Welcome to the Beagle Project: we aim to provide the most compelling events of Charles Darwin's 2009 anniversary by building a sailing replica of HMS Beagle and sailing in Darwin's wake. The build and Beagle's arrival in the Galapagos in 2009 will be two of the most striking, iconic media events of the 2009 celebrations, aimed at firing the scientific imaginations of a new generation and celebrating the life and work of Charles Darwin, one of the greatest biologists ever.
I encourage everyone who hasn't done so already, to check out their website and donate some money to an incredibly worthy project.
But why did I wait until today to post this? Quite simply, I consider November 22nd to be the true Darwin Day. That was the day (in 1859) when The Origin of Species went on sale; that was the day that changed the world. I've always thought that celebrating the birthdays of important people missed the point. It makes sense to celebrate one's own birthday--or the birthday of one's child or loved one--that date has personal significance. But when you're talking about an important historical figure, their birth is really insignificant. I mean, what really happened on the day that George Washington, or Caesar Augustus, or Martin Luther King Jr. was born? Another baby was delivered. Whoop-dee-doo! It wasn't until later that these people would do what made them "go down in history."
If you're familiar with my blog, then you've probably already smelled the BS. Fact is, I was travelling much of the day yesterday, and when I got home it was late and I was tired and just not in the mood to write the post I had planned. I do however stand by everything I said about important people's birthdays--just not enough to eschew celebrations.
On a final note, I'd also like to encourage evryone to become a Friend of Charles Darwin. That way you can put FCD after your name--just like me.
--Javier Pazos, FCD