“CW Prepping Charles Darwin Drama,” perfect opportunity for a Darwin facepalm

From The Hollywood Reporter:

CW Prepping Charles Darwin Drama, CBS Readying Gothic Horror Show

Hot writer Adam Karp is prepping two big-swing dramas for The CW and CBS. First, Karp — who won the 2012 Humanitas Prize’s New Voices Award — is readying Unnatural Selection, a drama set to explore Charles Darwin and Captain Robert FitzRoy’s journey through the Amazon.

The CW has handed out a script commitment for the drama that focuses on a 21-year-old Darwin, and his childhood friend Capt. Fitzroy’s journey through the Amazon to return the woman they both love to her native home. During the journey, they encounter a land ripe with political conflict, mysterious creatures, mythical cities and dangerous foes beyond their wildest imagination. The drama is based on Darwin and FitzRoy’s five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle, which established the former ahead of his Origin of the Species.

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charles_darwin_animation_by_darwinsbiggestfan-d547pku

‘Tis the season for evolving…

Here’s a collection of holiday items relating to Darwin and evolution that I’ve posted over the last 5 years or so…

Two holiday card options from Blag Hag:

Paleontologist Thomas Holtz penned “The Twelve Days of Darwin” for Darwin Day in 2009, but it seems appropriate for this time of year, too.

Colin Purrington has a Darwin ornament you can print out and fold then hang on your holiday tree:

Make a Charles Darwin Christmas ornament!

Tree from xkcd (a reader has pointed out that this cartoon is not about Darwin/evolution – I thought it was a phylogenetic Christmas tree – but rather a reference to mathematics – binary heap):

Tree

Some Darwin Santas:

Santa Darwin

Darwin Claus

Darwin-Santa

Happy Holidays from gf Newland

Snowman evolution, from John Kerschbaum (via Jay Hosler):

xmas2006snowman150dpiwJK

Evolving tree:

(D)evolution

chanukiah to christmas tree

Evolution of Santa:

The Heroes of Science ornament collection includes Darwin:

Heroes of Science: Set of 10 ornaments of your choice

Atheist Christmas Cards has a few of Darwin:

Darwin Atheist Christmas Cards Evolution of Tradition Secular Cards Humorous Atheist Snowman Christmas Cards

And finally, you could always just take a Darwin fish and place it on your tree:

Darwinmas

Talking about apes

Oregon Zoo, Portland

Patrick with an orangutan at the Oregon Zoo last November

I had an interesting exchange with the young man pumping my gas this morning.

Attendent: Hey, why do you have a picture of me on your car?

Me: What?

Attendent: The zoo sticker with the gorilla on it, looks like me.

Me: Oh, that’s an orangutan.

Attendent: Same thing.

Me: Not really…

Attendent: Well, they live in different places.

Me: Yes, gorillas in Africa and orangutans in Indonesia. They’re both apes, along with humans and chimpanzees.

Attendent: Monkeys, right?

Me: Apes and monkeys are different; apes don’t have tails.

Attendent: How would I know something like that?

Me: Did you ever take a biology course in high school?

Attendee: I never finished any of my classes. Maybe that’s why I’m pumping your gas and you’re teaching me about apes and monkeys. [gas pumping stops]

Q: How many historians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: There is a great deal of debate on this issue. Up until the mid-20th century, the accepted answer was ‘one’: and this Whiggish narrative underpinned a number of works that celebrated electrification and the march of progress in light-bulb changing. Beginning in the 1960s, however, social historians increasingly rejected the ‘Great Man’ school and produced revisionist narratives that stressed the contributions of research assistants and custodial staff. This new consensus was challenged, in turn, by women’s historians, who criticized the social interpretation for marginalizing women, and who argued that light bulbs are actually changed by department secretaries. Since the 1980s, however, postmodernist scholars have deconstructed what they characterize as a repressive hegemonic discourse of light-bulb changing, with its implicit binary opposition between ‘light’ and ‘darkness,’ and its phallogocentric privileging of the bulb over the socket, which they see as colonialist, sexist, and racist. Finally, a new generation of neo-conservative historians have concluded that the light never needed changing in the first place, and have praised political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for bringing back the old bulb. Clearly, much additional research remains to be done.

[This is from historian David Leeson, shared on Facebook]

Darwinian humor

This humorous piece was just added to The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, [Robinson, W.] 1874. Darwinism again. Garden, an illustrated weekly journal of gardening in all its branches 6 (15 August): 163. Image A661:

Darwinism, Again.-A Darwin philosopher was brought before a justice on a charge of drunkenness. In defence, he said “Your worship I am a Darwinian, and I have, I think, discovered the origin of my unfortunate tendency. One of my remotest grandfathers was an anthropoid of a curious turn of mind. One morning, about 4,391,633 B.C., he was looking over his store of Cocoanuts, when he picked up one for his breakfast in which the milk had fermented. He drank the liquor and got gloriously drunk, and ever after he always kept his Cocoanuts until fermentation took place. Judge, then, whether a tendency handed down through innumerable ancestors, should not be taken in my defence.” Casting a sarcastic look at the prisoner, the justice said, “I am sorry that the peculiar arrangement of the atoms of star dust resulted in giving me a disposition to sentence you to pay a fine of five schillings and costs.”

It was printed elsewhere, too.

Evilution

I’ve had a Darwin fish or two removed from cars in the past. My mom once was questioned by a Bible-wielding Christian at her door, when I lived at home, why she would allow someone who accepts evolution to live in her house. I’ve been de-friended on Facebook by longtime friends and acquaintaneces because of my views, both pro-evolution and anti-creationism.

Maybe this image sums me up well:

It’s drawn by Ainsley Seago (blog), a beetle biologist who has done other wonderful illustrations for past Darwin Days: