Buttle's World

2 February, 2009

Darwin and Lincoln

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 21:29

The 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln (yes, they were born on the same day!) is coming up soon. They both cast long shadows across history. In terms of science, and our understanding of how the world works, Darwin’s is the longer shadow.

I’ll probably have more Darwin-related links as the anniversary of Darwin’s birth, and the 150th of his book being published, approaches. Here’s one from the good Dr. Novella on Dinosaur Fossils and Evolution.

One of the strongest lines of evidence for the fact that life on earth arose through evolution is the fossil record. I do not think this is the strongest line of evidence, not because it is weak but because the genetic evidence is so remarkably strong. Statistically speaking, the genetic evidence speaks to common descent through branching speciation of all life on earth to such a degree that it approaches certainty.

But the fossil evidence is also impressive, and much more visceral – walking into a museum full of gigantic fossil dinosaurs (or at least their casts) has a coolness factor with which a string of base pairs cannot compete.


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