Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Darwin's Private Papers Get Released To The Internet

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the uncle-charles-is-one-of-my-heroes dept.

The Internet 237

bibekpaudel writes "ScienceDaily reports that a wealth of papers belonging to Charles Darwin have been published on the internet, some for the first time. Some 20,000 items and 90,000 images were posted today to http://darwin-online.org.uk/. The new site is the largest collection of Darwin's work in history, according to organizers from Cambridge University Library 'This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments, and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free,' said John van Wyhe, director of the project. The collection includes thousands of notes and drafts of his scientific writings, notes from the voyage of the Beagle when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution, and his first recorded doubts about the permanence of species."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

How fitting... (5, Interesting)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108400)

...that his works would be the ones to survive.

Re:How fitting... (5, Funny)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108426)

...that his works would be the ones to survive.
Naturally :)

Re:How fitting... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108718)

One of the most interesting discoveries in these newly-released papers concerns Darwin's research into the FSM. Turns out that it originally swam before developing the ability to fly, the noodly appendages are actually vestigial flippers and the entire being evolved from a particularly virulent strain of fusili.

Re:How fitting... (0)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108774)

But... but... by being on the Internet, his works are now a species that has become permanent!

Re:How fitting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108792)

At least until the singularity, anyway.

Re:How fitting... (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108872)

Now, quickly, everyone search through the papers for Swastikas or Nazi propaganda. I hear Ben Stein [wikipedia.org] would sell out his dignity for something like that.

Re:How fitting... (3, Insightful)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109604)

I hear Ben Stein would sell out his dignity for something like that.
He can't sell something that he doesn't have. Wouldn't that be fraud?

Re:How fitting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23110026)

Modded Insightful? Beuller?

Re:How fitting... (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109808)

Social darwinism IS an absolutely disgusting concept. Accepting it makes the logical leap that, because something exists in nature, it is morally justifiable. Canibalism exists in nature, as does rape, murder, starvation and genocide. Does anyone doubt this? And does anyone think these things are therefore justified?

I can't believe anyone would be so f*@king stupid as to believe natural selection makes greed justifiable. I'd also like to point out that social darwinism has also been used to justify that which conservative america holds so dear: capitalism.

So... (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108414)

Should we tag this one "privacy"?

Re:So... (2, Informative)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108462)

Dead people don't care one way or the other, you know? :-)

Re:So... (1)

What Would NPH Do (1274934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108472)

Just wait until they start reanimating corpses...

Re:So... (5, Funny)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109020)

You've never been to the Head Museum? It's free on Tuesdays!

Re:So... (1)

the_one(2) (1117139) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108824)

yes! i had the same idea the second i saw the headline!

Survival (5, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108492)

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

--Charles Darwin

Re:Survival (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108572)

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."


A little off-topic, but this just looks like the epitaph on the RIAA's grave :)

Re:Survival (5, Insightful)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108590)

Exactly. Quite often I am amazed at how much misunderstanding there is about Darwin's theory. The part about who survives is pretty much tautological: "Whoever survives, survives", and hence not the interesting part. The interesting part is how big changes in species (even birth of completely new species) can be seen as aggregation of minor changes that increase the odds of one's survival, and the changes themselves do not always necessarily reflect our notion of "stronger" or "better".

It is a pity really that many people have fallen in the social interpretation of Darwin's theory and more than once we have seen ugly consequences of that.

Re:Survival (5, Insightful)

mikelu (120879) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108714)

The evolutionary tautology is more, "Organisms that survive long enough to reproduce, reproduce."

The only question was how organisms transferred traits to their offspring, and this has since been answered to the professed satisfaction of even the creationists. Genetic passage of traits is indisputable, and evolution is a straightforward corollary.

Not really. (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109138)

Adaptation implies a flawed transfer, as a perfect transfer cannot yield the ability to adapt, only the ability to perpetuate. It may be a different permutation of traits, but the traits must already exist. The most adaptable, therefore, are those with the greatest number of flaws in the transfer of traits, as that will yield the greatest number of candidates with greater fitness for a new environment than the previous generation. Well, up to an extent. If the process exceeds an error rate proportional to the rate of change of the environment, you'd decrease the odds of holding onto traits that actually are useful/optimal. However, as the rate of change of the environment also changes, the ideal error rate changes, therefore what constitutes ideal adaptability must also change. This means that a species that is near-perfect in its ability to adapt at one point in time may be completely unsuitable at another point in time. It follows that the ability to adapt is a trait that itself must be held subject to the ability to adapt.

