Charles Darwin survives as a special day, celebrated every year. The vision is to promote international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being, as well as celebrate intellectual bravery.
As an Australian, you could be forgiven for thinking Darwin Day has something to do with the Northern Territory’s capital. Instead, it’s a celebration of the man, Charles Robert Darwin that takes place annually on 12th February. Of course Darwin was the eminent English naturalist, widely acclaimed for his scientific study, achievements and subsequent legacy.
Survival of the fittest
If you’re connecting ‘survival’ with Darwin, you’re on the right track. His famous book On the Origin of Species (published 24 November 1859) presents the argument for natural selection. Whereby those best able to adapt to their environments are the ones most likely to survive.
Well, that’s the answer for the segment of the population who’ve adapted to modern technology with increasing but diminishing attention spans. Hence the rise of programs that rate the readability of written material. So you can ‘dumb down’ your article and replace multisyllabic words with less complex ones to get a better score.
If you jump onto the website to find out about Darwin Day, you’ll see the paragraph below:
‘As was the case for earlier insights that re-situated our view of our place in the cosmos, the study of naturalism and biology threatened to expose the mutability of the human species and jeopardize a theological stranglehold on scientific discovery. The truth will out, as they say, and as Copernicus struggled to free the truth behind a heliocentric system, so too did Charles Darwin muster an immense intellectual bravery, a perpetual curiosity, and a ravenous hunger for truth in an attempt to understand the origins of modern life.’
Many would argue that the process of ‘natural selection’ recurs in man-made systems, like corporate life or world governments – a completely random example. Those who best play the game rise to the top, sometimes with little regard for moral sensibilities.
One hundred and fifty-eight years after the publication of Darwin’s seminal work, intellectual bravery is once again at the forefront of our struggle to fight perception politics. Check out Twitter to see what’s going in 2017.
The ‘ravenous hunger for truth’ is in a battle with #alternativefacts, which appear to seek a return to base ignorance and religious zeal across a variety of fronts.
Ignorance is bliss
To deny history and scientific achievement is only bliss for those who seek to control others by subversive means. Have you read George Orwell’s 1984 yet? Wait, maybe you don’t need to, try the ‘3D version’ instead…
Celebrate with vigour
This may just be the year to make ‘International Darwin Day’ something to be championed and celebrated with vigour, along with the truth! Why not take a moment out of your year to recognise the merits of scientific endeavour and activism. Help protect and enshrine human progress, not human ignorance.