Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin was born Feb 12, 1809 at Mount House in Shrewsbury, England. Thanks to his efforts and the efforts of Alfred Russel Wallace, biology was put on a rational naturalistic course. In Darwin's time the idea of a "young Earth" circa 6000 years old was crumbling. Darwin and Wallace separately and together found that natural selection was sufficient to account for differences in species over time. Even so there was controversy in their as in our time over the origins of human intelligence.

Darwin was fortunate to be born into a well-off forward thinking family which saw to his proper education. His dad was disappointed that Charles did not take up a medical career (Darwin could not stand the sight of blood) but none the less the elder Darwin gave his consent to Charles signing onto the voyage of HMS Beagle, a voyage of exploration and mapping. The rest, as is often said, is history.

The remarkable thing about Darwin and Wallace's work is they found a natural process to account for the variety of living things without knowing the underlying machinery of inheritance of biological features. That was to wait another 40 - 50 years after the publication of _ Origin of Species _, when the works of Gregor Mendel were uncovered and re-verified in a more advanced scientific environment. The great synthesis of natural evolution and the chemistry of biological processes were merged in the 1930s and 1940s and that is how we got from Then to Now.

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin. You and Wallace did us all a great service.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Today, I fed my flying dinosaurs some old bread, cheap Walmart shelled peanuts, mixed seeds, and grey stripe and black oil sunflower seeds. There is still snow on the ground but they don’t care as long as their bellies are full.

Thanks for the birthday card. I am a big fan of Charles Darwin. By being here I am signing the card. HB, CD from PT. Wow. And a Richard Dawkins video too. My wife and I hoped to one day travel to the Galapagos Islands and the Great Pyramids. Now, I will not be going to Egypt any time soon, but the tropics would make a nice winter trip. I may look for a guided tour. Genetics and a host of scientific “ologies” have improved Darwin’s basic theories. He made science and shot the religious mystic’s boat just below the water line. He is a hero in the truest sense of the word.

Peter Taylor

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