On November 24th, 1859, Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Eventually shortened (thank, God) to, On the Origin of Species. First editions can easily fetch $200,000 at auction. Not all copies have been accounted for, so check your shelves. This one is owned by the American Philosophical Society, which also has a huge and entertaining collection of translations and even the draft title page that Darwin sent to Lyell. If you’re shopping for a gift for a young science fan, get Dr Jan Pechenik’s version, The Readable Darwin: The Origin of Species, As Edited for Modern Readers.
Tag Archives: natural selection
For all you Arabic-speaking science fans, here’s a rough translation of my Charles Darwin Has A Posse sticker for your lunch box. Sorry it’s so late … not sure you can order stickers in time for Darwin Day (February 12th), but there’s plenty of time for 2016 parties. If there’s an error in the translation, please let me know (I, um, only know how to say “hello” in Arabic).
By the way, if you’re interested in how Darwin and evolution were received in Arabic, get Reading Darwin in Arabic. Thanks to the Department of Modern Languages at Swarthmore College for the translation.
As a bonus, here’s an image courtesy the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. As part of its “Dialogues with Darwin” exhibit they had a huge wall of translations. The cover art variation was amazing.
I got caught up in the holidays and completely forgot to mark the 10-year anniversary of Cobb County’s “evolution disclaimer” court case (which started in 2004). In case you missed it, the Atlanta area school board decided to glue this sticker onto the front inside cover of students’ biology textbooks:
This sticker was designed, of course, to make it seem like evolution is just an interesting idea, one that might be useful, but only time would tell. The sticker delighted the creationists in town who had pushed for the language.
I played a very, very small part in the trial: I sent a page of snarky disclaimers (below) to the plaintiff’s lawyer to amuse her, and she decided to print some up as posters to show in the courtroom. I heard the judge liked them a lot. If you are having a Darwin Day party on February 12, consider printing a bunch as party favors. Print some as bookmarks for kids while you’re at it.
If you liked the above, you might also like the version I did for the New York Times. I had titled it “Dissent with Modification” but the editors changed it. That made me so mad …
Just a Public Service Announcement from Charles Darwin: get a flu shot now so that you’ll (likely) be alive to fret endlessly about Ebola.
And if you don’t get the vaccine and end up getting the flu, please consider quarantining yourself: you are infectious because flu is airborne and kills a lot of us (36,000+). From the CDC:
“Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.”
(Charles Darwin painted by Carl Buell. Background mural by Borgny Bay. Photo by me.)
I’ve tried to remake my “Charles Darwin Has A Posse” with other languages, but have probably made terrible mistakes in all of them. I’ll eventually get it right. Until then, if you want to share any of the below today, go crazy. And if you’d like to print some stickers in the privacy of your own home, please go to my Charles Darwin Has A Posse page and download the PDF. Take photos of where you post them, then share on Twitter so we can all enjoy. I especially like to see them in public schools, for the obvious reasons.