly would. It is hard, for instance, to swallow the idea of natural selection when you gaze upon the über-rich creature that is Jocelyn Wildenstein. This is a woman who spent a reported £2.7million on cosmetic surgery and once said: “I lost my peripheral vision after my last cheek implant but I weighed it up carefully and realised I only used it for driving, so it was a decision I could live with.”  

More at the article on the Times of UK website.

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