Posts Tagged ‘charles darwin’

Darwin Day 2018

Monday, February 12th, 2018 | Life

Happy Darwin Day!

Voyage of the Beagle

Thursday, October 8th, 2015 | Books

The Voyage of the Beagle is the book published by Charles Darwin following his five year trip around South America aboard the H.M.S. Beagle.

I read the abridged version because it sounded interesting, but not that interesting. Perhaps I was wrong though. The huge variety of places he visits makes for a fast moving narrative in which you are quickly going from one place and on to the next.

He is very much a product of his time. There is little careful observation in Darwin’s journey. He captures, pushes, pokes, prods, shoots and eats his way across most of South America. When there is a really tough nut to crack, he brings out the geological hammer. And by nut, I mean animal’s shell. Everything and everyone is a species of animal worth commenting on to him, including the native peoples.

It is interesting to compare this to On the Origin of Species. In Origin, he slowly builds up the idea of evolution. In Voyage, which predates Origin, he is in full science mode with no apologies. My guess is that there were designed for different audiences (or perhaps “adapted to their environment” would be a more appropriate term).

Voyage of the Beagle

Voyage of the Beagle drinking game

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 | Books

Listen to the Richard Dawkins-ead edition of the Voyage of the Beagle audiobook and drink at the following points. Fill a tall glass with your favourite beverage and drink the appropriate amount per instruction. You’ll also need a spirit suitable for doing shots of.

Action Drink
Darwin goes somewhere new… One sip
Darwin mentions H.M.S. Beagle… One finger
Darwin expresses a colonial attitude… Two fingers
Darwin eats a specimen… Three fingers
Darwin shoots something… Finish the glass
Darwin uses his geological hammer… Do a shot
Darwin describes something as beautiful because it looks like England… Do a shot

On the Origin of Species

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 | Books

As the king of atheism in Leeds (because nobody else wanted the job), On the Origin of Species felt like the kind of book that I should have read. However, I never had, partly because it is basically a biology textbook, even if it is written for a more general audience.

In an exciting twist though I discovered an abridged version by Richard Dawkins which was a manageable length.

It is still pretty dull to be honest. I mean, I am sure if I thought about it, I would have known that there was indeed so much to know about pigeons. However, it is difficult to stay focused on that. Unlike Charles, I have never been a member of one pigeon fancier club in London, let alone two.

I think part of the problem was I just knew it all already. Having been in Humanist circles for so long I had been to enough talks, read enough books and debated the naturalistic side so often that I had a good grounding of evolutionary theory already.


Darwin Day 2015

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 | Life


Happy Darwin Day!

Darwin Day 2014

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 | Life

Happy Darwin Day!

Today I am Toastmaster at White Rose Speakers and will be discussing Darwin in my introduction. Not just because he was an awesome guy that did a huge amount of advancing our understanding of science. But also because he was a cautious man, possibly a man who needed confidence – alas, Toastmasters was not around to give it to him.

Luckily, the same is not true today however.

Darwin Day 2013

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 | Life


Happy Darwin Day! To celebrate, why not attend a talk by Professor Steven French of the University of Leeds, entitled “Scientific Theory as Art”. Full details.

Happy Darwin Day

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 | Distractions

Charles Darwin

According to a recent poll, 17% of people admit to getting themselves off while looking at a £10 note.

Darwin Day 2009

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | Events, Humanism

Last Thursday saw A-Soc’s Darwin Day 2009 celebration in the union. Thanks to the hard work of Nicola and Sophie as well as the baking of Norm and Michelle, it was an all day party which ended up raising us some cash for Rationalist Week too.

Darwin Day stall Darwin Day stall Darwin Day cakes

Happy Darwin Day!

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 | Events

If you aren’t aware, today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Darwin was a brilliant scientist that who moved our knowledge of the origins of life on uncountably despite the controversial nature of his work. Happy birthday Charles!

Birthday hamsters