Darwin finch pendants

My friend Ashley makes and sells Darwin finch pendants! From Ashley:


Need a gift for that special scientist or science enthusiast in your life? Darwin finch pendants make a great gift! You may (naturally) select from one of four of the famous finches ($15/ea) or pick up the whole set of 4 for ($40)! If interested, email Ashley Hall at ashleyfrag@gmail.com.

Subscription service for new evolution toys: would you sign up?

Palm Kids is seeking interest for a subscription for a new series of evolution toys. Working on this is biologist Kate Miller, who designed and sold the Charlie’s Playhouse Giant Evolution Timeline, which we’re very fond of. The new toys are 2-in-1 Evolvems, critters that evolve into another by reversing them – a transitional plush! Here’s a bunch of info regarding the new toys, and be sure to click on the image if you’re interested. There would be a free first shipment, and then a monthly shipment that you’d pay for, which can be cancelled at any time. I think it’s a great idea for introducing evolution and paleontology to children and keeping it fresh and exciting.

Evolution B   Palm Kids

Updates will be posted at Evolution for Kids!

In time for my birthday…

From AgentDVD:

Lionsgate will release the Charles Darwin biopic Creation June 29 (order date June 2) on DVD at $27.98.

The film stars Paul Bettany as Darwin, the naturalist who formulated the theory of natural selection. Bettany’s real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly, plays Darwin’s wife, a deeply religious woman who feared her husband’s work would damage the church. Jeremy Northam and Toby Jones also star.

The movie is based on the book Annie’s Box, by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes. Annie was the name of Darwin’s daughter who died as a child.

Extras include an audio commentary with director Jon Amiel, the making-of documentary “The Battle for Charles Darwin,” three “Debating Darwin” featurettes, seven “Digging Deeper Into Darwin” featurettes and a “Pollard on Film: Creation” featurette.

Oh, my birthday is June 17.

Palaeobet Bookmark

Palaeobet Bookmark

Palaeobet Bookmark (click to view larger)

I like Palaeobet, cool paleontological renditions of your ABCs. Although all the letters are contained in one image file, I separated particular letters, put them together, printed it out, and made a little bookmark for Patrick:








You can also get a poster of the Palaeobet!

CBC’s “The Evolution of Charles Darwin”

CBC's The Evolution of Charles Darwin

CBC's The Evolution of Charles Darwin

Back on November 11, 2009, I mentioned this:

“The Evolution of Charles Darwin,” a 4-part series on CBC Radio One: “Ideas pays tribute to Charles Darwin and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of his transformational and contentious book, On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory of evolution through Natural Selection completely changed how we think about the world. In this 4-part series, Seth Feldmanguides us through the life and ideas of Charles Darwin, a creative genius. The series is produced by Sara Wolch.” Via Adrian.

There is now a CD version of the series, with a video preview:

– Part 1, The Prepared Mind:
From Darwin’s early years to his voyage of discovery on H.M.S. Beagle.

– Part 2, From The Beagle to the Book:
Darwin thinks his way to ‘The Origin of Species’.

– Part 3, Primates vs Primates:
What ‘The Origin of Species’ said, and what was said about it.

– Part 4, Darwin’s Enduring Legacy:
Why science and society today are still wrestling with Darwin’s big idea.

The CD set can be had here.

Some other Darwin stamps & a coin

Two thoughts:

1. It’s nice to see a younger Darwin on the stamps.

2. It’s a shame that the USPS didn’t produce a Darwin stamp!

Stamps from the Falkland Islands (more info here):

Falkland Islands (click to see larger)

Stamps from Ascension Island (more info here):

Darwin  - Mint Set

Ascension Island (click to see larger)

Coin from the Falkland Islands (more info here):

Falkland Islands

Evolving Presents

Giant Evolution Timeline

Giant Evolution Timeline

Among the Legos, Lincoln Logs, numerous books, new pajamas, and a wooden train set for Patrick on Christmas morning was a Giant Evolution Timeline playmat, gifted to us from Kate at Charlie’s Playhouse. I have been unwell since Christmas day with the flu, so there has not been much time for playing and learning, but we will open this up soon and explore “600 million years of evolution, 67 bizarre ancient creatures, a bunch of great activities and tons of fun!”

