darwin

It was Charles Darwin's birthday yesterday (12th February), yet in this age of reason, or is that alternative facts, too many people are Darwin disbelievers.

Randall Fuller is an eminent professor who has just written a book about the most eminent of biologists to ever walk on God's earth.

The subject of the book was Charles Darwin, a man who was busy blowing candles out yesterday as he celebrated his 208th birthday.

The book by Professor Fuller looked at the effect Darwin had on the US, especially during the Civil War when both sides tried to show Darwin's theories supported their case, with the north, for example, saying that since all humans are related to each other slavery is abhorrent.

It is an interesting point, that few people know, Mr Darwin did not refer to survival of the fittest in the earlier additions of the Origin of the Species. In his theory, Darwin put more emphasis on the importance of cooperation; how a tribe of honourable men would outcompete a tribe of dishonourable men. It was Alfred Russel, the man who created a similar theory at that time, and Thomas Huxley, known as Darwin's bulldog, who put more emphasis on the ideas of nature: red in tooth and claw.

Returning to Professor Fuller, in a recent interview in the National Geographic he was asked: a "2014 study showed that only 19 per cent of Americans believe humans evolved from a more primitive form of life without help of a celestial power. Is Darwin on the retreat in America?"

To which the professor responded: “I tend to think that those figures you've mentioned are, hopefully, a last gasp of denial. It's certainly true that there's an increasing resistance to Darwin's theory. But that exists simultaneously with, almost every month, new data showing the validity and overall soundness of Darwin's theory. The question is, how long can one deny a growing empirical body of facts?"

Umm, maybe he is right, but in the era of alternative facts, maybe truth is less important than believing what you want to believe.