February 12, 2016

Darwin Day, Past and Present

For this year's Darwin Day (his 207th posthumous birthday), we take a tour of Darwin Day features from both the past and present.

Panel discussion at the Darwin Centennial Celebration, University of Chicago circa 1959.

First stop: last year's Synthetic Daisies post for Darwin Day, featuring portraits of Charles Darwin throughout the course of his lifetime.

Second stop: 2009, and Nature's special issue for Darwin's 200th birthday, which includes many nice multimedia features.

Third stop: Google's Doodle from February 12, 2009 and  a Doodle-like short movie from 2014. Link to the Doodle design and animated movie can be found below. The movie is quite elaborate, as each letter making up "Google" are treated as terminal taxa in a prototypical tree of life.

Darwin Day Google Doodle from 2014. COURTESY: Vimeo and Devone Paul

Final stop: The Selfish Gene. This year's Darwin Day roughly coincides with the 40th anniversary of "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. This work established the gene as the fundamental unit of natural selection, and provided a strong defense of Darwinian ideas. Enjoy these readings by John Brockman ("About Richard Dawkins") and Matt Ridley ("In Retrospect: The Selfish Gene").

Happy Darwin Day!

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