Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist who proved the theory of Evolution and Natural Selection. Perhaps the most clear and concise book that I’ve ever read on how Natural Selection works is Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution, by Steve Jenkins. That this is a children’s picture book is immaterial. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand Natural Selection, or especially to anyone wanting to explain it to a child.
The SF Chronicle had a book review the other day for what looks to be another great book on Evolution, Why Evolution is True, by Jerry A Coyne. This book is for slightly older readers, and one that takes on the battle between those who believe in Creation, those who believe in Intelligent Design, and those who go for straight Evolution. I’m thinking I might see if my local library has this one.
Thank you to Mr. Darwin, and to all of the amazing scientists who look at the world around us, and wonder at how things work, at how things came to be the way that they are, and who do not simply decide that things must be one way and then accept it, but make it their life’s work to prove their theories, again and again. This is, after all, what makes it Science, rather than Religion or Literature. I admire them greatly.
UPDATED to add that I knew Lincoln was born in 1809 as well, and was wondering exactly when, and then I discovered that he and Darwin were born on the same day! So, Happy 200th to a great scientist, and a great President! Happy Birthday, Abe, from the cousin many times removed of your old law partner, Billy Herndon.