DARWIN AND MODERNISM:
FROM THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION THROUGH THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES AND BEYOND!
Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz/Department of Anthropology
Butte Hall 317/898-6220
e-mail: curbanowicz@.csuchico.edu and/or http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban
30 September 1998

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinArt197.html]

ABSTRACT: Does Urbanowicz have any other interests? The first Darwin presentation in a similar format was made at an Anthropology Forum on October 4, 1990 and then again on February 10, 1993; a closed-circuit televised production of Darwin was made for an ANTH 103 course, followed by another Anthropology Forum on February 11, 1993. A Darwin presentation was made for new students during "Orientation Week" on August 25, 1994 and a presentation of an uncut version of this tape was made at an Anthropology Forum on November 7, 1996; and, finally (for now), this 17 minute videotape (finished in July 1997): What next? (And there have been other "Darwin" presentations, such as the Southwestern Anthropological Society meetings earlier in 1998 at http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Darwin_Folklore.html, and other items listed in the "Web References" below. (This current web page also contains some Darwin illustrations from various web locations.)

INTRODUCTION: The rationale for creating instructional videotape(s) dealing with Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) is an attempt to convey not only the content of Darwin's work, but also the context and the impact his ideas for contemporary University students. Urbanowicz hopes to get them (and others) understand that impact. In many respects, it is an attempt through the use of multimedia to convey what Freeman Dyson wrote about Albert Einstein: "This book shows him as he was--not a superhuman genius but a human genius, and all the greater for being a human being" (In Alice Calaprice, 1996, The Quotable Einstein, page xiii). Charles Robert Darwin was born in the village of Shrewsbury (England) on February 12, 1809, and he died on April 19, 1882. He is buried in London in Westminster Abbey.

"The [1937] Hungarian Nobel Prize winner [in Physiology/Medicine], Szent-Geörgyi [von Nagyrapolt], once said that a scientist should see what everybody else has seen and then think what nobody has thought. Nobody did this better than Charles Darwin, who first realized that the evolution of life took place by Natural Selection. Darwin taught us all to see more clearly what everyone had seen, and Darwin also taught us to think, along with him, what no one else had thought. No branch of science is more dominated by a single theory, by a single great idea, than is the whole of biology by the idea of evolution by Natural Selection."(J. Livingston and L. Sinclair, 1967, Darwin and the Galapagos, n.p.)

Over the years 1831-1836 Darwin took part in a fourty-thousand mile voyage around the globe and other eminent Victorians were exploring and gathering information about the world about them; the zeitgesit was an expanding one!

"The Victorians' fascination with the past was thus the product of an age obsessed with change, desperately hoping that history itself might supply the reassurance that could no longer be derived from ancient beliefs. ... The Victorians' obsession with history was fuelled by an immense extension of the range of past events open to their investigations." Peter J. Bowler, 1989, The Invention of Progress: The Victorians and the Past (Oxford: Basil Blackwood), page 3.

DARWIN'S MONUMENT: Change is apparent where Darwin is concerned and his most monument work was the 1859 publication of On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, it went through five additional editions in his own lifetime (in addition to his numerous other publications). Note the following changes which took place over the SIX editions of Origin (from M. Peckham, Editor, 1959, The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: A Variorum Text (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press):

THE VARIOUS VOLUMES:

YEAR

COPIES

Sentences

Sentences

Sentences

TOTAL

% CHANGE

1859/1st

1,250

3,878

1860/2nd

3,000

9 eliminated

483 re-written

30 added

3,899

7 %

1861/3rd

2,000

33 eliminated

617 re-written

266 added

4,132

14 %

1866/4th

1,500

36 eliminated

1073 re-written

435 added

4,531

21 %

1869/5th

2,000

178 eliminated

1770 re-written

227 added

4,580

29 %

1872/6th

3,000

63 eliminated

1699 re-written

571 added

5,088

21-29 %

In the 1869 edition Darwin used the famous phrase "Survival of the Fittest" (borrowed from Herbert Spencer [1820-1903]) and by the 1872 edition, "On" was dropped from the title. In 1859 Darwin originally only wrote the following about human beings: "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" and by the 6th edition of 1872, Darwin wrote as follows:

"In the future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be securely based on the foundation already well laid by Mr. Herbert Spencer, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."

Considering Darwin's passing reference to Homo sapiens in this monumental work, it is somewhat ludicrous to read Edward Said, writing in his influential 1993 publication entitled Culture And Imperialism, invoking Darwin's name to support the following phrase: "All of these [individuals] developed and accentuated the essentialist positions in European culture proclaiming that Europeans should rule, non-Europeans be ruled" (page 100). This was not correct for Darwin; neither is Said correct when he uses Darwin to justify a colonial "scheme of peoples guaranteed scientifically by scholars and scientists" into "superior" and inferior" human beings (page 140). If one wishes to cite Darwin, be it on "imperialism" or religion, one must read Darwin. Darwin has also been called an "atheist" by some, but please note that in the second edition of 1860 Darwin had the following words in closing his book:

"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 [STRESS added] 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."

TEMPORARY DARWIN CONCLUSIONS

Charles Robert Darwin was an extremely important individual for a variety of reasons: the data he collected, the experiments he conducted, the books he wrote (more than twenty), and the theories and ideas he proposed influenced a variety of disciplines, from anthropology to zoology as well as biology, ecology, geology, and the general social sciences. In the 1990s there is a field called "Darwinian Medicine" as well as "Evolutionary Psychology." In his 1876 autobiography, Darwin wrote that at the time of Origin he could be viewed as a theist, or one who had the conviction of the existence of God. Ideas and perspectives change over time and in 1876 Darwin stated: "The mystery of the beginning of all things is impossible by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic." (S. E. Hyman, 1963, Darwin for Today, page 371). Darwin had his final and fatal heart attack on the 19th of April 1882 and he made no deathbed statement as to his faith, but had he been asked the question by someone: "Darwin, have you made peace with God?" perhaps he would have chosen to respond with the words attributed to Thoreau (1817-1862) on his deathbed, who is said to have responded to that question with: "I didn't know we had quarreled."

# # #

SPECIFIC DARWIN WEB SOURCES LOCATED AT CSU, CHICO.

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Darwin_Folklore.html [1998 Folklore paper Concerning Charles R. Darwin]

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Forum/Darwin_Sep'97.html [Darwin Continues To Evolve: Urbanowicz On Darwin (Again!] (For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forum on September 11.)

http://www.csuchico.edu/anth/CASP/1996.html (1996, The Chico Anthropological Society Papers, Number 16, Special Edition on Darwin)

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Forum/Nov7-96.html (November 7, 1996, Anthropology Forum Darwin handout)

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Forum/darwin.mov (1996 Quick Time move: 14 seconds)

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Darwin/DarwinSem-S95.html (1995 Seminar Paper for Anthropology 303)


(1) © For ART 197 (The Avant-Garde in the Twentieth Century: The Visual Arts) at California State University, Chico, on September 30, 1998. This paper draws heavily on various other Darwin publications. To return to the beginning of this page, please click here.

To go to the home page of Charles F. Urbanowicz.

To go to the home page of the Department of Anthropology.

To go to the home page of California State University, Chico.


VISUALS FROM VARIOUS WEB LOCATIONS (sources given below image):

source: http://www.dropbears.com/brough/sweers/beagle.jpg

 

source: http//mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/win.html

 

source: http://tyrrell.magtech.ab.ca/tour/darwin.gif

 

source: http//www.lib.virginia.edu/science/parshall/darwinport.html


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[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinArt197.html]