Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Natural Selection Day!

Well, there isn't one, officially, but today should be it! For 150 years ago on July 1, 1858, the world first officially heard about the theory of evolution by natural selection, in a joint presentation of papers by Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. And this being the sesquicentennial year for the theory, let's continue celebrating for the whole year, shall we? Here's an essay on Wallace to get you going:


Today we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first public announcement of what Richard Dawkins has called "...the most momentous idea ever to occur to a human mind." He was of course referring to the theory of natural selection, the primary mechanism driving the evolution of life on our planet; an idea actually discovered independently by two minds, not just one. Whilst the owner of one of these brains, Charles Darwin, is rather well known, the possessor of the other, Alfred Russel Wallace, is not exactly the household name he once was. So who was Wallace and how did he come to be the co-discoverer of what is probably the most revered (and reviled) idea in human history?

[From The Beagle Project Blog: A guest post by Wallace's Rottweiler on the 150th anniversary of natural selection.]

As to Wallace's more famous co-author, 'here's a video of his rottweiler, 'Dawkins on Darwin' courtesy Channel 4. And, of course, there is more at ScienceBlogs.

And for you students in Fresno State, isn't it about time we had a cadre of Darwin's Bulldogs on campus? (For those not from around here, the official mascot for Fresno State is Bulldogs!)



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