Thank you, Kate, for the wonderful holiday present!

Rare Charles Darwin book found on toilet bookshelf

When I first saw this piece, I thought it was going to have something to do with Ray Comfort’s crap version of Origin. From the Associated Press (November 22, 2009):

Rare Charles Darwin book found on toilet bookshelf

LONDON — An auction house says it is selling a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” found in a family’s guest lavatory in southern England.

Christie’s auction house said Sunday the book — one of around 1,250 copies first printed in 1859 — had been on a toilet bookshelf at a family’s home in Oxford.

The book will be auctioned on Tuesday — the 150th anniversary of the publication of the famous work. Christie’s said the book is likely to sell for 60,000 pounds ($99,000).

Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” outlined his theory of natural selection — the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution.

Celebrations around the world this year have marked the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth.

Darwin Round-Up

Monday, November 16th is the deadline for submissions to Charlie’s Playhouse’s “Ask the Kids” [about evolution] project.  More information here.

I somehow neglected to share Ben Fry’s very cool digital rendition of the six editions of On the Origin of Species and the changes therein: “The Preservation of Favoured Traces.”

The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences blog that accompanies their new Darwin as a geologist exhibit (my pics) has a short write up on the “Darwin in the Field” conference I attended last July, here. Also, the newsletter of the Palaeontological Association (they provided funding for the conference, including travel money for myself and a post-doc at the Smithsonian) has a report of the conference written by, well, me! You can see it at the bottom of page 56 in this PDF.

Two freely available articles from Bioscience: “The Darwinian Revelation: Tracing the Origin and Evolution of an Idea” [PDF] by James Costa and “Ten Myths about Charles Darwin” [PDF] by Kevin Padian [previous posts with Padian].

Nature has started a series on Darwin and culture called “Global Darwin”: “Darwin and culture,” “Global Darwin: Eastern enchantment,” and “Global Darwin: Contempt for competition.” These pieces explore a variety of reactions to Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Also titled “Global Darwin” is a 2009 lecture by Jim Secord. Access it here. At the same site are lectures by Janet Browne and Rebecca Stott.

Here is a page for the National Library of Medicine’s exhibit Rewriting the Book of Nature: Charles Darwin and the Rise of Evolutionary Theory, and two sets of pictures on Flickr showing a Darwin exhibition (Darwin’s Legacy) at the National Museum of Natural History, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Darwin Online has put up the annotated copy of On the Origin of Species owned by Darwin’s third son, and experimental assistant, Francis.

Videos of many lectures from the University of Cambridge’s Darwin Festival in July are up on YouTube.

Darwinfest: Bold Ideas Change Worlds, at ASU, has its own website. Darwin biographer Janet Browne will give a lecture on November 13th. Previous lectures from throughout 2009 are available for download.

Historian of science Jim Endersby will talk on “Darwin, Hooker, and Empire” on November 18th  in conjunction with the American Philosophical Society’s exhibition Dialogues with Darwin: An Exhibition of Historical Documents and Contemporary Art. Website here, and a fun Flickr photo set of post-it notes that visitors filled out and placed on a tree of life diagram. Another recent lecture of Endersby’s, “Smashing Species: Joseph Hooker and Victorian Science” for the Royal Society, can be downloaded as an mp3.

Christ’s College, Cambridge has a website for Darwin, with lots of resources.

“Who can head the words of Charlie Darwin…”

Cambridge Library Collection’s Life Science series offers reprints of many historically important books (71 titles), many of which are on Amazon.

Via Genomicron, “This View of Life: Evolutionary Art for the Year of Darwin”:

Evolutionary art is the topic of many books this year: Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture by Jonathan Smith; Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science, and the Visual Arts by Jane Munro; Darwin: Art and the Search for Origins; The Art of Evolution: Darwin, Darwinisms, and Visual Culture by Barbara Larson and Fae Bauer; Darwin’s Camera: Art and Photography in the Theory of Evolution by Phillip Prodger; Reframing Darwin: Evolution and Art in Australia by Jeanette Hoorn; and Darwin’s Pictures: Views of Evolutionary Theory, 1837-1874 by Julia Voss.

