Happy Darwin Day or “There is grandeur in this view of life…”

In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, I would like to share with you the epilogue to his masterpiece “On the Origin of Species” (emphasis mine):

“It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

and thanks to the beauty of Public Domain and the efforts of “Botany Online” you can read the entire book here:

http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/e36_orig/origin.htm

It’s not just one of the most significant works in human history, it’s also a beautiful read. No matter what you believe about the topic, I highly recommend you take the time to read the source. You won’t regret it.

“There is grandeur in this view of life”

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Filed under Atheism, Christianity, Science

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