The Darwin Online Project

On NPR the other morning, I heard a piece about the Darwin Online Project. It sounds just amazing. I hope you find time to explore the site.

Extract from Darwin’s Notebooks

It has all sorts of fascinating things that you can download or view in the above (click for larger view) manner (your very own copy of the Origin of Species, perhaps, or parts of his diaries and notebooks…), and is quite a treasure trove of one-stop-shop (but free) Darwin data. (There are even some of (his wife) Emma Darwin’s recipes.) The site is here.

Very importantly, the collection shows Darwin’s work in development, and not just the finished product – showing science a living process of deduction, and not as dogma, magic, or museum piece. This is definitely worth sharing and exploring in a classroom, I’d say. Listen to Renee Montagne interview John van Wyhe, director of the Darwin Online collection, here on NPR. From the interview:

The collection includes Darwin’s first pencil sketch of his species theory, from 1842. “You notice that it’s messy,” van Wyhe says. “That shows that it’s a working document. Darwin has crossed things out, changed his ideas.”



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2 Responses to The Darwin Online Project

  1. michael says:

    This one is very good, Darwin debating the pros and cons of marriage


  2. Carl Brannen says:

    One of the cool things I ran into was in the book “Genius” the biography of Feynman. They took a sheet from his notebooks and reproduced it as a photo in the book. And it happened to be his notes on his somewhat obscure “Feynman checkerboard” model of the electron, which is what I’ve been working on since then, so its effect on me was that much stronger.