I'd therefore rewrite the last piece to say something like "those with an ability to adapt most closely aligned with the pressure to adapt at that time, including those pressures exerted by changes within the pressure to adapt". Well, except that it's longer, less succinct, and less obvious in meaning to those not already familiar with the idea of evolution.

It's not really a tautology. It's recursive and reversible (and therefore provable by induction from first principles) but the statement isn't necessarily true simply because of itself, mostly because "adapt" does not have a constant definition.

Re:Survival (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109238)

I feel that the issue is more with the origin of life rather than whether species evolve.

Re:Survival (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109470)

That completely depends on which Creationist you're talking to, and with the leaders and thinkers of the ID movement, it often depends on the audience they're talking to.

Some Creationists still pretty much deny anything but some sort of weak microevolution, insisting that species (or "kinds", a favorite term because it's so weakly defined) are the direct creation of God. Others are willing to accept a certain amount of macro-evolution, often simply by enlarging "kinds" into a nebulous grouping that can be as big as "birds" and "fish", but always with humans being completely separate from any other group, regardless of any genetic, developmental and morphological relationship that you can point out.

The one key thing that seems to unite virtually all Creationists is a rejection of humans as being a product of any evolutionary process. It seems to boil down, for them, to denial of the "specialness" of humans, and in their minds to be descended from an ape-like animal is an affront to their religious and moral beliefs.

Re:Survival (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109964)

There are plenty of "Creationists" who accept humans as being a process of evolutionary process. In fact, this is the official stated position of the Catholic Church.

Even among the "Intelligent Design" crowd (well, the less fanatical part), "Intelligent Design" is basically "guided evolution". It's not that there is no evolution, but they hold the belief that certain 'irreducable complexities' in some structures (Which, to my knowledge, all of the examples they give have been reduced to lower complexities quite easily) show that 'survival of the fittest' wouldn't explain those structures as reducing them, in any way, would make the organism 'less fit', and thus evolution, in the hypothesis, would be shown NOT INCORRECT, but rather incomplete.

Again, I'm not an 'intelligent design' proponent, but people who misrepresent the hypothesis (And I mean both those for it and against it) annoy me.

Science of a surviving body politic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108684)

Charles Darwin's theory of the Adaptivity of creation applied then verry well to how a country could become so bankrupt and absorbed into another country that undermined it.

Why do all Californians long to become United States'ians? There would be no adapting to those United States if only the Californias would raise their heritage to carry the subdivisions into mark of their crest'd Arms and expel the verry embassy and domicile of their incorporation to that foreign country in admiralty (United States) outside of these united States of America.

Re:Survival (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108974)

Is that a real quote? Where is it from?

I've heard people dispute it, some have said it was Lamarck that said it.

BEND ME OVER AND FUCK ME LIKE A MONKEY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109062)

UH OH AHH UH OH UHHH OH OH

I AM NOTHING BUT A MONKEY UHA AUHHAU AUHAHAUA

WATCH OUT FOR THAT TREE!!

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

_

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

If that's the case... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109120)

How come us computer geeks, who are most adaptable to change of all, aren't getting laid?????

Re:If that's the case... (2, Funny)

What Would NPH Do (1274934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109288)

You have to leave your parent's basement first before you can start picking up chicks.

Re:If that's the case... (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109598)

Not if you have a sister.

Re:If that's the case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109994)

EWWWWW!!!!

Re:Survival (1)

trb (8509) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109298)

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

This quote is quaint, and is often repeated on the web, but I see no record of it in "The Origin of the Species" or anywhere on the referenced Darwin site or in any other reliable source. Wikiquote claims that it's a misattribution. [wikiquote.org]

Re:Survival (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109454)

This explains perfectly why crocodiles survived for 200 million years while barely changing...

Re:Survival (0, Flamebait)

ChuckSchwab (813568) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109494)

Actually, that's a load of crap. Pure, pure crap.

Assume an environment where changes are small and strength affords a huge advantage. In such a circumstance, the minor changes are just noise and the physically stronger species get their genes into next generations better, in direct contradiction of the "most adaptable" principle.

