PERSONAL COMMENTS ON ANTHROPOLOGY AND DARWIN

Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
California State University, Chico / Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office: Butte 202]; 530-898-6192 [Department: Butte 311]; 530-898-6143 [FAX]
e-mail: curbanowicz@csuchico.edu / home page: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH600Fall2008.html]

30 September 2008

© [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the World Wide Web on September 30, 2008, for Professor David Eaton's ANTH 600 (Core Seminar in Anthropology), for a presentation (with visuals) at California State University, Chico.

ABSTRACT

On September 30, 2008, I presented personal ideas concerning Anthropology and Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) for a Graduate Seminar at California State University, Chico. A member of this faculty since August 1973, I am presently "semi-retired" and in my fourth year of participating in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP). I teach full-time in the Fall semester and do other things in the Spring semester and I anticipate participating in FERP until December 2009 (when I will fully retire from teaching at this institution).

 

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

"There are many things about life that do not change with age. Older people have some advantage over the young because, having been young and having been old, they know both ages. Young people, on the other hand, can only guess what it must like to be old. I know exactly what it is like to be young and what it is like to be old. I am aware of myself now and remember what I was like then [stress added]." Andy Rooney, 2002, Common Nonsense Addressed to the Reading Public (NY: Public Affairs), page 161.

Some background information on how my own thinking has evolved over time for this particular seminar is available at the following web pages: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH600Fall2007.html [Seminar information for October 16, 2007], http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH600Fall2005.html [Seminar information for October 19, 2005], and http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH300Fall2002.htm [Seminar information for September 18, 2002]. As stated elsewhere in my web pages, I once knew the anthropologist June Helm, who died in 2004. June was born in 1924 and I in 1942, and although we were separated in age by 18 years, anthropology drew us together. The following appeared in January 2005:

"June Helm, who died February 4, 2004, was President of the AAA [American Anthropological Association] (1985-1987)....Following the list of her publications she appnded the comment: 'NB: I have never included 'paper read' and 'invited lectures' in my CV. If there are no published versions, I consider them ephemera [stress added]. Nancy Oestrich Lurie, Anthropology in the Libral Arts. Anthropology Newsletter, January 2005, page 4.

I do not consider any presentations I make as "ephemeral" which is why I create various web pages of presentations so individuals may pursue various points (should they so choose).

 

PART TWO: CHANGES IN PERSONAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INTERESTS OVER TIME.

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

On September 30, 2008, I discussed changes in my approach to anthropology and additional information is available at the following web pages: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/30YearsOfAnthroForums.html [The Anthropology Forum: 1973->2003! and http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/30YearsPartTwoAnthroForums.html [The Anthropology Forum: 1973->2003, Part II]. If one is interested in further changes, you may examine my ideas at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Jan'98_Millennium_Paper.html [Twenty-five/Twenty-five, Or, Hindsight is Always Somewhat "Perfect" (But Perhaps we Can Invent The Future!)] as well as a somewhat whimsical view of Chico in the year 2027 at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/aStoryof2027.html [A "Story" (Vision or Nightmare?) of the Region in 2027!].

 

PART THREE: CONCENTRATING ON DARWIN.

"Anthropology is the product of three great historical movements: the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and Evolutionism." Philip K. Bock, 1990, Rethinking Psychological Anthropology: Continuity and Change in the Study of Human Action, page 5.

I have been "doing Darwin" for years and have numerous web pages: if you wish to pursue those further, please consult the "Master Page" located at: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinPagesOnly.html [Darwin Pages Only]. Should you wish to see how other individuals and institutions have incorporated some of my ideas concerning Darwin into their web pages, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/UrbanowiczCitations.html [UrbanowiczCitationsOnTheWeb].

In 1859, Darwin published the first edition of his monumental work, namely On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (this is the on-line version of the first edition of 1859 edition). The following information concerning the various editions of "Origin" has been presented in numerous of my Darwin web pages and I am not at all ashamed of repeating them here since the data indicate (#1) the changes that Darwin himself made in "Origin" in his lifetime, (#2) demonstrate the importance of writing and re-writing, (#3) get you to think about which version of Darwin you are reading and (#4) get you to think about the following: what do you really know about Darwin? Please note the changes Darwin made in the SIX editions of Origin during his lifetime (as calculated by Morse Peckham [Editor], 1959, The Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin: A Variorum Text):

THE VARIOUS EDITIONS FROM 1859-1872:

YEAR/Ed.
COPIES
Sentences
Sentences
Sentences
TOTAL
% CHANGE
1859/1st
1,250

3,878

1860/2nd
3,000
9 eliminated
483 rewritten
30 added
3,899
7 %
1861/3rd
2,000
33 eliminated
617 rewritten
266 added
4,132
14 %
1866/4th
1,500
36 eliminated
1073 rewritten
435 added
4,531
21 %
1869/5th
2,000
178 eliminated
1770 rewritten
227 added
4,580
29 %
1872/6th
3,000
63 eliminated
1699 rewritten
571 added
5,088
21-29 %

In my opinion, the most important "change" that occurs in Origin over the years appears in the final chapter entitled "Recapitualtion and Conclusions." In the final lines of the 1860 edition Darwin had the following:

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved [stress added]"

Note the inclusions of the phrase "by the Creator" which did not appear in the 1859 edition but which appeared in all subsequent editioms of Origin edited and published in Darwin's lifetime. What edition are you reading?

My interest in Darwin not only includes academic presentations, but at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1990DossierOnDarwinLetter.html you will find a 1990 "Letter to the Editor" of the Chico Enterprise-Record, wherein I presented my convictions for a wider audience!

