Sunday, March 20, 2016

Oh my Darwin, Oh my Darwin, what a controversy you have stirred...........

The Mystery of History volume 4 has brought us to the topic of Darwin which perfectly coincided with A14's lesson in Apologia Biology.  C16 did this two years ago but she is still interested in Darwin and with good reason.  You can find the blog post from Apologia Biology mod 10 here.  This lesson is about the evolution of white and black-peppered moths.

I know Darwin is a fairly controversial topic and people have vastly different opinions, for example, Ken Ham and Bill Nye.  You can watch this knock down drag out here but I would like my children to have the knowledge of both points of view, they can decide for themselves what they feel about Darwin and his topics on their own.  They both have great insight into the topic of evolution, and I am really enjoying hearing the debate back and forth.  I am glad they have their own opinions and are not afraid to share them.

Factoids on Darwin: The Father of Evolution.

~He was an expert on animals, plants, and insects.

~Darwin was an English naturalist.  He changed the way humans looked at themselves, as well as the world around them with his idea of evolution and natural selection.

~Darwin was born in 1809 in England, Shrewsbury to be exact in a grand home I might add.  It is interesting to note that Darwin and Abraham Lincoln share a birthday, February 12, 1809.  A minor difference is that Lincoln was born in a tiny cabin in the Kentucky wilderness.

~Darwin's father wanted him to be a doctor like him.  He spent a lot of time in an apprenticeship at his father's clinic and later went on to the University of Edinburgh (1825) which was a top school of medicine at the time.  However, Darwin was not happy in medical school, and the site of blood made him ill.  He eventually left medical school.

~Darwin was invited on a 5-year voyage on the HMS Beagle to places all over the world such as the Falkland Islands, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and of course the Galapagos Islands which is the most talked about.

~This journey ended in 1836.  Darwin did exhausting and extensive research on his theory of evolution and natural selection.  You have to realize during this time period, his ideas were groundbreaking and highly radical.

~Darwin's idea what that all species of life evolved over time from common ancestors.

~Darwin wrote On the Origins of Species which was published in 1859.  You can read the book here PDF.

~After his voyage in 1839, he married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood.  They had ten children.  She worried about Darwin's controversial ideas to the point that he held off on publishing his book for fear of how the public and church would react to it.

~Darwin formed a Gourmet Club or Glutton Club to dine on a different variety of beasts and birds.

For example, he sampled hawks, ostrich, puma, armadillos, and owls.  He could not tolerate the owl according to journal notes.

~Post-voyage, Darwin began to suffer from numerous health issues including, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, eczema, and heart palpitations that would stay with him until he died in 1882.  He is buried in London's Westminster Abbey.  A kind of cool side note, he is buried near Isaac Newton.

So to wrap this up.  Basically, the ideas of evolution and natural selection are probably ideas that either you accept them as science or not except them due to religious beliefs but the truth, in my opinion which I am never afraid to voice and stand behind what I say and think, is that we may never know the truth.  There may always be a mysterious missing link when it comes to this topic.

Check out Khan Academy for endless resources on Darwin.  Also, Hank Green crash course biology video here.
Here is a great site for more info and timelines.

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