Thursday, April 17, 2008

Origins online...

The process of publishing online Charles Darwin's works has been ongoing for some years, however today is the news [BBC] that the "first draft of a book which changed the world's attitude to evolution" is now available free to those interesting in seeing or reading 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life'...(thankfully known just as The Origin of Species!). The idea is to provide all works online (BROWSE papers) by 2009, the bicentenary of the naturalist's birth. Coincidentally in two days time is the anniversary of his death. Not entirely unconnected with present day approaching problems of food-supply for the human race Darwin was influenced by the ideas of Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population reminding him of the latter's "statistical proof that human populations breed beyond their means and compete to survive"....something I touched on a few months ago.

Update re food and population (sorry to digress so much from Darwin!); just noticed in this week's Economist: The Silent Tsunami. "Food prices are causing misery and strife around the world. Radical solutions are needed"

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