Celebrating Charles Darwin Day

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Tattoo inspired from Darwin’s notebook around July 1837 that showed his first sketch of an evolutionary tree.

Today people around the world celebrates the 204 Anniversary of Charles Darwin birth.  To me this day is special and I celebrate the life and work of this great man by sharing with you the WHY he is history’s most important thinker.

Throughout his life, Darwin’s work resulted in the most enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, ever contributed to the advancement of humanity.  Darwin gave us the research and opened the doors for human inquiry by founding the unifying theory of Biology: Evolution. He was the first to present convincing evidence of it and its major driving force – natural selection.

The general idea of evolution preceded Darwin, and he shied away from making the explicit and incendiary claim that even humans were evolved from other creatures. But his explanation of natural selection as a mechanism that made evolution plausibly able to explain the origin of species without reference to a creator up-ended the contemporary orthodoxy. It set a new course that no subsequent scientific work could ignore. And according to the eminent late evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, “Eliminating God from science made room for strictly scientific explanations of all natural phenomena; it gave rise to positivism; it produced a powerful intellectual and spiritual revolution, the effects of which have lasted to this day.”

Eugene Byrne and Simon Gurr wanted to celebrate Darwin’s lifelong spirit of curiosity and bring the message to kids with their new graphic novel.

Darwin Day. February 12, 2012.

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin and the anniversary of the publication of “On the Origin of Species”.

I invite you to watch this video with a musical celebration of the wonders of biology, including evolution, natural selection, DNA, and more. Featuring David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye. “The Greatest Show on Earth” is the 13th video in the Symphony of Science music videos series. All of which are now studied because of the questions that Charles Darwin dare to ask.

Symphony of Science – The Greatest Show on Earth! A music video about Evolution

In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World

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Image by tamaki via Flickr

map: United States, 1860, percentage of the sl...
Image via Wikipedia

Today I finished reading the Kindle book In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff; and I have confirmed that the work of any historian cannot be done without the help of Geography and a Globalized view of the power behind migrations. In her book, the author made very clear the effects of this forced migration of black slaves to America and how they changed the botanical future of the whole American Continent.  Reading this also was a great way of remembering when I worked as Collection Developer of the Wilson Popenoe Library (2,300 items) at the Ludwig von Mises Library.  His was a fantastic bibliography and you could see in his books how he managed to be the first exporter of Avocados to The United States.

 

Now, I invite you to check the book review via Project MUSE® prepared by Brian Grabbatin,

Many geographers know Judith Carney from her award-winning book Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (2001). There she explored the development of rice growing techniques in Africa and subsequent role of enslaved Africans in transferring those techniques to North American plantations, particularly in the South Carolina low-country. In the Shadow of Slavery, a new book coauthored by Carney and independent researcher Richard Nicholas Rosomoff, builds on these findings, examining how enslaved Africans participated in botanical exchanges that have shaped foodways in the Atlantic world. In contrast to Black Rice, this book focuses on a variety of subsistence crops instead of a single cash … Read More