Oops.

All you can really say about spreading of genes is:

-Genetic molecules (uh, which may may not suffice to define an exact copy) pass from parent to child when conceived, by this process.
-Whatever works to spead genes given the above ... um ... well, it works. TOTALLY.

Evolution cultists like to pretend there's some more predictable regularity than that so they can actually count Darwin's theory as being more scientific than it really is.

Look at the quote: "More adaptability means more survival. Uh ... like, but not in the cases when it ... doesn't. Look, it's hard to explain, show me the results, and then I'll predict it GOD DAMN I HATE THOSE SWINDLING PSYCHICS WHO CLAIM TO PREDICT WHAT THEY CANT, THE ****ING TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Re:Survival (2, Interesting)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109848)

Actually, that's a load of crap. Pure, pure crap. Assume an environment where changes are small and strength affords a huge advantage. In such a circumstance, the minor changes are just noise and the physically stronger species get their genes into next generations better, in direct contradiction of the "most adaptable" principle.

Actually it's not crap, although it is not really something Darwin ever said. Your example above is true only for the geologically short period of time where the environment remains stable. Change always comes, sooner or later. When the environment changes, your example species must either change with it or become extinct. Some species retain a great deal of genetic variability, while others do not.

"survival of the fittest" is a vacuous tautology. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109496)


"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."



--Charles Darwin

And how do we measure "the one most adaptable to change"? Why it is whichever one survives, of course. Because of this definition it is not possible to falsify the claim that "the best-adapted ones survive". Imagine that we set out to corrupt an expirment which tries to prove, over a thousand years, that the best-adapted animals survive. The experimenters create a biodome out of an area of New Zealand and proceed to raise the temperature to 120 degrees. Then they wait a thousand years.

If the thousand years proceeds normally, then let's assume by the end certain species will have flourished. They're the ones that have survived. Others, not so much. Maybe some species can't stand the heat, they die out. They're the ones that haven't survived.

So far we haven't entered the realm of tautology. But look, the scientists don't just call the surviving ones "the survivors" they look at survivors and say "Whoa, they're not just survivors. They're adapters. The survivors are the ones who are the best adapted. THEREFORE, there is a process, natural selection, by which the most fit, the best adapted survive".

Okay. They conclude that "natural selection" is "true". Now for the falsifiability test. Let's be God, and let's falsify they're experiment by corrupting their data. How can we lead them to conclude "whoops; there's no natural selection. the fittest, the best adapted didn't survive, a less fit, a less well-adapted group did."

We can't. If the day before they open the biosphere we 'disappear' EVERY thriving species and, of the species that are now poorly representated, we choose the one that has the FEWEST members, is on the brink of extinction, because it is so poorly adapted, so unfit (indeed, we could choose a species, if there is one, that died within hours of the temperature being raised to 120 degrees - but we don't want to arouse their suspicions), and of that species, we "smuggle in" enough to make it the MOST thriving speices, will the scientists conclude "holy shit, these species are completely unfit to be here, they're totally maladapted. It seems survival ISN'T necessarily of the fittest, of the best-adapted. In at least this one case, survival has been of species that are totally maladapted and unfit to survive. Natural selection, at least in this experiment, HASN'T been shown to favor the fittest".

No. They won't say that. They'll look at the species that seems (because of our corruption) to be thriving and label it the FITTEST and label it the BEST ADAPTED. We could fill their biosphere with polar bears sweating their asses off and they would say, "it seems that, for unknown reasons, the polar bears are the fittest ones in this sweltering environment. they're the best adapted. natural selection has favored them, and this proves 'survival of the fittest'. indeed, perhaps if we wait a thousand more years the rest of the speices will have 'evolved' into polar bears too." (just kidding on the last point).

It's because they're laboring under the tautology that NO MATTER WHAT survives, it proves natural selection favors the fittest, because THE FITTEST (ie THE SURVIORS) are whatever survived and flourished. If there are any survivors, it proves 'survival of the fittest', since they have been selected for their traits to survive.

We could 'disappear' every animal with the B trait of a completely irrelevant A/B possibility, and the New Zealanders would conclude that "survival of the fittest" is proved by the fact that the survivors have the A trait, therefore they are the fittest, and it is just this that has caused them to survive.

