Yep, today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, born on 12th February 1809 and died on 19th April 1882. He made the discoveries that now form the basis of our understanding of the natural world, his most significant being Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which has paved the way for the study of genetics, integral to modern medicine. I don’t know if ‘Darwin Day’ is going to become a regular thing, or just for this anniversary, but hopefully it will continue!
There have been plenty of celebratory events and programmes on recently, including the epic Sir David Attenborough documentary on Darwin, which was on 1st February. It was great in summing everything I kind of knew about Darwin’s theories, but wasn’t sure about, and it ended with a really moving montage of clips of Attenborough with different animals over his many years of broadcasting. It’s still available on iPlayer, and there’s a page with clips and information about today’s radio programmes on Darwin on the BBC website here.
Another thing I really enjoyed on the documentary was the 5 minute summary of evolution, a pretty difficult to achieve generally, but so understandable that I think it ought to become the standard means of explaining the theory of evolution.