Darwin Day: All about the Father of Evolution

Darwin Day: All about the Father of Evolution

Charles Darwin. Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Every year the world witnesses a science gala on February 12 which is celebrated as Darwin Day across the globe. It is to commemorate the birth anniversary of Charles Robert Darwin, the 'Father of Evolution'. Darwin Day is aimed at highlighting his contributions to science and also promote science in general.

Darwin's discoveries have indeed had a huge impact in understanding many concepts in the field of cosmology, biology and scientific process in general for which he is well-accredited.

The problem is that many of his prominent traits which are required to inspire younger generations are sometimes ignored and not highlighted. Darwin's desire to seek and unveil the truth through scientific discovery, his curiosity to discover hidden facts and his determination should be stressed upon which will inspire youngsters.

The crucial moment in human history when people began to look at themselves and at life from an all-new perspective was a result of Darwin’s Law of Natural Selection and his theory of the process evolution. His significant discoveries put to question many beliefs which had previously been accepted widely.

His theories were originally rejected by many a scientist of his era and were seen as ambiguous facts. Years later, after the discovery of numerous other species and DNA research, the connection between species and their genes proved his theories right. It was then that the link between the origin of one species from another and that man himself shared an ancestor with primates was impossible to evade.

Darwin was a man ahead of his time, one who dared to come up with the concept of evolution via genetic variation and natural selection. This paved way to understanding life better. His discoveries are considered extraordinary even to this very day.

He described how natural selection was the mechanism for evolution, which was a major advantage in scientific progress. Without his discovery of natural selection, achievements in the field of health, philosophy and human well-being over the past century would not have been possible.

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” ― Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

About Charles Darwin:

Darwin was born in 1809 and grew to become a naturalist, biologist and geologist who widely contributed to the science of evolution.

He attended Edinburgh University for two years where he studied medicine, but quit later on. He then went on to become a student of Cambridge University. In 1831 he signed up to sail on the HMS Beagle as a naturalist.

Darwin spent three years in different parts of South America collecting specimens and then headed to the Galapagos Islands.

He also visited New Zealand, Tahiti, Australia, Mauritius, South Africa and the Atlantic during his voyage.

He was fascinated by the variety of species of fossils and the diversity of flora and fauna that he came across when he was on a five-year voyage on the Beagle to sail unexplored lands, studying the different forms of life.

He wrote several books about his voyage, the first being Journal of Research. He gained a reputation as a brilliant geologist.

Darwin’s last book was on earthworms published in 1881 shortly before he died of a heart attack at the age of 73.

A brief about Darwin's work:

Darwin’s theory of evolution was one of the most controversial discoveries and a radical idea during its time. Almost after 150 years since the publication of his book On the Origin of Species in 1859, his ideas still lead to dialogues on belief.

In 1838, Darwin came up with the idea of one species changing into another over time. He noticed that individual members within a species vary from one another. He also observed that all living organisms compete with each other for survival. Considering all the facts that he observed he developed his theories. 

'Survival of the fittest' is a phrase well known to all. It was first used by Herbert Spencer after reading Darwin's On the Origin of Species. The phrase originated from Darwinian evolutionary theory as a way to describe the mechanism of natural selection.

A simple way to celebrate Darwin Day is to study evolution and familiarise one’s self with the theory of evolution and natural selection. Natural selection is a basic mechanism of evolution along with other concepts such as mutation, migration and genetic drift.

Ever heard about the Darwin award? 

Darwin awards are fictional awards conferred on those who improve the human genome by accidentally eliminating themselves from it due to their dumb acts.     

Darwin Awards do not really prove anything. It's just that even the most intelligent people end up removing themselves from the gene pool in ridiculous ways. Read on and keep yourself entertained.

Here are some of the most absurd ways in which people have died:

1. What happens when you smoke near a bucketful of dynamite powder? You end up winning the Darwin award. 



2. Visiting Satan's Last Stronghold? Wasn't a good idea was it? 



3. It's not a blast from the past, it's past from the blast!



4. Selfie with the bear? The furry giant could not bear with him though!



5. Wildlife selfie? Go grab your Darwin award!