Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Darwin Day '08

Well, it's that time of year: Darwin Day. Though his theory's been updated again and again over the course of a century and a half, making the Origin of Species very outdated, we pay a minor bit of tribute to the guy who gave biology a productive direction to investigate. He wasn't a prophet. Just a guy who put a particular set of 2 and 2 together in a memorable way, opening new lines of inquiry.

After Darwin, life (at least in the strictly biological way) started making sense. Critters could be traced back through their ancestry to a common point. Doing that trackback, we could discover where they took different forks in the road, and so on and so forth. Yet still today, there are people who would tear down that whole thing and replace it with statements like "because I said so" and "the magic man in the sky was in a weird mood that day, we can't possibly ever know what he was thinking" to explain the hows and whys of life.

Darwin and the countless biologists who followed didn't give into such a defeatist attitude. They dared to ask questions and seek answers, regardless of what it did to lesser people's blind pride and hubris. Armed with scientific fact, scientists could work at improving our lives in ways we take for granted today and potentially in ways we can imagine tomorrow. So, celebrate the stone that caused the ever-growing ripple we're riding today.

And remember, happiness is a squishy cephalopod.

So, was I cheesy and inspiring enough, there?

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