Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

Today we mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the most influential thinker in biology, Charles Darwin, renowned as the founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection. Publications worldwide have commemorated the day by publishing news articles on Darwin’s life and work and the current state of affairs in evolutionary theory.  Here’s a selection of impressive ones.

Darwin Speaks, Scientific American. An ‘interview’ with Darwin himself, where the naturalist fields questions about his early life, his convictions and most interestingly the evolution of his own ideas about faith.

Going Where Darwin Feared To Tread, The Washington Post. A treatment of the issue Darwin feared to tackle in 1859, but would later take up in “The Descent of Man”: the evolution of the human race. This article ran on the front page.

Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live, The New York Times. This essay by Carl Safina calls attention to the fact that Darwinism is rather cultish in itself, and that most people can’t (or, in the case of some scientists, don’t) distinguish the proecess of evolution from the advances of the man himself.  He highlights the huge advances in evolutionary theory over the past 150 years.

On ‘Darwin Day’, Many Americans Beg To Differ, The Christian Science Monitor. A reality check into the fact that more than 40 percent of Americans believe that life on Earth existed in its current form since the beginning of time. The unbiased article reveals that anti-evoution groups are staging their own commemoration today, calling it “Academic Freedom Day”.

Six Sites That Are Galapagos for Modern Darwins, Discover magazine. A rundown of six modern study sites that have gained attention for the discovery of rapid (and/or charismatic) evolution

Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin, Science special issue. This article is the introduction to a special issue of Science to commemorate the anniversary.  The issue includes review papers by great modern ecological and evolutionary thinkers, including Dolph Schluter and Jonathan Losos.

Darwin Find Some Followers in the Pulpits, NPR. An inspirational article about belief in evolution among clergy and the associated Evolution Weekend initiative and its associated Clergy Letter project, in which more than 11,000 clerics across the U.S. have signed on to a letter stating that “those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.”

Darwin Day in the U.K., The Guardian. A listing of some of the hundreds of events going on to celebrate Darwin Day in the U.K.

Author: Christine Buckley

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  1. I’m Michael Zimmerman, the founder of The Clergy Letter Project and an ecologist (Ph.D., Washington University). I’m writing to invite all readers to sign up as scientific consultants for The Clergy Letter Project (http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/Resources/sci_expert_data_base.htm). Being a consultant simply means that you are willing to answer scientific questions in your specialty posed by clergy members who have publicly stated that they are in favor of evolution being taught in our public schools. Regardless of your religious views, it is important to support these religious leaders who are standing up, sometimes at great personal peril, for science. It is also critically important to be able to demonstrate that scientists and religious leaders can work productively together.

    To sign up, simply send me an e-mail (mz@butler.edu)with the following information:

    Areas of Expertise:
    e-mail address:

    Together we can make a difference and ensure that high quality science is taught in our public schools.

    Thanks much.

    Michael Zimmerman
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    Butler University
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46208

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