Thursday, March 10, 2016

Charles Darwin - not a genius?

A few weeks ago, we had to evacuate the department for some reason. As I was hanging around some old Science magazines, I found the Jan. 9, 2009 issue. It appears that it's a special issue dedicated to Charles Darwin and his famous book. I read several articles in this issue and I'm glad we evacuated the department.

Recently, I saw this ridiculous article "Charles Darwin was no 'heroic genius', say scientists". Thanks to modern day "science journalists", it was hard to find the original research article. Anyway, I was able to find the paper with some digging. I am not planning to read the paper since I have better and more useful things to do. Assuming that they do claim that Charles Darwin was not a genius and he was just someone who followed up a popular idea of his time, I am flat out going to say that I disagree. This brings us to the Science magazine I mentioned above. Please take a few minutes and read why he was special. Thanks to Peter J. Bowler there is an article in this issue with the title "Darwin's Originality". You'll find the answers you need there. I hope Dr. Michael Muthukrishna (the lead author of the claim above) who is I guess a psychologist will find some time to read this article and hopefully change his mind. Here is what he said to Telegraph :

"We can see this process at work when two people have the same apparently innovative idea at the same time – such as Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace with the theory of natural selection."
Rather than being heroic geniuses, Darwin and Wallace were in the same ‘cultural milieu’, both reading the same books and both travelling to biologically diverse island environments.”  

Looks like it's that simple for Dr.Muthukrishna. Ridiculous.

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