I'd like to hear if anyone here has a way to falsify the New Zealand experiment so that they conclude "well I guess THIS ONE experiment doesn't bear out 'survival of the fittest'. it doesn't show that natural selection favors the best-adapted species. species don't become better and better adapted over time".

Really, how would you do it?

Re:"survival of the fittest" is a vacuous tautolog (2, Insightful)

the phantom (107624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23110086)

The central insight of evolution is not that "the strong survive," that "the weak die off," or that "the best adapted have more offspring." These are fairly basic truisms that people have known, at an intuitive level, for thousands of years. Where do you think cows, sheep, wheat, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and pigs come from? Domestic plants and animals are the result of thousands of generations of artificial selection. Farmers wanted larger kernels, so they bred corn plants with larger kernels to other corn plants with larger kernels, resulting in offspring with even larger kernels. Herders wanted more passive animals, so the animals with the best personalities were bred more often. That certain traits could be bred for has been known for a very long time.

The great insight that Darwin had was that nature could provide as much of a selective force upon a population as human selection. Thus, your argument is nonsensical. Evolution is not about the "survival of the fittest." It is about changes in populations over time, as driven by process that include variation and natural selection.

Hopefully this site... (-1, Offtopic)

imyy4u1 (1222436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108504)

won't go the way of the dodo!

It'd also be nice to see the site evolve over time...

I wonder if it's hosted in the Galapagos Islands?

/corny

Yes0! fvp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108512)

to deVcline for the Reaper In a

Controversial? (5, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108530)

...when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution...

Maybe it was controversial back then, but it sure as heck isn't now (not in civilised parts of the world, anyway). Should have phrased that "his then-controversial theory" - might have been a less controversial turn of phrase!

Daniel

Re:Controversial? (0, Flamebait)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108632)

"not in civilised parts of the world, anyway"

Oh, the eternal burden of white man... surviving as a race.

Re:Controversial? (2, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108898)

Oh, the eternal burden of white man... surviving as a race.
His Assertion: For all civilized parts, evolution controversy = no.
Your Assertion: For all civilized parts, people = white
Counter point:
In parts of the US, evolution controversy = yes.
Those parts people = mostly white.
Thus your assertion creates a contradiction.

Re:Controversial? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108900)


"not in civilised parts of the world, anyway"
Oh, the eternal burden of white man... surviving as a race.


He may have been referring to places like Kansas, the deep south, Jesusland, etc.

Re:Controversial? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109900)

Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia...

Re:Controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108904)

Or rather, "...his then contorversial theory, now fact scientifically proven with a mountain of evidence similar to that for the force of gravity".

Re:Controversial? (5, Insightful)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109124)

Does civility advocate|excuse dismissing opposing|differing opinions as meritless simply due to an innate sense of superiority? I've always believed that truly civilized indivduals have learned to disagree without being disagreeable. The quote was from John van Wyhe, director of the project. I'd think his opinion would hold some value in this dicussion. We seem to have a difference of opinion over controversy; how odd.

Re:Controversial? (1)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109880)

Agreeing to have differing opinions is one thing; blatantly disregarding concrete evidence and dismissing entire areas of proven science to promote your own fundamentalist beliefs is another thing entirely.

I have no problem with the Wyhe quote, however, since the context of the sentence refers to the time period when the theory was first being proposed, when it was actually controversial.

Re:Controversial? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109188)

Yes, because only the uncivilized believe in something other than you do! That is very progressive thinking.

Re:Controversial? (2, Funny)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109392)

Maybe it was controversial back then, but it sure as heck isn't now
Hilarious!
I guess you weren't watching when the CNN moderator asked the republican presidential candidate contenders to raise their hands if they thought that the theory of evolution was incorrect.

oh wait, you said 'civilized world'... never mind.

Re:Controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109924)

www.expelledthemovie.com

Truth should never be afraid to discuss alternative views. The only ones who will not entertain open discussion are the ones who have something to hide.

Darwin to file DMCA C&D Notice. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108532)

News Item: Enforcement of 19th-century copyright precludes evolution of evolutionary sciences.

Re:Darwin to file DMCA C&D Notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108636)

Jokes are funnier when they're less obviously impossible in every way.

Re:Darwin to file DMCA C&D Notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109068)

Jokes are funnier when they're less obviously impossible in every way.

