S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Two Hundred Years old

Something exciting is happening this year. It's gotten a few friends jobs. It's bringing other friends over to visit me from Canada. It's the inspiration for dozens of exhibitions at a disparate selection of major and minor museums. It's led to the restoration of at least one historic property, now open to the public, and a rash of media coverage. Today's Google logo is revamped in honor of it.

Two hundred years ago today, in Shrewsbury, Charles Darwin was born. Of course, at the age of one day, Darwin didn't accomplish very much.

Celebrating birthdays like this does always strike me as subscribing to the cult of genius, that the great works that would eventually be accomplished by the birthday boy were inherent in him at his birth. I would much rather, given the choice, celebrate the anniversaries of the actual accomplishments. Still, it'll be a long time until any more significant Darwin anniversaries roll around, so I don't mind all the celebrating and educational outreach; especially since many of my history of science friends are benefiting from it, and I from the incentives which bring them to the UK!

You can read every last one of his works online at Darwin Online. You can also read his wife's diaries there.

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