A Belated Happy Birthday

Posted by on Feb 16, 2009 in Uncategorized | One Comment


It can't have escaped your notice that we're celebrating the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth and at the same time the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of the Species.

John pointed out this curious service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the man; go here to see how Damien Hirst is celebrating the book (see pic above)

NB If you haven't [re-]read Origin of the Species, you really should. Grasping received ideas are one thing, but as we mere hacks suspect, the received ideas might not represent all that is to be said on the subject. And for all the reverence bestowed on him and his ideas by scientists, Darwin is probably the most misunderstand writer of the modern era. So the "received" version of Darwin is quite a long way from his original work.

1 Comment

  1. johng
    February 16, 2009

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve had a copy of Origin of Species for 30 years and never read it. I shall now.
    I take issue with Damien Hurst’s dismissal of the creation story. Actually its rather sophisticated taking as it does an anthropocentric perspective of the creator on the surface of a cooling planet developing first an atmosphere, continents, then plants, sea creatures, flying insects and so on. And was almost certainly written as a rebuttal to the creation myth of Marduk’s epic defeat of Tiamat and the rest of the Babylonian pantheon (I can thoroughly recommend the current exhibition about Babylon at the British Museum by the way)
    The wreath laying ceremony on Darwin’s tomb was combined with the launch of a book Darwin and God by Nick Spencer formerly of the Henley Centre – exploring how Darwin made sense of his theory and religious faith. A book endorsed by Mary Midgely and the Oxford Professor of Science and Religion. Christian groups were conspicuous in their participation at the ceremony. A reminder that there is more to be said about the reconciliation of faith and science than has been uttered by Americans with extremely red necks. What atheists often condemn as naive and oppressive is too often a child’s persective on religion which ought to have been abandoned long ago.