Au contraire, mon fraire. They are just easier for those acutely lacking in imagination to comprehend.

For example, I'm sure that you'd find a "pie in the face" side-splittingly funning, whereas the world's funniest joke ("My dog has no nose. Oh? How does he smell? Terrible!") would bounce right off you at an exit velocity equal to its entry velocity, having suffered not the slightest energy loss due to absorption.

Re:Darwin to file DMCA C&D Notice. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109514)

("My" dog has no nose. Oh? How does he smell? Terrible!)
If that's the world's funniest joke, we're all doomed! Doomed, I say!

(And yes, I 'got it'. I just didn't think it was particularly clever.)

Re:Darwin to file DMCA C&D Notice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109942)

"My" dog has no nose. Oh? How does he smell? Terrible!

If that's the world's funniest joke, we're all doomed! Doomed, I say!


Ahem. [wikipedia.org]

I wonder how much the theory has changed (3, Interesting)

Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108536)

Considering the 'evolution' (in the loosest possible sense) of his own theory, I'm wondering, first of all, how much it's really changed, and second of all, how many people will either get confused, or deliberately cause confusion, using these documents. It's not unheard of for certain creationists to misrepresent the theory, and the original flawed drafts and theory seem like fuel for this.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108706)

Using Darwin's theory to attack evolutionary theory is rather like using Newtonian physics to attack General Relativity. Like physics, biology has grown substantially since both men's time.

Darwin did get some things run. Most obvious was the means of heredity. He was not aware of Mendel's work. In fact, Mendelian genetics pretty much eclipsed Darwinian selection early in the 20th century. That, not Natural Selection, was the origin of a lot of the Social Darwinist/Eugenics movements; the application of barnyard selective breeding to humans, something that's quite opposed to Darwin's fundamental point that species could become better adapted to their environments naturally, whereas eugenics/social darwinism was more in the mode that a species needed active improvement, because the natural state was towards degradation.

That's why Expelled and all those nuts out there trying to associate Darwin's theory with the eugenics movement and with Nazi race theory are completely off base. Darwin's theory is in opposition the very idea that a population's reproduction needs to be rigorously managed (as a farmer would do) for a "better" (which, in Darwinian selection, is always a relative, statistical view, and not an absolute one as it was with the eugenics proponents) species.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (1)

Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108842)

Using Darwin's theory to attack evolutionary theory is rather like using Newtonian physics to attack General Relativity. Like physics, biology has grown substantially since both men's time.
I'm well aware of that, but the point of such an attack on evolution wouldn't be accuracy, but propoganda, whether true and valid or not.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109456)

I'm well aware of that, but the point of such an attack on evolution wouldn't be accuracy, but propoganda, whether true and valid or not.


Which is pretty much what I said [slashdot.org] in a discussion about 'Expelled'. It's propaganda, pure and simple.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109130)

That's why Expelled and all those nuts out there trying to associate Darwin's theory with the eugenics movement and with Nazi race theory are completely off base
People like saying $idea caused $badThing (communism caused Stalin's purges, Christianity caused crusades, ect.) to discredit $idea, when most people don't want to admit that anything that people like can be used by unscrupulous power mongers. Chalk one up for Argumentus strawmanius.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108836)

the theory of evolution by natural selection has been refined and added to as more data was available, for example genetic studies, fossil records etc. as to whether creationists would try to use these documents to support their denialism, I have no doubt they will. In fact, in my experience, they are far more interested in quote mining/splicing sentences together that have absolutely nothing to do with one another to attempt to support their claims about prominent members/icons of the scientific community.

Re:I wonder how much the theory has changed (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109322)

I'm wondering, first of all, how much it's really changed

At the time, Darwin didn't know about any of the actual mechanisms that enabled the transmission of genes, he just inferred that they must exist via statistics. Since then, we've discovered DNA, and it confirmed most of his findings. We've been able to use population genetics to figure out what route humans took to initially expand to all the continents [wikipedia.org] , and everything else that the actual mitochondrial/nucleic DNA mechanisms taught us.

Expelled (-1, Offtopic)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108546)

Let me take this opportunity to point out the persecution that exists in the Scientific Community.

http://www.expelledthemovie.com/

Re:Expelled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108602)

And let me take this opportunity to point out the propaganda and false martyrs that exist in the ID creationist community

http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth

Re:Expelled (3, Funny)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108716)

When is someone going make a movie about the persecution of cartographers who believe in a flat earth? WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE MAP MAKERS??

