Honoring Charles Darwin

Last week, NY Times op-ed blogger and evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson wrote a remarkable piece about the coming 18 months of "Darwinmania!". From July 1, 2008 through the end of 2009, Charles Darwin's life and work will be celebrated in countless ways and by countless groups throughout the world. The question Dr. Judson poses (and 350 people responded to) is: "Darwin got all the glory, but did he deserve it?"

Dr. Judson is an excellent writer and I've enjoyed reading her column "The Wild Side" the past year or two. But I was caught by surprise, even moved to tears, by this post.

I feel unspeakably blessed to be called to take a sacred, meaningful view of evolution to the masses. The timing could not be more perfect. (1) My book, Thank God for Evolution was published by Viking/Plume this past Monday, June 23rd. (2) My science writer wife, Connie Barlow, and I permanently travel North America teaching and preaching evolution in religiously inspiring and personally empowering ways. (3) Next Tuesday begins a year and a half of celebrations honoring Darwin.

It just doesn't get any better than this!

Here's the introduction to "Darwinmania!":

The party is about to begin.

In a week or so, the trumpets will sound, heralding the start of 18 months of non-stop festivities in honor of Charles Darwin. July 1, 2008, is the 150th anniversary of the first announcement of his discovery of natural selection, the main driving force of evolution. Since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (Feb. 12), as well as being the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, "On the Origin of Species" (Nov. 24), the extravaganza is set to continue until the end of next year. Get ready for Darwin hats, t-shirts, action figures, naturally selected fireworks and evolving chocolates. Oh, and lots of books and speeches

But hold on. Does he deserve all this?

Read the rest of Dr. Judson's essay HERE, where you will also see her rather provocative photo, learn about her bestselling book, Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex, and see hundreds of comments her "Darwinmania!" post has generated.