Still On Top After All These Years

150 years ago today, the theory of natural selection was first presented to the public.

It is most interesting to note that not one but two scientists had discovered natural selection completely independently of one another. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace did not know one another beyond professional reputation and Darwin only became aware of Wallace’s theory on species transmutation after he received a letter from an ailing Wallace, requesting his theory be handed over to Charles Lyell, a highly respected scientist at the time, for possible publication in a scientific journal.

Darwin, who had already conceived his theories on natural selection years prior, was nonplussed as to what to do with this new paper from Wallace. He asked Lyell and another friend, Joseph Hooker, what to do. It was decided that Wallace’s paper would be presented along with a couple of Darwin’s writings on the same subject to the Linnean Society of London.

On July 1, 1858, the presentation was made and while Wallace later complained of the manner in which the information was presented, a major event had occurred in the world of science that paved the way for mankind to begin truly understanding its origins.

So, as you cut your steak away from the bone tonight*, consider the notion that there was a time when your ancestors ate a lot more vegetation than meat. Then think about that worm-like organ called the appendix and how today it is totally useless. Finally, consider the lizards of Pod Mrcaru and how, in just 30 years, they developed completely different digestive systems to accommodate a higher abundance of plants as food.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about the implications of all those things, it makes me wanna shout: HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATURAL SELECTION!!! You’re still as smart and sexy as you’ve always been!

*I ask my vegetarian peeps to bear with me; I’m making a point.

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
This entry was posted in Can I Say Something? and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Still On Top After All These Years

  1. Jay says:

    And consider that, without said natural selection and its sister, evolution, we'd all be living on a rocky, barren world with green-tinted oceans and skies full of unbreathable carbon dioxide, with the sun's UV rays constantly scorching the planet sterile.Well, NOT living on said world, that is. (I apologize for Mr. Starr to all the Jehovah's Witnesses, to whom birthday celebrations are considered blasphemous and improper.)

  2. Kirk says:

    "I apologize for Mr. Starr to all the Jehovah's Witnesses, to whom birthday celebrations are considered blasphemous and improper." Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Brilliant! Top drawer! I tip my hat to you, sir.

  3. Jay says:

    ***pssst! I was being facetious….I bet Jehovah's Witnesses don't frequent the CiMC blog.***

  4. tom says:

    I can just see scads of JW's getting ready to celebrate evolution, then realizing that it's a birthday. *tips hat also*BTW, one of my favorite talk-radio exchanges went as follows:Idiot listener: "But evolution is just a theory!"Wise host: "So is gravity, you idiot."Tom: *spits iced coffee all over steering wheel, and veers off the road briefly*

  5. Jay says:

    It's drivers like you that keep me from texting behind the wheel.Sheesh.

  6. Kevin Wolf says:

    I wonder if Darwin would be astonished to learn that people are STILL fervently arguing the legitimacy of his theories to this day.

  7. RedScylla says:

    Texting while driving–a new tool in the glorious process of natural selection.

  8. Kirk says:

    I imagine his grave has had few moments when its occupant wasn't turning.

  9. Kirk says:

    Oh, man, and I thought Jay's Jehovah's Witness joke was clever. Nice one, RedZ.

  10. RedScylla says:

    In my family, we have a saying that's usually directed to stupid pedestrians who cross against the light or in the middle of the block: "Step on out and meet Darwin." (Because my grandmother used to shout, "Step on out and meet Jesus, you moron" at these same people.)

  11. So, as you cut your steak away from the bone tonight*, consider the
    notion that there was a time when your ancestors ate a lot more
    vegetation than meat.I just (as in minutes before I read this) finished watching Mark Bittman's TED talk on "What's wrong with what we eat." Altho his motivation is different than natural selection, the concept is the same. Less meat, more plants, get back to where we started. 🙂 I always find it cool when I find some kind of 'accidental' thread running through my day.

  12. CrowSeer says:

    I hope Darwin gets a cut of the profits from those Jesus Fish parodies that people put on their cars! What's that you say? Died in 1882? Oh, never mind then…

  13. Steve Betz says:

    And all that diversification in under 7000 years. Remarkable.

  14. Jeff D says:

    The only people fervently arguing over Darwin's theories are the ones who don't understand science.

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