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Feb 12 2013

Happy Darwin Day!

colorfuldarwin

I hope you all have grand plans to celebrate. I’m a bit swamped with work today, so I think I’ll be deferring my holiday to this weekend.

I think I’ll go to Florida. We’ve just dug out from a blizzard, so I think it’s brilliant of me to flit down to Fort Lauderdale.

Hmm. Maybe I should visit Broward College while I’m in the neighborhood. It looks like a good place.

And as long as I’m there, I should join in the Broward Darwin Day event, give a couple of talks, maybe say hello to James Randi, you know, the usual.

It’s what Charles Darwin would do.

32 comments

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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    I’ll be celebrating the reduction of humanity to mere chemistry and chance, like any good Darwinist. As if there were any other reason to worship Darwin, except, of course, the enjoyment of rampant sin.

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2
    Inaji

    Happy Darwin Day, PZ! Florida? Warm weather? Colour me jealous. I have to head into town today, errands, so not much fun for me.

  3. 3
    Taslima Nasreen

    I like the last line.

  4. 4
    glodson

    I think I might sacrifice a monkey to my Darwin shrine. Soon, there will be no more monkeys just so I don’t have to answer that goddamned question anymore.

  5. 5
    Randomfactor

    Darwin would do it by sailing ship, though.

  6. 6
    richardelguru

    Shrove Tuesday and Darwin Day.
    We should all make pancakes out of as many phyla as possible!!!

  7. 7
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M GONNA BE THERE!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ll be sure to shake your hand (and get your autograph on something… maybe?). AronRa is speaking as well, if I’m not mistaken. I hope you’ll give a talk before 4, though. I’ll be leaving around 4:30 because I’m reading torah at a synagogue in Boca that evening… I come from Judaism, and the Torah portion is my Bar Mitzvah portion… Dad (clergy) wants me to read it.

  8. 8
    PZ Myers

    I’m doing an afternoon talk to students at Broward, and then the general talk is at 7pm.

  9. 9
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    According to the Facebook page, you have a talk at 2. That’s the one I’ll be at. 7 is impossible ’cause that’s when I’m reading Torah…

  10. 10
    Marcus Ranum

    Happy Monkey! Thanks for clearing that up for us, Charles!

    Perhaps I’ll put aside what’s at the top of my stack, tonight, and have a glass of red wine and re-read some of my favorite parts of The Voyage of The Beagle.

  11. 11
    carlie

    *Gasp!* I totally didn’t realize that was today!

    I did already eat a banana today, so does that count?

  12. 12
    Blattafrax

    I celebrate with a new phone screen wallpaper. That is a very, very brilliantly wonderful picture.

  13. 13
    jahigginbotham

    Mardi Gras!

  14. 14
    Rich Woods

    Bananas and pancakes.

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    Check with the organizers. I don’t know if the 2:00 talk is for the general public. (Tell ‘em I sent you if they turn you away.)

  16. 16
    cervantes

    Reasonably apropos of Darwin Day, I hope. At least worth noting. The Onion at its best:

    Resigning Pope No Longer Has Strength To Lead Church Backward:

    According to the 85-year-old pontiff, after considerable prayer and reflection on his physical stamina and mental acuity, he concluded that his declining faculties left him unable to helm the Church’s ambitious regressive agenda and guide the faith’s one billion global followers on their steady march away from modernity and cultural advancement.

    “It is with sadness, but steadfast conviction, that I announce I am no longer capable of impeding social progress with the energy and endurance that is required of the highest ministry in the Roman Catholic Church,” Benedict reportedly said in Latin to the Vatican’s highest cardinals. . . .

  17. 17
    smhll

    My son pointed out earlier that today is “pancake day” (Shrove Tuesday, I guess), so I suggest a double celebration with free form (or fractal) pancakes shaped like islands in the Galapagos. Sprinkle with whatever sprinklings your taste buds are most adapted to.

  18. 18
    neutrinosarecool

    Darwin was a racist sexist aristocrat who would have seriously been banned by PZ if he ever raised his head on Pharyngula. Have you ever read what this guy wrote? Jeezzuss fucking Christ, at least physicists don’t go around having “Newton Day”, do they? Try actually READING Darwin sometimes, and you’ll notice the resemblance to some backwards redneck bar crowd talking about the natural inferiority of women and the lower races of humanity. Yup, that cold northern weather made the white race superior to the soft darkies in the tropical zone, who just had to walk around pickin’ up breadfruit and fish, not like the vigorous strugggggle for survival in the northlands, but lets not talk about them creepy yeller-skinned Eskimos, what?

    Yes, yes, Darwin made many scientific advances, and was a genius FOR HIS DAY – which, if you will recall, was the psychotic Victorian era? Get over it, biologists – this is no longer the 19th century, and the worshipful attitude towards high priest Darwin makes me fucking GAG.

    Yers truly, not a biologist.

  19. 19
    DLC

    Well, it’s crossing a Deep Rift for me to say so, considering nobody returned my Merry Newtonmas greetings, but — Happy Darwin Day!

