Field of Science

Friday - Darwin (a) Day Early

Yes, yes, Darwin Day is tomorrow, and so is Abe day and Sister Day, to note all the birthdays of any significance. But today we can host an openhouse for organismal biology students and have some birthday cake. Tomorrow is Saturday and students will not be found, in academic buildings, and beer and cake were never a good combination. To celebrate here is a nice celebration of Darwin from the cover of the American Journal of Botany. "Many of the portraits of Charles Darwin have become iconic—the bearded, somber and pensive force behind one of the most important paradigm shifts in the sciences (and in our understanding of the human condition). However, he took much pleasure from some of the images produced. Darwin commented on the portrait shown on the cover of this issue: “I look a very venerable, acute, melancholy old dog; whether I really look so I do not know.” The color images surrounding the Darwin portrait are representative of the papers included in this bicentennial issue and include studies from paleobotany to molecular developmental genetics, anatomy to pollination biology, and systematics to analyses of patterns of diversification and the reasons for angiosperm success. The back cover illustrates the 1879 letter of Darwin to Hooker in which he uses the phrase “abominable mystery” [a reference to the origin of flowering plants] and on which this issue is based. The mix of old with the new brings to light our progress on solving the abominable mystery on the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. Oil painting of Darwin by Walter William Ouless, etching by Paul Aldophe Rajon, 1875." The complete works of Charles Darwin are online.

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