Happy 150th, Origin!

Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, and, reports have it, the mainstream media has decided, in its infinitely misguided goal to be “fair and balanced” about things, to give publicity to ignoramuses. So, I’m told, Stephen Meyer spouts his usual string of canards on CNN, and Time has apparently weighed in by interviewing some dimwit named Dennis Sewell on Darwin’s “Dark Legacy” (ooooooo!). You know, the usual Godwinning, “evilushun is to blame for school shootings oh noes!!!” feces. Well, I choose to ignore ignorance. And I’m not linking to it, because blithering anti-science idiocy does not deserve to be rewarded with links. Instead, I’ll simply raise a toast to one of the greatest and most important works of science of all time. Long after Christianity — and indeed, the human race — has settled into dust, whatever living things remain on this earth will continue to evolve, and the panoply of life will continue. Which is the reason Roger Ebert has described evolution as the “most consoling of all the sciences.” Because it not only tells us that life will find a way, but it tells us how. All thanks to Chuck D. Well done, sir.

Happy 199th, Chuck D!

You don’t look a day over 162!

Thanks to Google Books, there’s no reason not to read On the Origin of Species. It isn’t the last word on evolution, of course. But it was the first word that actually meant something, that stated the theory in clear terms and defended it with sufficiently sound science that the following 150 years of science were able to build upon it and refine it, supporting its claims with such then-unknown disciplines as genetics. The deniers may follow Ray Comfort in preferring to wallow in their feeble “imaginations,” while the rest of us celebrate the vivid understanding of reality Darwin gave us. Tip of the hat to the man whose work literally changed the world! Happy Darwin Day, gang!

Darwin Day fun tomorrow

Here in Austin, the fine folks at CFI have another little Darwin Day celebration going on tomorrow afternoon at Book People. Just like last year, there will be talks by UT professors on the subject of “The Relevance of Evolution to Our Everyday Lives,” while for the kiddies, there will be storytime and science activities on the second floor. All of which culminates in the most important part of all, cutting the birthday cake. Check here for more info. Hope every pro-science Austinite can come and bring a friend.

Happy 198th to Chuck D!

As Ed Brayton points out, February 12, 1809 was the day the world got both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. A great day for humanity indeed!

The Center for Inquiry Community of Austin hosted a wonderfully successful Darwin Day celebration at Book People on Saturday. I’ve posted 20 photos from the event, thanks to Marla Shane, at the CFI-Austin MySpace page (I think you have to be a MySpace member to view the pics), and the Daily Texan Online has a nice article as well, even if they make a bit too much hay over the “controversial” nature of evolution. (It isn’t controversial at all among actual scientists — duh.) So have some cake today to commemorate one of the most important scientists who ever lived! (Mmmmm…cake.)