Hallooo dear Dodopadlers! It’s Miss Peabody!
I am here today to celebrate a very special anniversary that users of the Dodo Pad and Acad Pad diaries will notice on this week’s diary page: November 24 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s famous book, On the Origin of Species. This is indeed very exciting, but it is not the only famous anniversary we’ve had this year. Darwin himself was celebrated on 12th February this year, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Our American friends will be quick to point out that Mr. Darwin was born the very same day as the great president Abraham Lincoln. And our friends north of the border will remind us the great poet Robert Burns’ 250th birthday was recognized on 25 January of this year, and the celebration has lasted all year long. This has been quite a celebratory year!
Now, on to Mr. Darwin’s famous book. Although I have read a fair amount of Darwin’s extensive publications, I must admit I have never managed to get all the way through the Origin of the Species. It’s not the easiest thing to read, you know. One must pay attention in order to understand the numerous details and, myself being a bit flighty, I sometimes find it difficult to sit still long enough to focus intently. No matter! It does not diminish the brilliance genius of his work.
Most people believe Darwin’s Origin is the result of his research while on his voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle, including his visit to the Galapagos Islands (home of the delightfully charming tortoises). While this is indeed true, it’s not the half of it. Darwin spent decades refining his ideas on evolution by studying beetles, barnacles and pigeons (oh my!). He worked constantly through illness and difficulty. His goal was to postpone publication of his book until he had gathered sufficient evidence to ensure his argument was iron-clad. But alas, as with anything in science, there can never be enough evidence for anything to be iron-clad. When Alfred Russel Wallace published his paper that drew many of the same conclusions regarding evolutionary theory, Mr. Darwin realized he must act quickly before his decades of research were overshadowed. He hurriedly compiled his research and evidence into his ever-famous book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The book sold out in numerous editions and continues to be one of the most popular works in the natural sciences to this day.
Goodness, what an educational day we are having! What books are you reading lately? Do post a comment and tell us all about it.
Toodle-oo for now!