This post is part of a series on The Origin Of Species. It was originally posted on the old blog in feb 2009, during the Darwin 200 celebrations.
What’s all this backlash nonsense about? We’re getting essays telling us to forget about Darwin (ironic coming from Steve Jones, who has probably occupied more column inches and more airwave hours on the topic of Darwin than everyone else put together other the past month or two); people telling us to stop worshiping Charlie; and then this on FriendFeed this morning. It’s cool to be contrarian, apparently.
Well bugger the party poopers. They might be worried about a simple celebration of the life of a great and good man being painted as a the atheist religious holiday, or as being at the expense of everyday scientists, or whatever other perceived consequence they have invented, but those are no excuses to spoil the party. If it were Newton, Galileo, or Einstein’s 200th, there wouldn’t be this issue — indeed, it isn’t an issue for the Gelileo-Keplerists over at International Year of Astronomy — but for some reason it is a different story for Darwin and evolution. We have to be careful not to do anything that might feed the creationists; not to make Darwin our secular god and evolution our secular religion.
Well bugger that. Didn’t you know that when you start changing your habits just because of the creationists, they’ve already won? (Or is that terrorists? I forget.) I for one will be raising a glass this evening to biology legend, international roaming geologist, fourth-place runner-up greatest Briton of all time and winner of best facial hair in class, south-east region, 1860, 1869, and 1877, Chas Darwin.