February 12, 2009

Charles Darwin Turns 200

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882), the English naturalist who put forward the idea that species evolve through a process he called natural selection.

Darwin, and his ideas, have been at the center of heated debate since he published his first works on natural selection in the late 1850s.

Here are a few articles that I found in the Chicago Tribune from 1872. Even within that one year, there seems to be a change in the way the paper talks about Darwin and a recognition of breadth of his influence.

Darwin and Free Religion
A January 1872 article about Darwin and Francis Ellingwood Abbot, a US philosopher and theologian who was a spokesperson for "free religion." The tone of the article suggests that the Tribune doesn't approve or Darwin or Abbot.

The Boston Radical Club welcomes Francis E Abbot
Another article (from February 1872) linking Darwin and Abbot. This one details a meeting of the "Boston Radical Club" where Abbot and others engage in "lively discussion" of Darwin's ideas.

The Progress of "Darwinism"
This November 1872 article describes the progress of Darwinism in religious, social and scientific circles.

Applying the Lessons of Natural Selection to Fashion
Here, also in Novemeber 1872, the Tribune discusses the application of natural selection to changes in fashion.

Getting Down to the Details with Darwin
And in this November 1872 review and discussion of Darwin's "The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals," the Tribune adds their own examples to those provided by Darwin.

Chicago Tribune Article about the Death of Charles Darwin
Here's the Tribune's report on Darwin's death from page 3 of the in 21 April 1882 edition.

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