Thursday, 12 February 2009

Happy 200th Birthday Charles Darwin

Today, Thursday 12 February, we celebrate 200 years since Charles Darwin, one of the world's most creative and influential thinkers, was born.

Darwin200 is a national programme of events honouring his scientific ideas and their impact. The celebrations have already begun and will continue until 24 November 2009, the 150th anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On the Origin of Species.

Darwin is now a household name whose ideas over the last 150 years have revolutionised our understanding of nature and our place within it. He challenged the thinking of the day because his observations - that every living thing is related and belongs to one big family - placed humans firmly within the natural world.

As the following quotes indicate, Darwin’s innovative thoughts are just as important to our lives today.

*'Charles Darwin's concept of evolution through natural selection is one of the most illuminating scientific ideas of all time for understanding our biosphere and humanity's place in nature. As an iconic figure, Darwin is matched only by Newton and Einstein - indeed, he has perhaps had a more pervasive influence on human culture than any other scientist.' Lord Rees of Ludlow, The Charles Darwin Trust's Science Advisory Panel

*'The two governing ideas of modern biology are first, the molecular basis of all life processes and second, the origin and evolution of all life processes by Darwinian natural selection.' Professor E O Wilson, The Charles Darwin Trust's Science Advisory Panel.

*'No single researcher has since matched his collective impact on the natural and social sciences; on politics, religions, and philosophy' nature

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