Happy Darwin Day!!

Today is Charles Darwin‘s Birthday. Head over to www.darwinday.org to take in the celebration. charles_and_william_darwinHere is a bit of what they say about this non-denominal day of celebration.

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin — the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

The Darwin Day Celebration website provides resources and publicity for individuals and institutions across the world to celebrate science and humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin’s birthday. In addition to information about the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, this website provides practical examples, advice and templates for organizing and publicizing Darwin Day events. It also provides a directory of events where you can find celebrations taking place near you or register your own event for others to find.

Recognizing science as an international language accessible to all individuals and societies, the Darwin Day Celebration provides a new global holiday that transcends separate nationalities and cultures. Darwin Day can be celebrated in many different ways: civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties. Organizers may include: academic societies, science organizations, freethought groups, religious congregations, libraries, museums, galleries, teachers and students, families and friends. In Darwin Day, we are able to recognize the diversity among us, while celebrating our common humanity and the universal understanding we share.

Though there has been much unsubstantiated debate on who discovered the mechanism of evolution(here is a breakdown of the whole affair), there is essentially no debating it’s influence on human history. Religious groups fight scientific knowledge tooth and nail, to further their ideology. Over the years I have come to appreciate the work of Charles Darwin, not just for him being able to piece together the unifying thread of all biological life on the planet, but also his determination to publish his work so as to share it with the world. The world has not been the same ever since. Though his book, ‘On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection‘, is not a barn burning thriller, it is a must read.

I would say that if you have an interest in Evolution and natural history, and are looking for some books to read, you should try to find some books by the late Stephen J Gould, with one of my all-time favourite books, Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale. He was a great writer, and had some great stories to tell. One other groundbreaking book on evolution is by Richard Dawkins. The Selfish Gene. On that note, I bid you all a

Have a Very Happy Darwin Day 2008!!