Unbelievable that Google seems to have forgotten about it. Normally I would have expected a reminder in form of a Google Doodle. Not today – I hope it’s just forgetfulness, and has nothing to do with the controversy this man causes with certain fundamental religious believers.
I’m of course talking about Charles Darwin, born on February 12th, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. At the age of 22, Darwin started a trip around the world. It took him 5 years, and became the foundation of his later scientific works. After returning, his travelogues established his reputation. He became well-known for his geographic and zoological observations. One of his travel stops was the Galápagos Islands and the Galápagos finches, which will later be renamed to Darwin finches in honor of Charles Darwin. It was those finches that made Darwin write-up his hugest scientific contribution, later by Sigmund Freud declared as one of the three insults of mankind: On the Origin of Species. It was the revolutionary theory that all species evolved and are thus related to each other – it was the foundation of evolution theory.
Of course this led to huge discussions and people of course did not only share his ideas – mankind, who till then believed to be the creation of an almighty God that created man in his spitting image, had to wrap it’s mind around the thought that he actually used to be a monkey.
What an outrage.
Interestingly, many of his theories could not even been proven then. Only with the capabilities of the 20th century could his ideas such as natural selection as mechanism of the evolution. Darwin layed the foundation of modern Biology and should therefore be remembered and honoured all time.
So, Happy Birthday, Darwin. Today you would have been 131 years old!
Btw. if you are interested in his original works, everything he has ever written can be found on darwin-online.org.uk. For a change totally legal and free of charge, as copyright ends 70 years after the author dies. So if you like, go ahead and enjoy his groundbreaking works.