New video! Evolution and the Book of Life
Hmm. I don’t really know how to describe this week’s IOTBS.
I was having a bit of an existential crisis about evolution and why something as simple as DNA, changing over time, could be responsible for creating everything from bacteria to beagles. So I called my friend Eric over and he explained the book of life to me.
I also make fun of him for having red hair, defend Rosalind Franklin’s honor, and declare myself part of Team GIF With A Hard G).
I highly recommend viewing the original list as written by Charles Darwin the bachelor, somehow Darwin’s own hand makes it even funnier.
My favorite, no question: “Better than a dog, anyhow.”
I agree. I love my dogs, but my wife has them beat.
"I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable."
The birth of the Theory of Natural Selection, in a letter.
Eight years after returning from his globe-spanning voyage aboard the Beagle, Charles Darwin penned this letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker. Darwin had spent years analyzing the botanical and animal specimens he collected from the Galapagos. He had noted their variations, their geographical relationships, and his theory of how species arise was beginning to take shape. And he was nervous about telling the world.
It’s funny, Darwin had no idea that we’d be reading his mail, looking for important stuff. Makes me think twice about my Twitter account.
Under the category of “cool things penned by Darwin,” the above letter is perhaps second only to this, his first tree of life, accompanied by the hilariously appropriate words “I think”:
Their correspondence has been digitally archived by the University of Cambridge library, and it’s a time capsule to the moment when the most important principle in all of biology was hatched from the noggin of one British naturalist named Darwin. It’s hours of fun, give it a read.
Sigh. Why don’t people write letters any more?