In Evolution: Education and Outreach is an article by U. Kutschera called “Darwin’s Philosophical Imperative and the Furor Theologicus: “In 1859 Charles Darwin submitted a manuscript entitled “An Abstract of an Essay on the Origin of Species and Varieties through Natural Selection” to John Murray III, who published the text under the title On the Origin of Species. On many pages of this book, Darwin contrasts his naturalistic theory that explains the transmutation and diversification of animals and plants with the Bible-based belief that all species were independently created. On the last page of the first edition, published in November 1859, where Darwin speculated on the origin of the earliest forms of life from which all other species have descended, no reference to “the Creator” is made. In order to conciliate angry clerics and hence to tame the erupted furor theologicus, Darwin included the phrase “by the Creator” in the second edition of 1860 and in all subsequent versions of his book (sixth ed. 1872). However, in a letter of 1863, Darwin distanced himself from this Bible-based statement and wrote that by creation he means “appeared by some wholly unknown process.” In 1871, Darwin proposed a naturalistic origin-of-life-concept but did not dare to mention his “warm little pond hypothesis” in the sixth definitive edition of the Origin (1872). I conclude that the British naturalist strictly separated scientific facts and theories from religious dogmas (Darwin’s “philosophical imperative”) and would not endorse current claims by the Catholic Church and other Christian associations that evolutionary theory and Bible-based myths are compatible.”

EEO also has a piece about the traveling Darwin exhibition by Chiara Ceci, “Darwin: Origin and Evolution of an Exhibition”: “Two hundred years after his birth, Darwin, originated by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is the most important exhibition about the English scientist ever organized for the general public. This traveling exhibition has appeared in many versions worldwide, and a study of the relationships between local developers of the various editions of the exhibition underlines how a scientific exhibition and, more generally, science communication can succeed in striking a good equilibrium between universal content and cultural determinants.”

“Discover the principles of evolution through animations, movies and simulations” at Evolution of Life.

Several articles have appeared this year in the Journal of the History of Biology touching on Darwin and evolution in general: “Capitalist Contexts for Darwinian Theory: Land, Finance, Industry and Empire” (M.J.S. Hodge); “The Origins of Species: The Debate between August Weismann and Moritz Wagner” (Charlotte Weissman); “Edward Hitchcock’s Pre-Darwinian (1840) ‘Tree of Life'” (J. David Archibald); “Tantalizing Tortoises and the Darwin-Galápagos Legend” (Frank J. Sulloway); “‘A Great Complication of Circumstances’ – Darwin and the Economy of Nature” (Trevor Pearce); “Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage, Fossil Vertebrate Succession, and ‘The Gradual Birth & Death of Species'” (Paul D. Brinkman); “Darwin and Inheritance: The Influence of Prosper Lucas” (Ricardo Noguera-Solano and Rosaura Ruiz-Gutiérrez); and “Of Mice and Men: Evolution and the Socialist Utopia. William Morris, H.G. Wells, and George Bernard Shaw” (Piers J. Hale).

A Darwin article in Plant Biology: “From Charles Darwin’s botanical country-house studies to modern plant biology”: “As a student of theology at Cambridge University, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) attended the lectures of the botanist John S. Henslow (1796-1861). This instruction provided the basis for his life-long interest in plants as well as the species question. This was a major reason why in his book On the Origin of Species, which was published 150 years ago, Darwin explained his metaphorical phrase `struggle for life’ with respect to animals and plants. In this article, we review Darwin’s botanical work with reference to the following topics: the struggle for existence in the vegetable kingdom with respect to the phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance response; the biology of flowers and Darwin’s plant-insect co-evolution hypothesis; climbing plants and the discovery of action potentials; the power of movement in plants and Darwin’s conflict with the German plant physiologist Julius Sachs; and light perception by growing grass coleoptiles with reference to the phototropins. Finally, we describe the establishment of the scientific discipline of Plant Biology that took place in the USA 80 years ago, and define this area of research with respect to Darwin’s work on botany and the physiology of higher plants.”

