It's the big day, the Darwin Bicentennial, so what are you going to read? You should start by checking out the interesting evolution pieces we've got here on the site, laid out on our Darwin Day Page. But this page isn't just about Scientific Blogging, it's about all scientific blogging around the web. If you have a blog, you've written something about Darwin or evolution, and want to participate (and have a chance to win a cool complete three volume set of The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, printed in 1887), follow the link and see how to join in by adding the Darwin Day 2009 Badge. And it's not too late - we'll have good stuff going all weekend.
Blog for Darwin has lined up a nice collection of bloggers around the web to create a 'blog swarm', starting today and running through Sunday. You'll fill your weekend with the great links over there including "The gustatory voyage of the Beagle."
Grab your coffee and head on over to something I linked to the other week, but this piece at Triple Canopy about Kentucky’s Creation Museum is so good I'm repeating it here, this time with a great quote:
It would be wrong, therefore, to dismiss the museum as an intellectual holdover from an unenlightened time. Its high-tech immersive dioramas and media-savvy exhibits are wholly contemporary. All the paraphernalia of a modern natural history museum—real fossils, accurate models of organisms, placards about galaxies, geologic processes, and DNA—are here, but marshaled to disassemble positive knowledge by relentlessly questioning the tools of rational discourse. Instead of making an evidence-based case for creationism, the multisensory spectacle of video simulations, diagrams, and animated displays creates an aura of knowledge while at the same time deterring close reading. The result is an intellectual fog, a pseudoscience resembling the worst caricatures of postmodern thought. The only sure foothold, we are warned, is the testimony of Genesis, followed word for word.
If you want to explore evolution as creationist nostalgia, go check out this review of the latest harebrained intelligent design attack on evolution. Actually, its a review of a good review, so follow the link within the link.
Of course today isn't just about Darwin. In one of the most amazing historical coincidences, Abrham Lincoln was born on exactly the same day as Darwin in 1809. Adam Gopnik, of the New Yorker, has written a book about Darwin and Lincoln as writers. They were both excellent writers, and so is Gopnik - go check out the first chapter of his book, Angels and Ages, at the New York Times.
"Intelligent Design is Not Science, and Should Not Join Evolution in the Classroom", explains Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education in US News&World Report.
What do today's working geneticists think about Darwin? The US National Human Genome Research Instutite has a video of top geneticists explaining how Darwin impacts their day to day work.
I thought the human genome was amazing, back in 2001, but now scientists are about to release the Neanderthal genome - an amazing technological feat that opens up an incredible glimpse into our species' closest relatives.
While we're at the New York Times, Olivia Judson has a birthday wish for "a humane, gentle, decent man, a loving husband and father, and a loyal friend" - Darwin. And one of my favorite science reporters, Nicolas Wade, offers his reflections on Darwin: "It is a testament to Darwin’s extraordinary insight that it took almost a century for biologists to understand the essential correctness of his views."
Amazingly, the German magazine Spektrum manages to nab an interview with Darwin for his 200th birthday, over at Scientific American.
Physicists don't have a monopoly on random walks. Populations can take random walks too. To end today's coffee break, go check out Hank's musings on random walks and genetics, "Oh Genetic Drift, Take a Random Walk With Me".
Unfortunately, today's celebration falls on a major grant proposal due date, as well as on a Thursday - I sit around the rest of the week (ok, not really), but Thursdays I go to meetings. I'll be doing more evolution blogging through the weekend, including a Darwin Celebration Book Review on Sunday, but I don't have as much for the big day as I was hoping. But in any case, we celebrate Lincoln's birthday on Monday - there's no reason we can't go on celebrating Darwin's until then.