Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I was listening to the Heroes Symphony by Phillip Glass and thinking of the men I admire, one of those is the reluctant genius Charles Darwin. Back in 1980 I began watching a seven part program aired on PBS called The Voyage of Charles Darwin. My life was very busy at the time I was not able to watch all seven episodes.  I found the entire program on YouTube recently I watched the series over three days, check it out!

I have occasionally thought of the voyage of HMS Beagle and wondered if the same sites visited by Darwin still exist today? How many remain untouched allowing us the ability to conjecture on the same spectacles of life Darwin pondered? Even the remote Galapagos Islands, flora and fauna, are under pressure by the hands of men.
Obviously I lack the money to produce another full voyage but what an adventure! I wonder how many individuals would see evidences and am able to conclude as Darwin did, not be dogmatic as Commander FitzRoy? If we could see the physical and natural world Darwin saw through the course of the Beagle!

The Beagle by Owen Stanley 1841

I understand why Darwin waited to publish until he received the pressure produced by Alfred Russel Wallace’s letter (another hero, often overlooked by many) on natural selection. What controversy one can stir through a discussion on the origin of species to this day! Today we have a firm understanding of genetics and genomes, science to validate evolution and still billions cannot grasp a picture of life without the supernatural.
Mastodons, Glyptodons, Toxodon, Megatheria and extinct horses; we see finished skeletons in museums, to have the experience of digging them from rock and soil!  Darwin the palentologist, geologist, botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, comparative anatomist, the Beagle allowed him to contemplate the slow and gradual transformation of life.

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