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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

2009, An Anniversary Year

When the 26 year-old Charles Darwin sailed into the Galapagos Islands in 1835 on board the HMS Beagle, he took little notice of a collection of birds that are now intimately associated with his name. He actually misclassified as grosbeaks some of the birds that are now known as Darwin’s finches. After Darwin returned to England, the artist John Gould began to make illustrations of a group of preserved bird specimens brought back by Darwin, and the artist recognized them all to be different species of finches. From this work, Darwin came to understand how the beak size of the finches must have changed over the generations to accommodate differences in the size of seeds or insects consumed on the various islands.
Twenty years later, Darwin would translate his understanding of finch adaption to conditions on different islands into a fully formed a theory of evolution, emphasizing the power of natural selection to ensure that more favorable traits endure in successive generations. Darwin’s theory, core features of which have withstood critical scrutiny from scientific and religious critics, constituted only the starting point for an endlessly rich set of research questions that continue to inspire present-day scientists.
This year, 2009, marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. In this anniversary year, Darwin’s greatest bequest can be found in the enormous body of research and theorizing that extend directly from his writings. It also serves to underline how evolution itself has undergone radical alterations in the past 150 years, a merger of the original theory with the science of the gene, which Darwin had as little understanding of as the ancients did.

Well, in any event, I wish anyone stumbling on this blog: a Happy Christmas, a jubilant Hanukkah, and a Merry New Year.

3 Responses to “2009, An Anniversary Year”

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  2. Sahler818@gmail.com Says:

    I almost never write responses, but i did some searching and wound up here Objetivos | Centro Universitario del Norte -CUNOR-. And I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it simply me or does it seem like a few of the comments look as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? And, if you are posting at other online sites, I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of all of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  3. admin Says:

    I don’t understand the brain dead comment. Me? Darwin? What is written? The review of Darwin’s travels and his writings comes from his original journals.
    As regards fresh posts, look through my many blog posts in 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012.
    I am listed in Facebook & LinkedIn. Put in my name and you’ll find out about me.
    Thanks for posting on my blog. Come again..

    Bill Frankl

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