Over the years of 1997 to 2003, four "Darwin Videos" were created on this campus, wherein I portrayed Darwin in the first person. The most concise summary of the "Darwin Project"(which took longer than the actual 1831-1835 Voyage of the Beagle) may be found at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/CELTOctober2004Darwin.html [The Darwin Project: 1996 to 2004! ]. That page also provides links to the four videos available on the web (and that listing also appears at the end of this current web page). Several Darwin "Self tests" have also been created over the years, and you may access these at the following addresses:

2005 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestFive.htm (Darwin Self-Test Five} February 2005).

2004 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestFour.htm (Darwin Self-Test Four} September 2004).

2003 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestThree.htm (Darwin Self-Test Three} October 2003).

2001 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestTwo.htm (Darwin Self-Test Two} November 2001].

2000 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SelfTesting/DarwinTestOne.htm (Darwin 2000-2001 [Self]Test One} January 2000).

In the year 2009 we will see world-wide activities relating to the sesquicentennial of the publication of Darwin's "Origin" as well as the bicentennial of of Darwin's birth. Should you wish to learn more about Darwin please have a look at the following web sites:

http://www.darwinday.org/ [Darwin Day]

http://darwin.gruts.com/ [Friends of Charles Darwin]

http://www.aboutdarwin.com/ [About Darwin.com]

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/darwin-centre [London} The Natural History Museum Darwin Centre]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/darwinbicentenary [The United Kingdom} The Guardian - Darwin]

http://thebeagleproject.com/ [The HMS Beagle Project]

http://thebeagleproject.blogspot.com/ [The Beagle Project Blog]

http://darwin-online.org.uk/ [The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online]

http://www.darwin-literature.com/ [Darwin-Literature.com]

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/ [The Darwin Correspondence Project]

http://www.darwinfoundation.org [The Charles Darwin Foundation]

http://www.natcenscied.org [The National Center for Science Education]

http://www.iexplore.com/multimedia/galapagos.jhtml [The Gal·pagos Islands!]

http://www.darwin-legend.org/ [The Darwin Legend]

You could also find the following interesting:

http://www.darwinawards.com/ [Official Darwin Awards} "...showing us just how uncommon common sense can be." Wendy Northcutt, 2000, The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action (Dutton).

You might also be interested in the following publications: first, there is an excellent 2008 publication (based on the 1859 edition of "Origin") and has David Quammen as the "General Editor" of the volume. Entitled Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species The Illustrated Edition (New York/London: Sterling), it has outstanding illustrations as well as pertinent quotations from several other publications of Charles Darwin. Secondly, you might find the 2001 translation (of a 2000 French publication) entitled Charles Darwin - The Scholar who changed History, by Patrick Tort, to be a very useful item with an excellent text and great illustations. Finally, there is the most enjoyable 1982 item entitled Darwin For Beginners by Jonathan Miller and Borin Van Loon: it is simply an item which is fun to read!

 

PART FOUR: LIFE WHILE AT CSU, CHICO AND AFTER CSU, CHICO.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."
Samule Langhorn Clemens (1835-1910), perhaps better known as Mark Twain.

In 2004 I was contacted about the possibility of lecturing on cruise ships and have been doing just that, when time was available, since December 2004. My most recent cruise-lecturing experience was being one of the "Explorations Speakers" for Holland America Line Inc. on three April-May 2008 cruises of the ms Zaandam from the West Coast of North America to Hawai'i (and return). Earlier this year, in January-February 2008 I was one of the Explorations Speakers on different segments of the ms Amsterdam and ms Ryndam cruises from San Diego to French Polynesia and then from French Polynesia to Sydney, Australia. For information about these, and other cruises I have provided lectures on (with an extensive bibliography, including printed and web-based material, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/PacificReferences.html [Various Pacific References].

 

PART FIVE: CONCLUSIONS.

I plan to teach at this institution until December 2009 and hope to travel and cruise (and provide lectures on various cruises as long as I can). I will share information as long as people want to have that information and I truly believe in anthropology, as well as the following words of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826):

"...no one possesses the less because everyone possesses the whole of it. He [or she!] who receives an idea from me receives [it] without lessening [me], as he who lights his [candle] at mine receives light without darkening me." [See: www.uh.edu/engines/epi792.htm} Jefferson and Technology].
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FOUR DARWIN VIDEOS (AND THE YEAR THEY WERE COMPLETED):

 

1997 Charles Darwin: Reflections - Part one: The Beginning. [ ~Seventeen Minutes Video. Darwin in England]. [http://rce.csuchico.edu/darwin/RV/darwinreflections.ram]. Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html].

1999 Charles Darwin: - Part One: The Voyage. [ ~Twenty-two Minute Video. Darwin sailing from England to South America.] [http://rce.csuchico.edu/darwin/RV/darwinvoyage.ram] Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html].

2001 Charles Darwin: - Part Two: The Voyage. [ ~Twenty-seven Minute Video. Darwin from South America, through the Gal·pagos Islands, and back to England.] [http://rce.csuchico.edu/darwin/RV/darwin3.ram] Edited by Ms. Vilma Hernandez and Produced by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html].

2003 Charles Darwin: - Part Three: A Man of Science. [ ~Twenty-four Minute Video. Darwin from South America, through the Gal·pagos Islands, and back to England.] [http://rce.csuchico.edu/Darwin/RV/darwin4.ram] Produced and Edited by Ms. Donna Crowe: Instructional Media Center, CSU, Chico. Available via the Internet with REAL PLAYER [http://www.real.com/player/index.html].


To go to the home page of Urbanowicz, please click here;

Department of Anthropology;

to California State University, Chico.

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH600Fall2008.html]

 

 [~2,141 words]


 

Copyright © 2008; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz
30 September 2008

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