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Wednesday, 11 February 2009 23:30

Ten articles about Charles Darwin on his 200th anniversary

The following is a compilation of ten articles about English naturalist Charles Darwin, upon the two hundredth anniversary of his birth and the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his landmark book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.”

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.

In 1859, after two decades of analyzing, researching, and developing his hypothesis, he published his world-renown book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,” on November 24, 1859.

He later shortened the title to “On the Origin of Species.”

The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online is found at Darwin-Online.org.uk.

Now on to nine written articles and one video article recently written and produced about Charles Darwin:

1. The New York Times: “Darwin, Ahead of His Time, Is Still Influential” by Nicholas Wade (February 9, 2009)

Within the article, Mr. Wade states, “Darwin’s thinking about evolution was not only deep, but also very broad. He was interested in fossils, animal breeding, geographical distribution, anatomy and plants. “That very comprehensive view allowed him to see things that others perhaps didn’t,” says Robert J. Richards, a historian at the University of Chicago.”

Page two continues with additional thought-provoking articles about Charles Darwin.

The second article comes from England and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Others follow in suit.

2. BBC News: “Historic Figures: Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882)

The biography begins, “Darwin was a British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and transformed the way we think about the natural world.”

3. Times.Online: “David Attenborough on Charles Darwin” (January 22, 2009)

The article states, “He [Attenborough] believes that Darwin changed the world in a way very few others have done. “Copernicus, perhaps. The Sun becoming the centre of the solar system. That's fairly life-changing.” I say that to the layman it is still quite hard to get your head round evolution. “The theory that the first woman was made out of the rib of Adam - now that is quite a difficult one to believe,” he counters.”

4. National Geographic Channel: video on “Professor Richard Dawkins on Darwin

The video is introduced with the following: “Professor Richard Dawkins explains the importance of Charles Darwin, what evolution means and why the National Geographic Channel should celebrate the bi-centenary of his birth.”

5. Scientific American: “Darwin's Living Legacy--Evolutionary Theory 150 Years Later” (December 2008)

Summarizing Darwin’s work, the article states, “Darwin’s theory, core features of which have withstood critical scrutiny from scientific and religious critics, constituted only the starting point for an endlessly rich set of research questions that continue to inspire present-day scientists.”

6. The Salt Lake Tribune: “Darwin's 200th: Religion is no substitute for evolutionary science” by Gregory A. Lake (February 10, 2009)

Early in the article it states, “It is regrettable that today, 200 years after the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years after the publication of his The Origin of Species, there are still so many persons who would sacrifice the honest teaching of evolution on the altar of religion.”

Page three concludes on this grouping of ten articles about Charles Darwin.

The International Society for Science & Religion was established in 2002.

Its mission is to promote education in the fields of science and religion through international and multi-faith cooperation. It contains the next article about Darwin.

7. The International Society for Science & Religion: “Charles Darwin on Religion

The article takes an unbiased look at Darwin’s religions. It states, “There is no simple answer to questions about Darwin’s religious sympathies. This is partly because they changed over time.”

8. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: “The Debate Over Evolution

The series of articles is introduced with, “Two hundred years after Charles Darwin's birth and nearly 150 years after Darwin published his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Americans are still fighting over evolution. If anything, the controversy has recently grown in both size and intensity.”

9. Darwin Day Celebration: “Mechanisms of Evolution

An excerpt of it states, “He [Darwin] was able to consider all this information when he was trying to determine the ‘specific mechanism’ that permitted animals and plants to change over time. Eventually he realized that the mechanism underlying the process of evolution was that of ‘natural selection’.”

10. Telegraph.co.uk: “Charles Darwin: 'Is man an ape or an angel?” by Steve Jones (June 17, 2008)

It begins, “In 1842, Queen Victoria went to London Zoo. She was not amused: ‘The orang-outang is too wonderful… he is frightfully, and painfully, and disagreeably human.’”

* * * * *

Author’s note: I attempted to bring a wide range of articles to the discussion of Charles Darwin on this important date for all of people on Earth. It will probably please some people, while displease others. I hope that it will make everyone think about science, religion, and our own unique role in our tiny world we call home.

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