Thursday, February 12, 2009

PYSBRIoM: Olivia Judson

Olivia Judson writes semi-regularly in the NYT Op-Ed section. She's an evolutionary biologist who contributes to and curates The Wild Side for the NYT's online edition.

Today being Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, Ms. Judson is the perfect candidate to bring us this brief appreciation of the man and his work.

Good stuff concerning not just science but his social values.

"[W]hile many of his contemporaries approved of slavery, Darwin did not. He came from a family of ardent abolitionists, and he was revolted by what he saw in slave countries: 'Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal .... It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.'"

A swell guy, that Chuck.

If you want something funny, go to the unwittingly hilarious Conservapedia, which compares Darwin to Hitler on its current homepage (scroll down; it's on the left, a few notches below the item crowing about how fewer people in America believe in evolution now than in 1985). They'll tell you what the liberal media don't want you to know.

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