Friday, July 18, 2008

Judson, Olivia. "Darwinmania!" THE WILD SIDE BLOG. NEW YORK TIMES June 17, 2008.

July 1, 2008, is the 150th anniversary of the first announcement of Darwin's discovery of natural selection, the main driving force of evolution. Since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth (Feb. 12), as well as being the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species (Nov. 24), the extravaganza is set to continue until the end of next year. Get ready for Darwin hats, t-shirts, action figures, naturally selected fireworks and evolving chocolates. Oh, and lots of books and speeches. But hold on. Does he deserve all this? . . . Read the rest here: See also by Judson:
  • As the first major statement on evolution and how it works, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species not only transformed the way we humans see ourselves. It marks the beginning of modern biology. But reading it is evidently not a prerequisite for a successful career in biology — not even for those studying evolution. ) . . . An Original Confession July 8, 2008
  • Darwin did more in one lifetime than most of us could hope to accomplish in two. But his giantism has had an odd and problematic consequence. It’s a tendency for everyone to refer back to him. “Why Darwin was wrong about X”; “Was Darwin wrong about Y?”; “What Darwin didn’t know about Z” — these are common headlines in newspapers and magazines, in both the biological and the general literature. Then there are the words: Darwinism (sometimes used with the prefix “neo”), Darwinist (ditto), Darwinian. Why is this a problem? Because it’s all grossly misleading. It suggests that Darwin was the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, of evolutionary biology, and that the subject hasn’t changed much in the 149 years since the publication of the Origin. . . . Let's Get Rid of Darwinism July 15, 2008

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