I’m an evolution fan, and this is one of my Axis of Evo projects I started a few years ago to increase public acceptance of evolution. The idea for this project is to generate life-sized Darwins for geeky parties, science museums, and classrooms. If set up in a nice area, a portable Charles would provide for thousands of irresistible photo ops, and then people would share the images on Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc., gradually exposing their circle of friends to Darwin in a fun, non-threatening way.
So Carl Buell, illustrator extraordinaire, painted a Charles Darwin for me in 2009. And he kindly lets me share the digital image (a massive Photoshop file) to nonprofits and individuals who put the portable Darwin to good use. I’d estimate that there are now 40 life-sized Darwins on the planet. Contact me if you’d like to synthesize him. All I ask is that you (1) post, online, at least one high-quality photograph that is in some way funny, dramatic, or alluring, (2) link to this page so that others can find it, and (3) credit Carl Buell as the artist.
My long-term goal for the project is to encourage the use of Charles Darwin as a face for the scientific process. Currently, when the media needs an icon for science, the go-to image is Einstein. Einstein was smart, but most of his scientific process is beyond the understanding of even smart people. Darwin was smart, but also did thousands of experiments that demonstrate a keen mind and a keener curiosity. I know my goal is laughably futile, just in case you are about to contact me to laugh.
If you don’t want a Darwin at this time, I’d still appreciate any sharing you can do on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s me, posing with my Darwin, if you care.
And here are photographs of my portable Darwin, posing with a variety of evolution fans. If you like the Santa Darwin, you can order yourself a geeky mousepad or print for your office.
ⓒ Colin Purrington 2004-2013