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kottke.org posts about Charles Darwin

The Genius of Charles Darwin

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 05, 2008

The Genius of Charles Darwin is a three-part series about Darwin presented by his rottweiler, Richard Dawkins. A short video taste of the show is here and the entire first part is on Google Video. (via smashing telly)

We Work Remotely

Darwin and evolution

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 16, 2008

The idea of evolution did not begin with Darwin…he just (just!) explained how it happened and backed it up with evidence.

“The only novelty in my work is the attempt to explain how species become modified,” Darwin later wrote. He did not mean to belittle his achievement. The how, backed up by an abundance of evidence, was crucial: nature throws up endless biological variations, and they either flourish or fade away in the face of disease, hunger, predation and other factors. Darwin’s term for it was “natural selection”; Wallace called it the “struggle for existence.” But we often act today as if Darwin invented the idea of evolution itself, including the theory that human beings developed from an ape ancestor. And Wallace we forget altogether.

In fact, scientists had been talking about our primate origins at least since 1699, after the London physician Edward Tyson dissected a chimpanzee and documented a disturbing likeness to human anatomy. And the idea of evolution had been around for generations.

The University of Cambridge has put online

posted by Jason Kottke   May 16, 2007

The University of Cambridge has put online almost 5000 letters to and from Charles Darwin. (via bbc news)

Discover magazine picks the 25 greatest science books

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2006

Discover magazine picks the 25 greatest science books of all time. Darwin, Newton, and Galileo top the list.

Profile of Daniel Dennett, “Darwinian fundamentalist” and

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2006

Profile of Daniel Dennett, “Darwinian fundamentalist” and author of a new book that argues that “religion, chiefly Christianity, is itself a biologically evolved concept, and one that has outlived its usefulness”.

Update: Review of Dennett’s book in the New Yorker.

There’s a Charles Darwin exhibition at the

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 01, 2005

There’s a Charles Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum in NYC through May 2006. A tidbit not reported in the US press: the exhibition failed to attract corporate sponsorship because “American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution”. Pussies.

Update: This letter sent into TMN throws some doubt on the whole lack of corporate sponsorship angle. (thx, chris)

Introduction from Edward O. Wilson’s new book

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 30, 2005

Introduction from Edward O. Wilson’s new book on Charles Darwin’s “Four Great Books”.

How Einstein & Darwin wrote letters, people

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 27, 2005

How Einstein & Darwin wrote letters, people write email, and birds forage for food may reveal general patterns in how animals decide among competing tasks.

Evollucinations

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 12, 2005

Is it strange that every time I go into my bathroom and look at the box of tissues sitting on the shelf, I see Charles Darwin looking back at me?

Charles Darwin and his orchid

It does look like Darwin, yes? Or have I been reading far too much about science and evolution lately?

Note: My bathroom Darwin orchid has nothing to do with Angraecum sesquipedale, an orchid that Darwin discovered in 1850. At the time, he speculated that in order for the plant to be pollinated, a moth with a 12” proboscis would have to do it, even though no such moth had been shown to exist. This freakish moth was eventually discovered (not in my bathroom) in 1903, 20 years after Darwin’s death.

Carl Zimmer responds to the idea that

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 12, 2005

Carl Zimmer responds to the idea that Charles Darwin’s evolutionary ideas turned him (Darwin) away from religion (as stated in this Slate article).

A historian disgraces himself

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 04, 2005

A historian disgraces himself. A rebuttal of “The Theory of Evolution: Just a Theory?”

The theory of evolution: just a theory?

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 03, 2005

The theory of evolution: just a theory?. “Historian Prof. William D. Rubinstein shares his doubts about the theory of evolution.”

Creationism: God’s gift to the ignorant

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 03, 2005

Creationism: God’s gift to the ignorant. Richard Dawkins on the “deceitful misquoting of scientists to suit an anti-scientific agenda” and other creationist follies.

The box jellyfish provides evidence of how

posted by Jason Kottke   May 13, 2005

The box jellyfish provides evidence of how complex “image-forming” eyes could have evolved from simpler structures.