And another in Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences: “Dog fight: Darwin as animal advocate in the antivivisection controversy of 1875”: “The traditional characterization of Charles Darwin as a strong advocate of physiological experimentation on animals was posited in Richard French’s Antivivisection and medical science in Victorian England (1975), where French portrayed him as a soldier in Thomas Huxley’s efforts to preserve anatomical experimentation on animals unfettered by government regulation. That interpretation relied too much on, inter alia, Huxley’s own description of the legislative battles of 1875, and shared many historians’ propensity to foster a legacy of Darwin as a leader among a new wave of scientists, even where personal interests might indicate a conflicting story. Animal rights issues concerned more than mere science for Darwin, however, and where debates over other scientific issues failed to inspire Darwin to become publicly active, he readily joined the battle over vivisection, helping to draft legislation which, in many ways, was more protective of animal rights than even the bills proposed by his friend and anti-vivisectionist, Frances Power Cobbe. Darwin may not have officially joined Cobbe’s side in the fight, but personal correspondence of the period between 1870 and 1875 reveals a man whose first interest was to protect animals from inhumane treatment, and second to protect the reputations of those men and physiologists who were his friends, and who he believed incapable of inhumane acts. On this latter point he and Cobbe never did reach agreement, but they certainly agreed on the humane treatment of animals, and the need to proscribe various forms of animal experimentation.”

“Darwinism Comes to Penn” [PDF], in The Pennsylvania Gazette: “A century-and-a-half after the November 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species, a Penn microbiologist looks back at how Darwin’s ideas were received by some of the University’s leading thinkers.”

In the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, “WWDD? (What Would Darwin Do?)” [PDF], looks at evolution research and publishing: “We have just celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. While I hope we all rejoiced in the success of evolutionary biology and its continued growth, we should not become complacent. Although these are indeed events to celebrate, we still face the real threat of general ignorance of Darwin’s ideas. World leaders (or would-be world leaders) still promote superstition, stories and unthinking acceptance of dogma over scientific evidence. Evolutionary biologists have succeeded in investigating the magnificence, the wonder, the complexity, and the detail of evolution and its role in generating biodiversity. Evolutionary biologists have been less successful in making this relevant to those who are not biologists (and even, alas, some biologists). Is evolutionary biology likely to thrive when governments demand an immediate return on their research investment? How do we begin to educate others as to the value and importance of evolutionary research? I do not begin to claim that I can fathom the mind of Darwin, but I cannot help wondering – what would Darwin do today? Would he respond? How would he respond? And, what would be the form of his response?”

Jerry Coyne on “Why Evolution is True”:

Daniel Dennett on “Darwin and the Evolution of Why”:

A new book “offers a primer in the history of the development of evolution as a discipline after Darwin’s book and in how evolution is defined today”: The Origin Then and Now: An Interpretive Guide to the Origin of Species (Princeton University Press, 2009) by UCR biologist David Reznick. You can read the introduction on the publisher’s page for the book.

Richard Dawkins closes his latest book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by going through and detailing each line of the famous closing paragraph (“There is grandeur in this view of life…”) of On the Origin of Species. It’s available online, for you, to read, and ponder.

“The Evolution of Charles Darwin,” a 4-part series on CBC Radio One: “Ideas pays tribute to Charles Darwin and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of his transformational and contentious book, On the Origin of Species. Darwin’s theory of evolution through Natural Selection completely changed how we think about the world. In this 4-part series, Seth Feldman guides us through the life and ideas of Charles Darwin, a creative genius. The series is produced by Sara Wolch.” Via Adrian.

Via The Evolution List, The Darwinian Revolutions Video Series: “This series of six online videos is a brief introduction to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and its implications.” The short videos are: Darwinian Revolutions, Evolutionary Ancestors, Lamarck’s Theory, One Long Argument, Mendel-Eclipse of Darwin, and The Evolving Synthesis.

