We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities… still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
– Charles Darwin
There was a pivotal moment in history when we began to look at ourselves, and at life, in a new way. It changed not just how we perceived ourselves, but how we were related to all the other life and species on Earth. We came to realize, along the way, that we were kin, however distant, of every lifeform on Earth, and that moment was both aggrandizing and humbling, all at once. That moment was when Charles Darwin brought the idea of Law of Natural Selection into the limelight of the scientific world, and we began to see with clear eyes how everything, absolutely everything, was connected.
History of Darwin Day
Darwin was absolutely fundamental to the understanding of life and the species of the world as we know it today. Charles Robert Darwin was born in 1809, and grew to become a naturalist and geologist who would come to change the world. He was fascinated by the number and variety of fossils from around the world, and the species in their great diversity, and so set out on a five-year voyage on the Beagle to sail around the world to study life in all its forms.
While his theories were originally rejected by the science of his day, it came to be seen as incontrovertible fact as more and more data was collected and more species were discovered. DNA research pushed it even further, as we started to see the connections between species in the very genes that composed them. It was impossible not to see that some species originated from other species, and that even man itself had a shared ancestor with the primates. Science would never be the same.
How to celebrate Darwin Day
The best way to celebrate Darwin Day is to really study evolution and familiarize yourself with the concept of ‘Natural Selection’. It’s an often misunderstood concept, with people mistaking ‘Survival of the Fittest’ for ‘Survival of the Best’, and failing to grasp that ‘fittest’ is for a certain set of circumstances. The heart of it is, if a member of a species survives to pass on its genes, then those genes are the ones that survive to shape the new species. Eventually, with enough beneficial mutations, it can go on to become an entirely new species suited for its environment. Read up! It’s only the ancestors of everything you have to learn about!