Re:Expelled (2, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108860)

I know right!!! One time in a physics class I tried to argue that black body radiation was a result of the "heated" exchanges between particles resulting from domestic disturbances amongst ethnically darker sub-atomic units in objects. When he told to be quiet, I told him that he was committing his own brand of a holocaust and was just as guilty as Hitler for the murder of the Jews. The professor called me crazy and kicked me out of class and gave me a poor grade for the day!

Can you believe such barbarism exists in this day and age. It's outrageous. I'm sick and tired of these stiffs pushing "Dead White Male Science" that is little more than soma. ALL THEORIES DESERVE TO BE HEARD!! I will gladly become a martyr for any of my theories. We deserve the truth!

Controversial? (1, Insightful)

DetpackJump (1219130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108552)

If an extremist group claimed that 1 + 1 = 3, would that make math controversial? There is no controversy with the theory of evolution, just a bunch of bizarre propagandists crying about it.

Re:Controversial? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108672)

"There is no controversy with the theory of evolution, just a bunch of bizarre propagandists crying about it."

There are no monsters, there are no monsters, there are no monsters....

Re:Controversial? (1)

QuantumHobbit (976542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108682)

1 + 1 == 3 for sufficiently large 1's. Enough computer science can make math controversial.

Re:Controversial? (1)

SilentBob0727 (974090) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109974)

1 + 1 == 3 for sufficiently large 1's
Or a broken transistor...

Re:Controversial? (-1, Troll)

Devin Jeanpierre (1243322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108710)

But 1 + 1 DOES = 3!

Alright, look.
2 = 1 + 1
Infinity + C = Infinity
EXCEPT
Infinity + (-Infinity) = Infinity - Infinity = 0
So, then, Infinity + 3 = Infinity + 2
3 = 2
1 + 1 = 3


Wait a minute...

Re:Controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109112)

Yes, it would. Controversy is not defined by specific truth, but rather the argument about it. As long as enough people disagree (even without foundation to do so), then something is controversial.

Probably a coincidence... (1)

MrKevvy (85565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108564)

...but it's interesting that this "documentary" [expelledexposed.com] opens tomorrow.

Did you RTFA? (3, Funny)

QuantumHobbit (976542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108616)

"Some 20,000 items and 90,000 images were posted today"

I'll assume this means that no one read the article before posting, although that isn't anything new.

Re:Did you RTFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109396)

Well, I looked at 90,000 images before posting, but they weren't from the Darwin site...

I can't say this enough.... (5, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108680)

THIS is what the Internet is about. This is why information wants to be free.

Just 100 years ago, maybe less, you would have had to be someone very special to see this much information from one scientist, and most probably have to be vested in whatever answers or information can be gleaned from it.

Now, however, the Internet allows us ALL to enjoy the privilege of reading his works, notes, and seeing his drawings... for free, at will, at home.

If knowledge is power, this is some really powerful stuff. Forget listening to anyone tell you what he said, just look it up in HIS notes. I wonder how many college papers were written about Darwin and the fallout from this information to date? Wonder what future papers will look like?

The Internet, for all its down sides, is a great thing....

Re:I can't say this enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23108930)

How do you know what you're reading is darwin's text and not a series of advertisements injected by your ISP?

Re:I can't say this enough.... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108958)

shhh, you're going to spoil a perfectly good, non-cynical post! damn it!

Re:I can't say this enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109044)

University of British Columbia has some more letters at

http://angel.library.ubc.ca/cdm4/index_coll0610-5.php?CISOROOT=/coll0610-5

Re:I can't say this enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109540)

This is why information wants to be free.
Sigh
Information hates being anthropomorphized.

Re:I can't say this enough.... (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109566)

Try downloading a fairly recent (published after 2000-2002) paper on computer vision or image processing. Most sites need a registration fee and only work with organizations (e.g. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=621386 [ieee.org] ).
Even some standards can't be downloaded without paying and registration, for example T.38.

spluff! (5, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108726)

That sound you just heard was the collective orgasms of the entire RichardDawkins.net forum membership.

