Charles Darwin is born. His work on how life forms evolve by natural selection will provide the organizing paradigm for biology and, increasingly, all of modern science.
But you know that. And Wired.com has been there, covered that. So, while others work up a media storm to celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the giants of scientific endeavor, we'll take you on a quiet little tour of our coverage that you may have missed or may want to revisit.
Here's our own selection of the fittest Darwin articles from the last few years on Wired.com. Click and evolve.
Dec. 27, 1831: Beagle Sets Sail With a Very Special Passenger
HMS Beagle, a 10-gun, Cherokee-class brig sloop of the Royal Navy's survey service, sets sail from Plymouth, England on its second voyage as a survey vessel.
On board, at the invitation of the Beagle's captain, Robert FitzRoy, is a young biologist called Charles Darwin. Darwin's account of The Voyage of the Beagle, published in 1839, establishes him as one of the foremost naturalists of his time.
Pink Iguana That Darwin Missed Holds Evolutionary Surprise
A pink iguana overlooked by Charles Darwin turns up on the Galapagos Islands. The iguana's color isn't the only thing that distinguishes it from other iguana species: New research shows that it separated from the others genetically 5 million years ago, much earlier than most Galapagos species.
July 1, 1858: Darwin and Wallace Shift the Paradigm
The Linnaean Society of London listens to the reading of a composite paper on how natural selection accounts for the evolution and variety of species. The authors are Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Modern biology is born.
Scientists of the time knew that evolution occurred. The fossil record showed evidence of life forms that no longer existed. The question was, how did it occur?
The Crusade Against Evolution
On a spring day [in 2002], in a downtown Columbus auditorium, the Ohio State Board of Education took up the question of how to teach the theory of evolution in public schools. A panel of four experts — two who believe in evolution, two who question it — debated whether an anti-evolution theory known as intelligent design should be allowed into the classroom.
This is an issue, of course, that was supposed to have been settled long ago. But 140 years after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, 75 years after John Scopes taught natural selection
to a biology class in Tennessee, and 15 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana law mandating equal time for creationism, the question of how to teach the theory of evolution was being reopened here in Ohio.
On Darwin's Birthday, Dover Still Isn't Over
On Charles Darwin's 199th birthday, the debate about teaching evolution in science classes was raging in Florida.
Do You Teach Your Kids About Darwin?
Parents of home-schooled children are often criticized for not giving their children enough exposure to evolutionary theory. But public school students are just as likely never to have heard of the subject. A Swarthmore College professor says evolution should be introduced to kids as early as kindergarten.
Creationism Takes a Hit: Complexity Not Bad for Evolution
Creationists say that as creatures get more complicated, evolution gets harder. Now, new research by evolutionary biologists appears to refute that assertion.
12 Elegant Examples of Evolution
Here are a dozen examples of evolution's handiwork, which the journal Nature says might be useful for those late-night conversations with religious zealots. But we think they're just kind of beautiful.
Getting Evolution Up to Speed
Radical evolutionists' vision of a constantly and quickly changing human genome leaves Darwin's theory of slow change in the dust.
Genetic 'Junk' Could Answer Riddle of Vertebrate Evolution
The sudden appearance of vertebrates 600 million years ago has been a bit of a mystery to evolutionary biologists. New research suggests the development of backbones may be tied to micro-RNA, which is produced by so-called "junk" DNA.
Biologists Take Evolution Beyond Darwin — Way Beyond
For some biologists, Darwinian evolution doesn't go nearly far enough: They want to apply evolutionary principles to populations, ecosystems and even the entire universe.
A Theory of Evolution for Evolution
A new model of evolution's origins traces the possible outlines of a critical and mysterious stage in Earth's infancy, when a few odd chemicals developed into the molecular ancestors of life as we know it.
"This was the basis of all life on Earth," said Harvard University evolutionary dynamicist Martin Nowak, "and it's a good starting point to ask, how does life begin? How does evolution begin?"
Monkey Do: Darwin, the Musical
2006: An anthropologist-songwriter takes his one-man musical about Darwin to the Big Apple. It's Charles Darwin: Live & in Concert.
Complete Darwin Papers Debut on Internet
Cambridge University has put the complete works of Charles Darwin online. The originator of one scientific revolution is paid tribute by the fruits of another.
Gallery: Celebrate Darwin's 200th Birthday With a Natural Selection of Books
In 2009 we celebrate both Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, which means a bonanza for readers, with new works by scientists, novelists and even the odd party-crashing creationist, all lined up for publication.
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