Darwin Day 2010

Cake enough for everyone

The second annual Darwin Day was a great success. We had a wonderful lecture by palaeontologist Brian Pratt, who showed evolution as seen by the fossils. We then watched a clip of the PBS film Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. It certainly was a dangerous idea in Victorian times, a class obsessed society with definite social hierarchies with certain sections of the human race shoved to the bottom where they were expected to stay. The idea of all life being related certainly did not sit well with many people. That was the late 1800’s: what is our excuse here in the 21st century?

All life is related; it is longer possible to find room for doubt. We know this through genetics, embryology, homology, and through fossils. Every conceivable way of looking at life points to the same conclusion, that me, you, my cat, the birds, and the trees outside are all related. It was and continues to be a shocking conclusion, but still an important part of understanding where we came from, and where we can go from here. It should have been obvious, but it took an exceptional man to realize it.

Here to Charles Darwin and his amazing insight. Happy Darwin Day!

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