Four Truths and a Lie: Darwin Day Edition

28 Jan
Evolution - The Ride! by Flickr user kevindooley

Evolution - The Ride! by Flickr user kevindooley

(This is part of my series on Holidays in 2009.)

After careful thought, I’ve decided on my Darwin Day plans. It falls on Thursday, February 12th, and this year promises to be a doozy. If you’re baking a birthday cake, you’d better have a lot of candles and a fire extinguisher on hand, because Charles Darwin would have been 200 years old this year. To make it even more exciting (as if evolution isn’t exciting enough already!), this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, his landmark book.

Here are five things you can do to celebrate Darwin Day. (I’m planning to do four of these. Guess which ones!)

1. Learn. Go to one of the many events registered on darwinday.org (My favorites: the special program organized by the New York City Skeptics, featuring talks by the Editor in Chief of Scientific American magazine and Matthew Chapman, the great-great grandson of the birthday boy himself; and an all day reading of The Origin of Species in Appleton, Wisconsin.)

2. Play with dinosaurs. Visit your nearest Natural History Museum.

3. Eat. Use icing to add Darwin Fish to yummy cupcakes (and if you share with your classmates or co-workers, it may pay off later, evolutionarily speaking).

4. Persuade. Convert a “young earth” or “intelligent design” subscriber to the theory of evolution using only your scientific knowledge, tenacity, and wit.

5. Dress up like a double helix. For even nerdier costume ideas, check out the best online forum exchange ever.

(Bonus: Take a free evolution course.)

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