Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Great Time Magazine Article: Evolving Darwin

This past Thursday we celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of one of the most important men of modern times: Charles Darwin.

Time Magazine, on the printed issue that came out today, dated February 23, 2009, has an outstanding article by Carl Zimmer. It is called Evolving Darwin.

Charles Darwin, in very clear terms, demolished the myth propagated by organized religion: that we all descended from Adam and Eve. That is a very pretty story for impressionable children in kindergarten, but it relies on myth, superstition and unprovable facts.

Man evolved from lower species by means of natural selection. Here are some of the facts:

1) Variation and heredity were the twin engines that made evolution possible.

2) Evolution is the best way to explain the patterns of nature.

3) Natural selection can transform a species.

4) As populations adapt to their surroundings, they can gradually evolve into new species.

5) Different species share a common ancestry.

6) Humans evolved from apes in Africa. Scientific evidence from DNA indicates that chimpanzees and bonobos are the closest living relatives to humans. Fossils document the course of human evolution in Africa from apelike ancestors over the past seven million years.

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