Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Bicentenial Birthday Darwin!


Charles Darwin was born today, February 12th, 1809. Without a doubt the greatest and most influential scientist of the 19th century, and quite possibly of the last 200 years (IMHO better even than the great Physicists of the 20th century. Sorry Einstein!).

Today also happens to also be the 200th birthday of another influential man, Abraham Lincoln.

I can't help but note that the US Postal Service has a full set of Lincoln Bicentenial stamps, but no Darwin stamps (zero, nada, zip). It might be nice to believe that is simple parochialism, as Darwin wasn't born in the US. Buts lets face it, thats not the reason at all. Its about fear of raising the wrath of the overly-religious types (including sadly enough, a large number of politicians) who view scientific knowledge (in particular Biology) as a challenge to the foundations on which their socio-political influence relies.

[Young Darwin image from http://nhc.asu.edu/nhc/exhibitions.jsp]

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