Charles Darwin, the Geologist

The Mountain Mystery

Ridiculing Darwin, Hornet magazine 1871Darwin as imagined by Hornet magazine 1871

It’s his birthday. It seems Charles Darwin’s legacy is experiencing a renaissance. Sure, some 60% of Americans vilify the man and hope he is roasting in hell. Or undergoing reincarnation as a toad, or is still awaiting release from purgatory. I guess that the eternal damnable punishment for writing a pretty good book depends on one’s own vision of a just and loving supreme being. Darwin has somehow caught the heat and hate of a lot of people who have trouble with scientific inquiry – and where such inquiry may lead.

Nevertheless, few scientists were as meticulous, thoughtful, and cautious as Charles Darwin. Though we celebrate his ideas of natural selection, survival of the fittest, and the origin of species, the idea that biology continually sorts and rearranges itself evolved slowly in the years before Darwin. The notion of evolution became evident to…

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