  20. 20
    neutrinosarecool

    I have to admit, I do like Darwin’s work on blue-light phototropism in plants more than his drivel about human evolution, tho. Or was that his son’s work? Clever fellow, no doubt, and imagine what YOU would have had to deal with, growing up in that Victorian era – when the mere sight of a woman’s naked ankle was considered scandalous.

  21. 21
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    PZ:
    Pensacola beach is nicer than any other in Florida…hint…hint

  22. 22
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Check with the organizers. I don’t know if the 2:00 talk is for the general public. (Tell ‘em I sent you if they turn you away.)

    Thanks, PZ!

    If they check up on it with you, my full name’s Nathan Hevenstone. :D

    On a different note, who is this neutrinosarecool idiot? Sounds like another Creationist to me. Did you miss Newtonmas? Einstein-over? Sagan Giving? Tu Bishawking? Feynman de Mayo?

  23. 23
    Jafafa Hots

    Coinkdinkily, I got this in the mail yesterday:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jafafahots/8466616243/in/photostream

  24. 24
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Nate-
    I was wondering about this neutrinosarecool idjit myself. As in, “xe must not realize that PZ clearly appreciates Darwin’s contribution to science, which was kinda big” (last time I checked one of the topics this blog deals with is biology). I do not see PZ holding Darwin up as a hero (in the way some people treat Columbus). In fact, at no point do I see PZ comment about Darwin’s character.

  25. 25
    thebookofdave

    I never understood the idea of posthumous celebration of anyone’s birthdate. A birthday is an intimate event, celebrated by close friends and family during a person’s life. Those of us on the outside of this small group should commemorate a signature event of interest to the public. Under this principle, Darwin Day should be November 24 (the publication date of Origin of Species).

    Anybody feeling compelled to celebrate me after my death should choose August 6th, the day I beat the defending champion of the Sanchez Burrito Factory in eating El Burro Gordissimo. Sure, I’ve had more fulfilling personal accomplishments, but I’m not exactly a Hall-of-Famer anywhere else. Not so coincidentally, it’s also my birthday.

  26. 26
    anuran

    neutrinosarecool.

    Are your eyes brown, or are you a quart low?

    Darwin was one of the Wedgewoods, yes THOSE Wedgewoods. His family were industrialists in *shudder* trade which meant they weren’t even vaguely “aristocrats”. And they had a scandalous reputation in their day; workers at Wedgewood factories were treated well, paid well and even taught to read at company schools. This was a dangerously radical step in those days.

    Darwin’s contemporaries, particularly those who traveled with him on the Beagle remarked on how daringly egalitarian he was. When he needed local labor he hired it at the same rates he paid the English workers in the same workgroup. Yes, that included dark-skinned people.

    As for sexist, well, once again he was a man of his time. But he was considered kind and generous towards women. In fact, he held off publishing for years because he felt it would have caused his religious wife personal and social discomfort.

  27. 27
    bradleybetts

    @Neutrinosarecool

    In our day and age, even Lincoln would be considered a racist. Try reading up on him some time. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember him and honour him for the achievements he did have. He was still massively ahead of the zeitgeist for that time. I was about to lay down some information which suggests Darwin was also ahead of the curve, but anuran has beaten me to it and is quite frankly better informed on that front than I am, so see hir excellent post on the matter.

    And anyway, Darwin isn’t remembered for his social policies, is he? He’s remembered for a groundbreaking theory which laid the foundations of modern Biology. So you’re comparing apples with oranges and quite frankly being a pillock. Cease and desist.

  28. 28
    richardelguru

    Well said anuran!
    Gramps Darwin was pretty cool too!

  29. 29
    David Marjanović

    Yes, yes, Darwin made many scientific advances, and was a genius FOR HIS DAY – which, if you will recall, was the psychotic Victorian era? Get over it, biologists – this is no longer the 19th century, and the worshipful attitude towards high priest Darwin makes me fucking GAG.

    Calm down, it’s mostly poking fun at the creationists, who believe we literally worship him as some kind of prophet.

    Under this principle, Darwin Day should be November 24 (the publication date of Origin of Species).

    Or perhaps July 1st, the day when the paper by Darwin and Wallace was read at the Royal Society in 1858.

    Darwin was one of the Wedgewoods, yes THOSE Wedgewoods.

    Uh, Wedgwood without e. Even though you’d only expect that of the other side of the pond.

  30. 30
    ChasCPeterson

    Try actually READING Darwin sometimes, and you’ll notice the resemblance to some backwards redneck bar crowd talking about the natural inferiority of women and the lower races of humanity.

    I know, like that whole ludicrous book he wrote about worms! And that other one, the giant monograph on barnacles. And, what’s the name of that one book, the big famous one, Origin of SPecies I think, that nver mentions humans hardly at all and…

    wait a minute.
    What Darwin have you actually READ?

  31. 31
    Inaji

    the psychotic Victorian era?

    Psychotic, eh? You know, when you’re a dipshit who knows next to nothing about history or the social sciences, you might wish to remain quiet, rather than prove you’re a fool who gets overly excited over very little.

  32. 32
    David Marjanović

    I completely overlooked the Cacops in the picture! :-)

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