Cue the morans (0, Flamebait)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108748)

Ben Stein and the other semi-literate creationist nutjobs will come crawling out of the woodwork to scour these works for out-of-context soundbites in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

Re:Cue the morans (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109558)

Ben Stein and the other semi-literate creationist nutjobs
Wait. Did you just say Ben Stein is a creationist? Damn. That guy's so smart. How could he be so dumb?

Re:Cue the morans (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23110056)

Ben Stein and the other semi-literate creationist nutjobs
Wait. Did you just say Ben Stein is a creationist? Damn. That guy's so smart. How could he be so dumb?
You're confusing the character(s) he plays with the actual man. Don't.

I'm a fan of Stein's work (movies, speechwriter for Nixon, his late great show Win Ben Stein's Money and his books), but I've never believed he is MENSA material.

Despite the fact Stein is involved with this joke of a movie, I will continue to enjoy his body of work.

And Visine. Oh, man, I love Visine. ;)

Re:Cue the morans (0, Flamebait)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109824)

RTFA before you mod me down: Ben Stein wrote and produced this movie. Scientific American specifically criticizes this film for quoting Darwin out of context. It's front and center on www.sciam.com.

Get a brain indeed, morans.

Re:Cue the morans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109986)

Irony. Noun. Calling someone a 'moran.'

Wow, that's a lot of stuff (5, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108790)

20,000 items and 90,000 images were posted today... The new site is the largest collection of Darwin's work in history...

Wow, quite a feat. Must have taken some really intelligent design to put all that together and make it work.

Re:Wow, that's a lot of stuff (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109002)

Wow, quite a feat. Must have taken some really intelligent design to put all that together and make it work.
Yeah, storage and viewing technology have evolved quite a bit since then.

Damn lawyers... (1)

VorlonFog (948943) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108826)

In a related story, Apple announced litigation regarding the use of Darwin as a name...

Snowy Owl Futures Plummet (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108936)

Since Darwin expressed "doubts about the permanence of species" Does this mean we don't need to save EVERY endangered species? Or does this mean that we should get our own affairs in order?

These papers deserve some study (1)

boudie2 (1134233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23108968)

Even I have had problems with the idea that we are derived from monkeys (until I started hanging around this place).

Controversial? sad... (4, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109066)

when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution
It really seems sad to me that it is still considered "controversial".

The theory of evolution through natural selection, while it has been modified to more accuracy through advances in genetics and our understanding of environmental science and ecology, is one of the best supported theories that science has to offer about how ANYTHING works. It's up there with things like "Ohm's Law" (E=IR), Newton's Laws of Gravity and/or Einstein's Theories of Relativity, the kinetic theory of gases, etc.

People don't question the scientific understanding about what makes our computers, mobile phones, PDAs, microwaves, etc. work, yet they still have issues with evolution, despite the fact that it is all based on EXACTLY THE SAME scientific method (in a nutshell, "observe - question - hypothesize - test - analyze - repeat") as the those things. It really boggles the mind.

I'm not saying the theory of evolution should not be questioned. ALL SCIENCE should be questioned, periodically even, but it should be questioned scientifically (i.e. does my hypothesis fit the data better, and can I devise a test to show this?) But, is it really so hard to accept the idea that we may not be "God's gift to the universe" and are only as important as we make ourselves to be, rather than relying on some higher power, some creator to make us the most important thing around? Honestly, and I grew up with religion, it is a concept that I can no longer understand (and I doubt I ever understood it in the first place)...

What is it? Fear that there may be nothing but what we leave behind after we die? Fear that if we are the product of an unimaginable amount of interactions over a difficult to imagine number of years and nothing more than that? Is it hubris? Fear that we may share the same ancestors as gorillas and orangutans?

Why is the theory of evolution still a controversy? As far as science goes, there is no other hypothesis that even comes close to explaining biology as well. How can so many people (and, honestly, mainly in the United States) still reject at most and at least question based on unscientific ideas -- i.e. not based on the scientific method -- the theory of evolution?

I have no problems with the idea of questioning the theory of evolution, if you can do it on scientific grounds. But doing otherwise is the same (to me) as questioning gravity, electronics, chemistry, etc. If one can accept those things, then why is evolution so hard to accept?

