\ Visualizing Evolution: Darwin Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin Day!

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin! I had long planned to do something special for VE on this day. But the last few weeks have left me with little time or energy. I feel genuinely guilty about it... like I've forgotten a friend's birthday or something! Don't worry, pal. I'll take you out to Applebee's next week to make up for it. Yes, you can even get the appetizer. Anyway, at least Google is celebrating properly!

Isn't that lovely?

Seed Magazine also has some cool stuff for the day, and click on the Blog for Darwin link on the right to see some blogs that didn't neglect their Darwin Day Duties like this one did.

This here is what it's all about:

"It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

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