The November 2009 issue of Naturwissenschaften is devoted to Darwin. The articles are “Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, directional selection, and the evolutionary sciences today” [PDF] (Ulrich Kutschera); “Darwin’s warm little pond revisited: From molecules to the origin of life” [PDF] (Hartmut Follmann and Carol Brownson); “Charles Darwin, beetles and phylogenetics” [PDF] (Rolf G. Beutel, Frank Friedrich and Richard A. B. Leschen); “The predictability of evolution: Glimpses into a post-Darwinian world” [PDF] (Simon Conway Morris); and “Evolutionary plant physiology: Charles Darwin’s forgotten synthesis” [PDF] (Ulrich Kutschera and Karl J. Niklas).

Two more articles consider Darwin and the origin of life. In Endeavour James E. Strick offers “Darwin and the origin of life: public versus private science”: “In the first twenty years after the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, an intense debate took place within the ranks of Darwin’s supporters over exactly what his theory implied about the means by which the original living organism formed on Earth. Many supporters of evolutionary science also supported the doctrine of spontaneous generation: life forming from nonliving material not just once but many times up to the present day. Darwin was ambivalent on this topic. He feared its explosive potential to drive away liberal-minded Christians who might otherwise be supporters. His ambivalent wording created still more confusion, both among friends and foes, about what Darwin actually believed about the origin of life. A famous lecture by Thomas H. Huxley in 1870 set forth what later became the ‘party line’ Darwinian position on the subject.” In Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Juli Peretó, Jeffrey L. Bada and Antonio Lazcano offer another analysis in “Charles Darwin and the Origin of Life”: “When Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species 150 years ago he consciously avoided discussing the origin of life. However, analysis of some other texts written by Darwin, and of the correspondence he exchanged with friends and colleagues demonstrates that he took for granted the possibility of a natural emergence of the first life forms. As shown by notes from the pages he excised from his private notebooks, as early as 1837 Darwin was convinced that “the intimate relation of Life with laws of chemical combination, & the universality of latter render spontaneous generation not improbable”. Like many of his contemporaries, Darwin rejected the idea that putrefaction of preexisting organic compounds could lead to the appearance of organisms. Although he favored the possibility that life could appear by natural processes from simple inorganic compounds, his reluctance to discuss the issue resulted from his recognition that at the time it was possible to undertake the experimental study of the emergence of life.”


PZ Myers live-blogged on Pharyngula talks given at Chicago’s big Darwin festival, Darwin/Chicago 2009. Science Life also has a piece about the conference.

From the August 24, 2009 issue of Significance, two Darwin articles: “Darwin, Mendel and the evolution of evolution” by R. Allan Reese: “The history of science is full of myths. Darwin has his fair share; but Gregor Mendel, his fellow scientist and contemporary, has suffered even more. R. Allan Reese disentangles what we like to believe about Mendel from what we should believe—and finds a modern species whose origin was not by conventional evolution;” and “Cousins: Charles Darwin, Sir Francis Galton and the birth of eugenics” by Nicholas W. Gillham: “Sir Francis Galton, scientist, African Explorer and statistician, was a key figure in statistical history. He was the man who devised the statistical concepts of regression and correlation. He was also Charles Darwin’s cousin. And, inspired by his reading of Darwin, he was the founder of eugenics: the “science” of improving the human race through selective breeding. Nicholas Gillham tells of a darker side to statistics and heredity.”Sir Francis Galton, scientist, African Explorer and statistician, was a key figure in statistical history. He was the man who devised the statistical concepts of regression and correlation. He was also Charles Darwin’s cousin. And, inspired by his reading of Darwin, he was the founder of eugenics: the “science” of improving the human race through selective breeding. Nicholas Gillham tells of a darker side to statistics and heredity.”

In Archives of Natural History of October 2009 is a short article, “Letters from Alfred Russel Wallace concerning the Darwin commemorations of 1909” by Henry A McGhie.

