10 Easy Ways to Mark Darwin's Birthday
I've spent a lot of time thinking about Charles Darwin over the years. We talked about his studies a lot in my archaeology, history, and anthropology classes in college. His books gave us plenty to discuss and debate in class. I also once spent an afternoon helping one of my professors track down a copy of Peter Si's The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin so that he could gift it to a friend. Wendy's list of 10 simple but fabulous ways to mark Darwin's birthday with your family made me smile and has kicked off a plan to visit my local natural history museum soon. - Karen
Evolution, or the process by which living organisms change over time, was not discovered by Charles Darwin. But he certainly gave the theory its street cred.
By introducing natural selection — the idea that organisms best suited to survive in their particular circumstances have a greater chance of passing their traits on to the next generation — Darwin gave us a plausible mechanism by which evolution could take place. And that made all the difference. Darwin’s 1859 book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was the most groundbreaking biological theory the world had ever seen. And it remains an idea so powerful that it’s still banned today in some schools.
1. Watch this seven-minute video of cool-as-hell Carl Sagan explaining Natural Selection in a delightful and simply way.
2. Make a toast. Darwin’s name is one we want our kids to know and respect, so even if they’re too young to grasp the process of natural selection, at least get his name out there.