The Science of Sustainability

Reporter's Notes: Investigating Darwin's Legacy

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This year marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin – and the 150th anniversary of his landmark work, "On the Origin of Species". One of the iconic fossils that supports Darwin's theory of evolution is called the Archaeopteryx and it was recently flown out to Stanford University for an unusual test. Scientists are bombarding this dino-bird with high-tech gadgetry to unlock even more information about how we came to be here.

There are dozens of events celebrating Darwin this month. You can also join QUEST at one of them. On February 26th, QUEST will be screening our half-hour documentary, "Chasing Beetles, Finding Darwin" at the California Academy of Sciences. We'll be joined by two scientists featured in the story. You can get more info or buy tickets here.


Listen to the Investigating Darwin's Legacy radio report online.


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Category: Biology, Radio

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About the Author ()

David Gorn is the former Deputy News Director of KQED Radio, and currently works as a freelancer for National Public Radio. He has worked for three daily Bay Area newspapers, has been Editor-in-Chief of several magazines, and has taught journalism at San Jose State University and San Francisco State University.
  • Dmitri Genevoo

    1/ If the religious types would just admit to evolution, and that, "In his image", meant using DNA and reproduction, then everyone would agree on Darwin AND the churches could get out of school like they should be.

    One could go all the way back the the Big Bang and say, A/ It was God, or B/ It was a random natural event. Everything that led to us (and probably others on other planets in this or other galaxies) existing today certainly would be exactly the same with either method of starting things up.

    2/ About using Eugenics to deliberately improve the human race . . . Basically, that wouldn't be much more sinister than – dating (joke, we really don't want states or governments force breeding human beings.)

    About dating though, the whole Cindarela complex in western and other culture IS deliberate breeding. Poor girl, from bad family, with either bad genetics or bad family culture, makes good with man carrying superior genes and family culture – if she's good looking or especially talented and he WANTS her, uh, her genes. That's why even succesful, well connected women still marry for money and power, it's in their genes for that to be attractive to them.

    To sum it up, evolution is obvious, how it got started is not.

    It's also obvious, that any belief system – religious or not but especially religious ones, that trys to narrow the human experience because of uneducated fear, holds back human growth. Unfortunately, those same uneducated, closed minded people use genetics BETTER than educated, open minded people – They breed more and practice violence more. That's why all great civilizations eventually fall prey to the barbarians. Better teach your children a language from a violent, third world, religious part of the world . . . .