Cambridge Trip #10: Natural History Museum, London

Tuesday, 12 July 2009

This morning I left Cambridge. I just want to make note of one of the books that sat on the nightstand in my bed and breakfast room:

Books in my room, Cambridge, England

Books in my room, Cambridge, England

That book on top is Period Piece by Gwen Raverat. Raverat was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin, and Period Piece is her memoir about her childhood in Cambridge, and recollections of the Darwin family.

Walking from my lodgings to the train station, I passed by the entrance to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. This, along with the Darwin and art exhibit Endless Forms at the Fitzwilliam Museum, is one of the places I wanted to visit but missed (the botanic garden has an exhibit on Darwin and carnivorous plants).

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

As I walked from the garden entrance to the train station, one of the wheels on my bag busted off. No good. At times I carried it and other times I just let the one side of the bag drag on the ground – it depended on the condition of the sidewalks: smooth or higgledly-piggledly. When on the train from Cambridge to London, the train’s power failed while in a  tunnel and we sat there for about 20 minutes. Remember that on the tube in London when heading to King’s Cross Station on my first day in England the track failed, leading to my regretting the decision to use the stairs rather than the elevator to get above ground. To and fro did not treat me well on this trip, but while I was at my destinations everything was great!

Before getting to Heathrow Airport, I decided to get off at the South Kensington station to quickly visit Karen James at the Natural History Museum (whom I had also seen in Cambridge). Turns out she was too busy with meetings, but I got to walk around the museum for about an hour, picked up a few souviners, and met up with another good friend. I was surprised at how many visitors there were in the museum. While that is understandable given the free admission, a  girl working in the museum store told me that this day was rather slow, because school had not yet let out. Here are some photos from my visit to NHM:

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, London

Butterfly Jungle, Natural History Museum, London

Butterfly Jungle, Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, London

After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions, Natural History Museum, London

After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions, Natural History Museum, London

After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions was open but I hadn’t the time:

In After Darwin: Contemporary Expressions, major artists and writers exhibit newly-commissioned and existing work, inspired by Charles Darwin’s book, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Their pieces explore Darwin’s theory that expressing emotion is not unique to humans, but is shared with animals.

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, London

Ammonite fossil, Natural History Museum, London

Ammonite fossil, Natural History Museum, London

Tree (Darwin-inspired ceiling art), Natural History Museum, London

Tree (Darwin-inspired ceiling art), Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Shop, Natural History Museum, London

At the Darwin Shop I picked up coffee mug with Darwin’s tree of life sketch on it, and Kristan Lawson’s Darwin and Evolution for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities:

Darwin Mug from Natural History Museum, London

Darwin Mug from Natural History Museum, London

Darwin and Evolution for Kids by Kristan Lawson

Darwin and Evolution for Kids by Kristan Lawson

I took pictures of the other books I got during the trip, and all the Darwin literature (brochures, postcards, etc.).

Marine Reptiles, Natural History Museum, London

Marine Reptiles, Natural History Museum, London

Plesiosaur, Natural History Museum, London

Plesiosaur, Natural History Museum, London

Diplodocus (Dippy), Natural History Museum, London

Diplodocus ("Dippy"), Natural History Museum, London

About this statue, which replaced a statue of Richard Owen at the top of the stairs:

The Darwin statue was created by Sir Joseph Boehm and was unveiled on 9 June 1885. In 1927 it was moved to make way for an Indian elephant specimen, and then moved again in 1970 to the North Hall. The statue’s return to its original prime position is in time for the anniversary of Darwin’s birth 200 years ago, and for the start of the programme of Darwin200 events.

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

It says:

“Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds, which follows from the advance of science.”

