While everyone is ignoring the 300th anniversary of Copyright (sigh !) we are all supposed to be guyed up to mark the 200th B-day of C. Darwin.
Yawn - I just don't like the guy.
Ironically, the reason why I do not like Charles is because of the tireless efforts of Janet Browne, who went way down deep in the dusty archives and came up with biographic gold on Mr Darwin.
Ironically, because I believe Professor Browne was and remains a big fan of Darwin, warts and all.
Her two volume mega-kilogram bookstops ( "Voyaging" and "Power of Place") reveal that Darwin thought nothing of stealing valuable documents from grieving widows or of slandering opponents, through the use of surrogates ,so Darwin could keep his reputation of high moral character.
Worse of all, in his brief autobiography, Darwin denied any credit to his doting father for helping Charles to claw his way to the top of the world of science.
Doted upon ? Spoiled is a better word.
Charles Darwin was given extremely expensive scientific equipment for his hobbies as a child - such as a microscope that would cost the annual income of a half dozen farm labourers for example.
Without all the support that his mega-millionaire father and wife (mega-millionaire in in 2010 dollars) gave him, Darwin would never had been credited with discovering evolution.
Then he goes and denies that his unique access to these and other scientific aids gave him any leg up over his poorer scientific competitors.
Ingrate ! Spoil your child and he'll bite your hand in thanks, I always say.
Anyway , Janet Browne speaks at Dal's Ondaatje Hall October 15th 8pm --- and I will be there.....