Re:Controversial? sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109516)

Well, one of the main problems is evolution has come to mean one thing to the vast majority and that is one species changing into another (macro evolution) which is absurd and baseless and ADAPTATION (micro evolution) which is small changes in a species so that species adapts to its environment. I can certainly believe in micro. Talk to me about macro...I will laugh in your face.

Micro vs. Macro is fiction (3, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109758)

If you have a problem with so-called "macro-evolution" then I contend that you cannot possibly conceive of 1 million years. It does not take that long for speciation (which you call macro-evolution, though I contend that there is only evolution). We have witnessed speciation. We have caused speciation in the lab. What more do you need?

You live for maybe 70 years, yet you have a hard time with the idea that several MILLION years ago, humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor?

Hell, we are close to speciation of dogs. Though still genetically compatible, it shouldn't be hard to argue that St. Bernards and Chihuahuas are reproductively isolated. If we could both be around to see the outcome, I would bet on complete reproductive genetic isolation within a few thousand years, i.e. speciation, or what you want to call "macro-evolution".

Scientifically show me that there is indeed a distinction between your so-called "micro-" and "macro-evolution", and I will be willing to accept the evidence. Otherwise, SCIENCE has shown, repeatedly, that there is no real distinction.

Separating evolution into "micro-" and "macro-" is just another red herring from those unwilling to question their own beliefs about their own importance to the universe, as I mentioned above.

Organisms change over time, due to a number of genetic and environmental factors. This is a FACT. The mechanisms of it are a theory (which is as close to truth as science can get). Why is it difficult for you to believe that, over enough time, things will change so much as to be incompatible (reproductively speaking)?

You may proceed with your laughter AFTER you refute what I have said with EVIDENCE.

Re:Controversial? sad... (4, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23110048)

It's worse than that - evolution isn't just up there with things like Ohm's law and the law of gravity... it ceased being a theory/law altogether when DNA was discovered thereby making Darwin's hypothesized inheritable traits a reality.

Given the now known existence of DNA & mechanisms of genetic variation, the tautology "the fittest survive" points out that evolution HAS to occur.

variation + the fittest survive + hereditory traits => successive generations become fitter

How could they possibly NOT become fitter (evolve)?!!

Speciation is similarly unavoidable. Population genetic drift comes about by interbreeding, so lack of interbreeding will lead to diverging sub-population genetics, and there is nothing to stop this proceeding past the no-turning-back (speciation!) point of no longer being able to interbreed.

Some of the reasons why some people find it hard to accept are :

- It's personal - it clashes with their religious beliefs

- It's personal - it clashes with their egotistical belief of being special, not an animal

- Evolution of large animal species happens to slowly to observe, and most people are not familiar with other forms of evolution (e.g bacterial, or genetic design) that do happen observably quickly

- It's taught horribly in schools. When you are taught properly about population speration and genetic drift, environmental change and punctuated equilibrium, speciation as evolution past the point of inability to interbreed, it makes sense. If you instead believe evolution happens to individuals vs populations, or that all genetic changes are claimed to be incrementally beneficial (vs punctuated equilibrium, or even Lamarkian drivel like giraffe's necks getting longer because of their stretching for leaves, then you will be very confused!

New Research Possibilities Abound (1)

RailGunSally (946944) | more than 6 years ago | (#23109378)

These papers should be watched carefully for any alterations occurring as a result of propagation in the form of file transmission and storage. One of these alterations per billion should result in a more viable paper than the original. These altered papers will tend to reproduce more efficiently than either the originals or the detrimentally altered copies.

Recipes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109452)

The collection includes thousands of notes and drafts of his scientific writings, notes from the voyage of the Beagle when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution, and his first recorded doubts about the permanence of species.
Also, his wife's recipe book! (Seriously, check it out; it's there, and it's got some interesting stuff. And unlike Charles's own notes, it's readable.)

fp cu`m (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109832)

But can it be proven? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23109938)

Can anyone on this post or anywhere else for that matter prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a new species has been formed in this lifetime? Using Darwin's theory of constantly adapting species, surely at least one species would have adapted in this lifetime to external pressures of the changing environment which would have resulted in the creation of another species. If Darwin is correct in his theory, species should be changing constantly, not simply "growing" within the same species. While Darwin's theory certainly sounds reasonable, and even sounds like a logical explanation about the changing environment and even about how multiple species have formed, it lacks evidentiary proof.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?