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882)

Dedicated by The Rt Hon Andrew Burnham MP. Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, on the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, 12 February 2009

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin statue, Natural History Museum, London

This is my favorite photo from the NHM:

Darwin reflecting on mans ancestry, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin reflecting on man's ancestry, Natural History Museum, London

Darwins view, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin's view, Natural History Museum, London

And of course, me with the man who gave reason for my trip to Cambridge:

Darwin & Me, Natural History Museum, London

Darwin & me, Natural History Museum, London

Woolly Rhino, Natural History Museum, London

Woolly Rhino, Natural History Museum, London

Toxodon, Natural History Museum, London

Toxodon, Natural History Museum, London

Here is the last photograph I took on the trip:

South Kensington station, London

South Kensington station, London

Made my way to Heathrow, got lunch, damn near missed my flight, flew to Minneapolis, bumped into George from the American Computer Museum in Bozeman there (we were on the same flight), and after a delay flew home to Bozeman. And that was that. Not bad for my first trip out of the United States. I will be going to London this fall for a research trip (archives at the Royal Insitution and Kew Gardens), and will spend more time at the Natural History Museum and – how can I not! – visit Down House, Darwin’s home and laboratory for four decades. If the Darwin biopic Creation (check out the very cool flash website) has not opened in the states yet, I will hopefully see it in London.

The HMS Beagle Project has recently started doing podcasts. The second episode features Karen and Richard, and they both talk about their time with me in Cambridge. Karen said my trip to Cambridge was my Mecca. You can listen to it here.

You can view all the photos from my trip here, if you feel so inclined. Some of Richard’s Cambridge photos are here.

PREVIOUS: Cambridge Trip #9: Darwin’s Room at Christ’s CollegeCambridge Trip #8: Darwin’s Microscope at the Whipple Museum of the History of ScienceCambridge Trip #7: Beetles, Finches and Barnacles at the University Museum of ZoologyCambridge Trip #6: Darwin the Geologist at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth SciencesCambridge Trip #5: Darwin Groupies Explore CambridgeCambridge Trip #4: Darwin in the Field Conference, Pt. 2Cambridge Trip #3: Darwin in the Field ConferenceCambridge Trip #2: Finding My WayCambridge Trip #1: Traveling

Plethora of Darwin

Orchids through Darwin’s Eyes, an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History, through April 26.

Darwin’s newly re-discovered student bills from Christ’s College, Cambridge, at Darwin Online

A review of the Darwin exhibit on the blog Entangled Bank.

Some music about scientists from Artichoke: 26 Scientists,Volume 1 (Anning-Malthus).

Watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos free on hulu.com.

Carl Zimmer’s Darwin Day lecture, “Darwin and Beyond,” is available on blip.tv.

The BBC’s Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, with David Attenborough, is now available on DVD.

Darwin’s Bulldogs, the Consortium for Evolutionary Studies at California State University, Fresno.

Case Western University’s Year of Darwin / Darwin and the Evolution of Industries and Firms by Hayagreeva Rao:

The March-April 2009 issue of Comptes Rendus Palevol is devoted to “Histoire évolutive de la Vie/Evolutionary history of Life.” View the TOC here.

The University of Birmingham will host a one-day Royal Institute of Philosophy conference on June 10, 2009 focusing on Darwin’s philosophy and the philosophy of biology more generally. More information here.

Darwin biographer/historian Jim Moore discusses Darwin and his own interest in Darwin in several videos from Open2.

Darwin stamps from Bulgaria, India, and a coin from Australia.

The February 2009 issue of The American Biology Teacher was devoted to Darwin an evolution. View the TOC here.

Several history of science-relates articles in the February 2009 issue of Taxon, including “Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778): his life, philosophy and science and its relationship to modern biology and medicine” and “Taxonomy was the foundation of Darwin’s evolution.”

The Journal of Biology‘s Special Darwin Issue, view the entire issue as a PDF here.

Darwin Across the Disciplines at the College of William and Mary:

As a reminder, you can add my Google Reader shared items feed to your feed reader to remain updated on Darwin/history of science content I browse…

Post Darwin Day Clean Out (of my inbox that is)

Darwin events at San Diego State University and University of California, San Diego. The San Diego Natural History Museum will be hosting the Darwin exhibition from November 7, 2009 to February 28, 2010.

George Beccaloni writes about the approaching 150th anniversary of Wallace’s Line.

Karen James of The HMS Beagle Project wrote as if she was Emma Darwin for the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. Read it here.

Obama poster-like Darwin merchandise from Mike Rosulek.

