12 February, 2013

On February 12, 1809, among many others, two human births occurred and stand out,  C. R. Darwin, and A. Lincoln.   I cannot think of another single day in recent history that was the birthday of two such influential individuals.  Of course, influence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but I am sure any reader would realize the immense, and positive, contributions of these two men.  Another malacologist, a casual acquaintance, sends out a Darwin quote on his birthday.  I think the one she sent out this year is worth repeating it here.

Happy Darwin’s Birthday!
“The lagoon-islands have received much the most attention; and it is not surprising, for every one must be struck with astonishment, when he first beholds one of these vast rings of coral-rock, often many leagues in diameter, here and there surmounted by a low verdant island with dazzling white shores, bathed on the outside by the foaming breakers of the ocean, and on the inside surrounding a calm expanse of water, which, from reflection, is of a bright but pale green colour.  The naturalist will feel this astonishment more deeply after having examined the soft and almost gelatinous bodies of these apparently insignificant creatures, and when he knows that the solid reef increases only on the outer edge, which day and night is lashed by the breakers of an ocean never at rest.”
From: Darwin, C. R. 1842. The Structure And Distribution Of Coral Reefs. Being The First Part Of The Geology Of The Voyage Of The Beagle, Under The Command Of Capt. Fitzroy, R.N., During The Years 1832 To 1836. London: Smith, Elder and Co. 214 pp.
Until later…
Cheers, Ron

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