Ah, Darwin Day, paying homage to the man who was born on 12th February 1809, died on 19th April 1882, and became known in his time and ever since as the world’s most celebrated and recognised naturalist (as in someone who studies plants and animals, not someone who gets their kit off during beach season). Especially famed for his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, his popularisation of Herbert Spencer’s phrase ‘survival of the fittest’, and of course, his big, white, bushy beard.

Today is the 203rd anniversary of Charles Darwin entering this world, which would soon be rocked to its core by his scientific evidence that Queen Victoria’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother was an Amazonian tree frog, and not a very regal one at that. I could delight you with tales of the scientist’s travels, discoveries, successes, personal life, religious views and even his experiences of dining on tortoise meat during his voyage on HMS Beagle, but this isn’t a lecture series, it’s a blog, and I’d have to research it first anyway because, as I often say, “I ain’t no Darwin expert, stop asking me about talking monkeys!”

Instead I’d just like to do what I hope the rest of you are doing: taking a moment to thank the fella for showing us that even the lowliest sea slug, slimy on the outside and gooey on the inside, can eventually develop to be, say, an interchangeable component of a temporarily popular boy band.

Three cheers for Darwin and his theory on evolution, and for those of us with an opposable digit on each hand thanks to the lengthy process in question, let’s also give them the thumbs up!


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