Sunday, August 10, 2008

Origin of the Gaps

Saw the first part of Richard Dawkins' new series, The Genius of Charles Darwin over the weekend (Channel 4 have some clips, or stream it in crappy quality on Google, and you definitely, definitely shouldn't download it for free).

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, being, as I am, a card-carrying Dawkinsphile (we need a better word...). I was fascinated by the description of Darwin's thought processes that sowed the idea of evolution by natural selection, especially his reading of Charles Lyell's works on geology. Imagine that moment of realisation, that all the evidence you can see points to an old Earth, one exponentially older than that put forward by the Bible. It must have been, if you'll forgive the pun dear reader, an earth-shattering moment (Wikipedia tells me that as a devout Christian, Lyell himself struggled with this new found realisation). I would love to have been there at that point in time: I imagine he fell off his chair and exclaimed "Egad!", or "Gadzooks!". Victorian scientists talked like that all the time y'know.

Found this, good stuff, but watch out for pirates!!


Peter Mc said...

Thank you for your comment Electric Monk. I spent many a happy day sailing in and out of Carlingford Lough over the last couple of years.

If you know any large Celtic Tiger businesses with a few hundred thousand to spare, and wanting to endow a few university places on the Beagle, send 'em our way.

the electric monk said...

Peter, haven't you heard? We're in recession, and the Celtic Tiger has lost it's claws :)