#149 Happy Birthday, Chuck!


Charles Darwin would have been 204 years old today had he been a better scientist and figure out the secrets of immortality. Instead, he figured out the mechanism that causes the evolution of species from one into the next. I guess that's a worthy achievement.

In case anyone came to this page by searching "Darwin", "Evolution" or something similar, let me talk just briefly about the word "theory" as used in a scientific context. You've heard the word used in conjunction with "gravity", "relativity", and of course, "evolution". Many on the non-scientific side use the use of the word theory to indicate that it's just and idea and that science isn't quite sure. That's one definition of theory, for sure. It's a working hypothesis and you think is right but are looking for lines of evidence to prove it. Well, in the cases of gravity, relativity, and evolution, we have so many lines of evidence pointing towards their accuracy that it would be absurd to even think that something would come along to challenge our assumptions about those theories.

Scientists, however, are a cautious bunch. They use the word theory because there IS a chance that something will come along and challenge what they know about the world. It's not a good chance. But it's still a chance.

So, celebrate Darwin Day by doing some research into the man, the myth, and the science. Also, check out Wallace. He almost made it to the finish line first. Darwin had researched the topic much more extensively, though, and rightly deserves the honors.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field.