Charles Darwin, 200 years on

posseAs you’re probably well aware, today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The anniversary is being discussed half to death on a number of sites, so I’ll try not to unduly add to your pile of reading material on the subject. Besides, I already did two podcast episodes on the gent, and how he fit into the whole historical development of the theory of evolution.

Still, I think it’s intriguing how this gentle man still manages to be at the center of controversy long after his death. For instance, this essay by Carl Safina in the New York Times. Safina basically tries to make the point that giving excessive centrality to Darwin in the discussion of evolution actually makes it harder to teach the subject — but out in the blogosphere, you’d think he was vandalizing Darwin’s tombstone. Matt Nisbet has written a brief but rational response to this; others, I think, go a bit overboard in trashing the essay. What do you think?

At this point, I’d normally be inclined to give you a bunch of links to Darwin-related reading material — but the excellent Knight Science Journalism tracker has done the job for me.

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