Saturday, February 14, 2009

Charles Darwin 200th Anniversary

Cover of "On the Origin of Species: By Me...Cover via Amazon

Charles Darwin called it the “mystery of mysteries,” a problem so significant and one he was so sure he had solved that he named his world-changing work after it: “On the Origin of Species.”

So he might be surprised to learn that 150 years after the publication of his book, the study of how species originate, a process known as speciation, is not only one of the field’s most active areas of study, but also one of its most contentious.

Interesting to think that as we take theory of evolution as a fact (sorry Christian Fundamentalists) the problem of understanding speciation still remains a mystery to science.

Maybe the problem is the concept of species which is a classification system used by scientists.

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30 comments:

Jeannie said...

Perhaps the shapeshifter stories are truer than generally thought.

FJ said...

No doubt that the taxonomical system is entirely art-ificial. Phylum is merely a Greek word for "tribe" and class/ order are merely "human" ranks for functions within a tribe.

FJ said...

ps - I'm a witch doctor in mine.

Michael said...

Why apologize for taking evolution as a fact?

It simply means that species change over time, a fact borne out again and again in the fossil record.

You're right about speciation, though.

Pinky said...

Am I wrong in my understanding that it's not considered fact until it's declared a scientific law? It's still the theory of evolution, isn't it?

I don't have a problem with evolution as Michael describes it.

I have a problem with the leap from ape to man.

Lexcen said...

Pinky, maybe you would also like to question Einstein's theory of relativity.

FJ said...

Why not? The quantuum physicists do.

Lexcen said...

Quantum physics. I'm thinking is it a light wave or a particle or both at the same time? I'm thinking is Pinky also FJ or is FJ a Hydra?

FJ said...

Not me Lex. Pinkly is Pinky.

FJ said...

ps - Wave or Particle? Beats me. Why don't you try splitting a photon with a graviton and find out? ;-)

Pinky said...

How utterly flattering, Lex. I wish I had a fragment of FJ's intelligence.
The theory of relativity is still a theory. :-)
I like to ponder it while sleeping under the stars, though.

FJ said...

You too can be a Wikipedia genius, Pinky! All you've got to do is Google!

Pinky said...

Pbththththt!
Whatever. We're all just a bunch of dumb-as-dirt droolers without our computers, huh?
Bwahahahahah!
:P

FJ said...

Indeed we are!

Pinky said...

Okay. You big dummy. :-)
You dumb too, Lex?

Lexcen said...

I wish I was born smart. Being dumb means I have to work in menial labor intensive jobs. Gravedigger,garbage collection,janitor,etc. ;-)

Pinky said...

You guys personify humility.

Isn't it interesting how we see ourselves vs. how the rest of the world sees us?

I visit your blogs to get my daily dose of neural exercise.
:0)

Lexcen said...

Thanks Pinky. Without you and FJ to read and comment, there wouldn't be any point to my blog.

Huge-O Chavez said...

I miss your paintings...

Lexcen said...

Sorry, its been months since I painted anything new. I lack the drive since I realized I was a mediocre talent at best. I know that to be good at anything you need drive and unswerving dedication and if it wasn't for my wife's encouragement I'd never have taken up painting so late in my life. Maybe when I'm not so busy blogging I might find the time and the inclination for more artistic endeavors.

FJ said...

I hope so. You may not have the technique, but you do have a talent for the more "surreal" subjects so many others can only "pretend" at.

Pinky said...

Creativity is so therapeutic.

Lexcen said...

The quality of the paint never quite matches the expectations of my imagination - or is it my lack of technique?

FJ said...

Technique and the thousands of hours of practice it takes to really develop it... and learn which paints can produce the results you're looking for.

FJ said...

My Dad was a late blooming artist who dabbled in a painting hobby over the course of a 25 year military career, retired, and took a BFA in Art at the local university. After a few years training and producing art, he opened a gallery in Capitola, CA that was only open for about a year. It wasn't, for him, a viable second career or way to make a living. Of course, IMHO it was his "educated approach" to art that was flawed and which ultimately led to the gallery's failure. He felt that he could only afford to devote eight hours to a piece... that is, if he wanted to keep his work in what he perceived was the "affordable" range.

In other words, he painted because he thought he needed to make a living at it, instead of from a love and devotion to his art.

His 'amateur' work sooooo much more interesting than the stuff he produced during his later "professional art career" when he felt he needed to effect a 'profit'.

Lexcen said...

Leonardo Da Vinci would rather leave the country than finish a commission that he didn't feel was worthy of his attention. The Mona Lisa was always his personal possession rather than work done for money. He had no qualms about designing military machinery for money as long as it didn't interfere with his art.

FJ said...

So many people graduate from colleges these days with the false perception that they have been and are now completely "educated," when in reality all they have done is acquire the rudiments of a vocation. Acquiring an education and acquiring a vocation are two ENTIRELY different things.

I think vocational instruction teaches one "how" to do something, whereas a liberal education answers the larger question as to "why" they should do it.

In this regard, I feel my dad was somewhat "cheated" by the state university system.

Pinky said...

My dream is to persue my degree in art, but I fear it will take away my instincts and my vision.

I hope you keep creating, Lex, even when it doesn't look lovely to you. I think that art keeps part of us alive.

Lexcen said...

Pinky, follow your dream.

Pinky said...

Lex, I sat in on a photography class at the local university last semester. I found the professor's haughty attitude very difficult to overcome. I'm just not as easily impressed as I was when I was younger. (I'll have to learn to get past this.) I realized how difficult it was going to be to have my art graded! EWWW!

So for now, I'm taking classes from a local professional.

But I feel the stirring inside. It may take me years to accomplish my goal, but I think it will happen. :-)

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