Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy 150th Anniversary!

There are books, and then there are books.  On this date in 1859, Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

Darwin had released one of history's most important texts.  The culmination of nearly 30 years of work -- in addition, Darwin 'stood on the shoulders of other scientists' -- his theories of natural selection were largely immediately embraced and laid the foundation of modern biology.

There are people a lot smarter than I who have written about Darwin during this past year, which also marks the 200th anniversary of his birth.  This includes evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson, who writes the occasional op-ed piece in the New York Times.  Read her article on the importance of Darwin and On the Origin of Species (Darwinmania!) here.

An aside.

Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were both born on February 12, 1809.

On this date in 1859, Lincoln was preparing for a speaking tour through Kansas.  He had recently suffered a defeat to Stephen A. Douglas in his run for the U.S. Senate, but was laying a foundation for a successful presidential campaign.

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