Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin & Lincoln were born 200 years ago today

What a significant double birthday! Both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born 200 years ago today. Both men were intellectuals who shaped the thinking of their world (and still influence ours): Darwin's Theory of Evolution changed modern science; Lincoln led the US through the Civil War and was instrumental in the emancipation of slaves.

Being a scientist and naturalist myself, Charles Darwin greatly influenced my world view. And his travels on the "Beagle" took him to South America, where he observed nature in the same neck of the world where I grew up (Chile). He was very thorough and not at all impulsive: it took him 30 years to digest his findings and publish "The Origins of Species".

Abraham Lincoln was born in Illinois to a dirt-poor farming family of German origin (my uncle wrote a book "The German Dimension of American History", where he researched that Lincoln's name was derived from "Linkhorn"). He became a lawyer and politician extra-ordinaire, the whole time struggling with depression and bi-polar illness. Lincoln's writings and speeches have been studied (revered, criticized) by many over the last century, including Barack Obama. His legacy was indeed large.

3 comments:

honeypiehorse said...

Wow. Who knew? I wonder what makes a Lincoln possible. Darwin I get but Lincoln was really special.

PolarBearCreations said...

I have the same birthday as they have!I feel sometimes that old.....
:0)

Hi! I'm Grace said...

I just want to say, Happy Valentine's Day. :)