Latest edition of the online graduate student history of science journal Spontaneous Generations is available, and includes an article titled “Is it Time for an Updated ‘Eco-Evo-Devo’ Definition of Evolution by Natural Selection?”

From Nature, a review of Barry Werth’s Banquet at Delmonico’s: Great Minds, the Gilded Age, and the Triumph of Evolution in America.

Some Darwin jewelry from Surly-Ramicsphotos on Flickr.

Did anyone participate in the Center for Inquiry’s Darwin Aloud project

CBC Radio’s program about Darwin, listen to it here.

What does Darwin mean to Kenneth Miller? (video)

Darwin content from the February 12th issue of Nature.

Rachel Maddow’s piece on Darwin Day (video):

Adam Gopnik was on Charlie Rose discussing his new book on Darwin and Lincoln. Watch it here. (another interview here)

Collecting the Evolution Debate from AbeBooks.com.

Here is a video of historian of science Janet Browne’s lecture last fall on Darwin’s finances and personal habits. PZ blogged it here.

Historian of science Mark Borello discussed Darwin for Minnesota Public Radio.

Discussion boards on the Internet Movie Database for Creation

Darwin Day articles from Humanist Network News: Eat a Bug for DarwinNatural (?) Selection, and Parenting Beyond Belief: Evolution for Breakfast.

Darwin 200 from SEED magazine, Darwin content from Scientific American, The New York Times has a Darwin page, and Darwin content from Discover magazine.

The Daily Show’s Best Evolution Moments.

The National Science Foundation has a report/interactive, Evolution of Evolution.

Scientific Blogging’s Darwin Day 2009 (2008 here).

Some folks have created Beagle models, here and here, and the ultimate model here.

Cosmos magazine on Darwin, from Genomicron.

An excerpt from Iain McCalman’s forthcoming Darwin’s Armada: How four voyagers to Australasia won the battle for evolution and changed the world.

Darwin Day 2009 photosets: Penn Museum, Charlie’s Playhouse, University of Arizona, Shrewsbury Festival, Kennedy Library in San Luis Obispo, CA, theta sigma, Charlie D and His Natural Selections

Anyone been to The Evolution Store in New York? Looks spendy…

2009 Charles Darwin £2 Coin Pack from The Royal Mint

Chuck & Chimp

Chuck & Chimp

From The Royal Mint:

This commemorative £2 coin for 2009 celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin as well as the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. The reverse of the coin, designed by Suzie Zamit, features a profile portrait of Charles Darwin and a chimpanzee together with the denomination TWO POUNDS, the year dates 1809 and 2009 and DARWIN. The presentation folder tells the story of Charles Darwin’s life and achievements and includes a reproduction of original drawings he made during his travels.

Random Darwin Day Videos

Clips for National Geographic’s Darwin 200 programming:

Two clips from BBC’s Darwin’s Struggle:

Kate Miller talking about products from Charlie’s Playhouse:

Eight year old Dudeboy inhabits the body of Charles Darwin to recite the last line of “On the Origin of Species”:

A historia pessoal de Charles Darwin (3 videos):

Big List of Children’s Books about Darwin and Evolution



This comes from Charlie’s Playhouse, a group of like-minded folks (they all see the importance of evolution education) who have put out some products for kids about evolution. See their website here, and their blog here. The list of books, “Children’s Books about Evolution and Charles Darwin: An Annotated Bibliography in Honor of Darwin’s 200th Birthday,” is available as a PDF here. If you have kids (like me – I have several on the list already) then do check this list out. They’ve included many forthcoming titles, as well as some older ones. Their criteria for the books:

Here’s how we chose them. Books had to be targeted to ages fifteen or under and squarely focused on evolution or Darwin. Fictionalized accounts were welcome. We excluded books about dinosaurs because they are just too numerous and usually don’t even bear on evolution. We excluded books on creationism or intelligent design for the same reason. Within these constraints, we hope to present a truly comprehensive list, including older books. If you know of a book that we’ve overlooked, please let us know.

I will have to look through my books and see if I have any that are not listed!