Happy Darwin Day!
False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.
Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809. February is also the anniversary of the publication of his hugely influential scientific study On the Origin of Species, in which the theory of evolution by natural selection was first described. Rare is the scientist whose work is still a major influence on science nearly 150 years after his theory was first proposed, and rarer still is the scientist whose ideas provoke such strong reactions after so long, but Darwin was such a scientist. Darwin's birthday has been chosen as an international day of celebration of science and humanity as exemplifed by the life, work, and influence of this great scientist and dubbed Darwin Day. Today, with evolution under attack as never before in this country by those who insist on foisting their religion upon everyone else's children as "science," it is a good day to contemplate the achievements of this great man. Many events are planned. One of them (for those of you who live within striking distance of New York City), coincidentally enough, is scheduled for the evening of the day that the next edition of The Skeptics' Circle will appear (February 17). If any one of these events are near you, please consider checking it out.