CHARLES R. DARWIN AND MORAL EVOLUTION

Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz/Professor of Anthropology
California State University, Chico/Chico, California 95929-0400
Telephone: 530-898-6220 [Office]; 530-898-6192 [Dept.] FAX: 530-898-6824
e-mail: curbanowicz@csuchico.edu and home page: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban

5 May 2004 [1]

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSP2004PHIL108.html]

(1) © [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the WWW on May 5, 2004, for a presentation (with visuals) in Professor Robert Stewart's PHIL 108 (ETHICS AND HUMAN HAPPINESS) at CSU, Chico.

SUMMARY: Charles R. Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 and died on April 19, 1882. While primarily famous for his epoch-making 1859 publication entitled On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life Darwin is also noted for his 1871 publication entitled the The Descent of Man And Selection in Relation to Sex. [2nd edition of 1882].

This presentation deals with the the phrase that "Human evolution is the most passionate aspect of the evolution-creation debate [stress added]." Larry A. Whitham, 2002, Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists And Evolutionists In America (Oxford University Press), page 242. Darwin sailed from England on HMS Beagle on December 27, 1831 and after research in South America, the HMS Beagle entered the Pacific Ocean on June 11, 1834. Darwin reached the Galápagos Islands on September 15, 1835. After that, HMS Beagle continued around the globe, arriving back in England on October 2, 1836. Darwin never left England again but continued his research, married and raised a family, and published numerous volumes which have implications today. The year 2009 will be important for educators, since the ideas of Darwin will not go away, and 2009 will be the bicentennial of Darwin's birth and the sequicentennial of the publication of Origin. The presentation also mentions four "Darwin Videos" available at http://rce.csuchico.edu/darwin/darwinvideo.htm. 

[Photo by Charles F. Urbanowicz, Natural History Museum, London (1999).

"To put it in the most basic language possible, for evolution through natural selection to occur three conditions must be present: random variation, replication, and selection pressure [stress added]."Eric M. Gardner, 2003, On Our Minds: How Evolutionary Psychology Is Reshaping the Nature-versus-Nurture Debate (The Johns Hopkins University Press), page 99.

Please see previous PHIL presentations for additional information: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinFA2003PHIL137.html (September 29, 2003), http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinFA2002Phil108.htm (December 2, 2002), http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSP2002Phil108.htm (May 6, 2002), http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinMiscSep99.html (November 17, 2001), http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/SP2001DarwinPhil108.html (April 30, 2001), http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinMiscSp2000.html (April 26, 2000), and http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinPhil108.htm (December 2, 1998).

Another interesting and cogent statement is the following:

"All the theory of natural selection says is the following. If within a species there is variation among individuals in their hereditary traits, and some traits are more conducive to survival and reproduction than others, then those traits will (obviously) become more widespread within the population. The result (obviously) is that the species' aggregate pool of hereditary traits changes. And there you have it [stress added]." Robert Wright, 1994, The Moral Animal (NY: Pantheon Books), page 23.


SPECIFIC URBANOWICZ DARWIN ITEMS (in reverse chronological order):

The Darwin Videos (all available at http://rce.csuchico.edu/darwin/darwinvideo.htm or):

2003 Charles Darwin: - Part Three: A Man of Science. [ ~Twenty-four Minute Video. Darwin from South America, through the Galápagos 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].

Within a few years of his return to England, Charles Darwin happily settled into marriage, moved to a quiet house in the country, and begun a routine of research and writing which would occupy the rest of his life. In this episode discover why Darwin (Professor Charles Urbanowicz) waited over 20 years to publish his groundbreaking work Origin of Species, and learn how ill health, family tragedies, friends, respected colleagues and ardent supporters shaped his life and career.

2001 Charles Darwin: - Part Two: The Voyage. [ ~Twenty-seven Minute Video. Darwin from South America, through the Galápagos 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].

The second half of the historic journey of the HMS Beagle finds Charles Darwin exploring more of South America and several islands in the Pacific. In this episode, Charley Darwin (Professor Charles Urbanowicz) views several active volcanoes, experiences an earthquake, treks to the Andes, explores the Galapagos Islands, and then heads for home.

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].

Sail along with Charley Darwin on the first half of his historic journey around the world aboard the HMS Beagle. In this second video in the series, Charley Darwin (Professor Charles Urbanowicz ) travels from England to unexplored reaches of South America and along the way he confronts slavery, rides with gauchos, experiences gunboat diplomacy, encounters a future dictator of Argentina, explores uncharted rivers, and discovers dinosaur bones.

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].

Imagine that you could visit with Charles Darwin as he remembers his youth. Perhaps you could learn what early experiences sharpened his power of observation and contributed to his unique perspective of the world. Join Dr. Charles Urbanowicz as he portrays the fascinating and very human Charley Darwin in the first program of the series Charles Darwin: Reflections: The Beginning.  

Urbanowicz-Generated Darwin Self-Tests:

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

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

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

 

Others Urbanowicz Darwin-Related Sites:

2004a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/FourDarwinVideosFeb2004.html] (Four Darwin Videos from CSU, Chico. For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forums, February 12 and 19, 2004).

2004b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/TeachingAboutDarwinJan2004.html [For a workshop on January 10, 2004, sponsored by the Outreach Programs of the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco) and held at the Museum of Anthropology at California State University, Chico].

2003 http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/Jan2003Hawai'iDarwin.html [Teaching As Theatre Once Again: Darwin in the Classroom (And Beyond). (For the Hawai'i International Conference on Arts and Humanities, Honolulu, Hawai'i, January 12-15, 2003.) [Also published in The Conference Proceedings, CD-ROM: ISSN#1541-5899.]

2002a, http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinDayCollectionOneChapter.html [There Is A Grandeur in This View Of Life. Darwin Day Collection One: The Single Best Idea Ever (2002) Edited by Amanda Chesworth et al. (Albuquerque, New Mexico: Tangled Bank Press), pages 67-70. [NOTE: This is a shortened version of 2002b below.]

2002b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSacFeb2002.html [On Darwin: Countdown to 2008/2009]. For "Darwin Day" activities, sponsored by HAGSA [The Humanist Association of the Greater Sacramento Area], Sacramento, California, February 10, 2002].

2002c Teaching As Theatre. Strategies in Teaching Anthropology, Second Edition (2002), edited by Patricia Rice & David W. McCurdy, Editors (NJ: Prentice Hall), pages 147-149. [NOTE: This is a shortened version of 2000a below.]

2001a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/CorningSp2001.html (For a presentation to the 7th grade "Life Science" classroom of Ms. Tiana Scott, Maywood Middle School, Corning, CA, February 28).

2001b The Galápagos Islands: Every Little Bit Helps. The Chico Enterprise-Record, Sunday, February 25 (page E1 and E2) and see: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/GalapagosIslandsoilspill.htm.

2000a Teaching As Theatre: Some Classroom Ideas, Specifically Those Concerning Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) for the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA (November 15-19).

2000b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/darwinvisualsonly.htm [Darwin Visuals} November 10, 2000].

1998 Folklore Concerning Charles R. Darwin. Presented at the 1998 Meetings of the Southwestern Anthropological Society and The California Folklore Society, Sacramento, CA, April 16-18.

1990 A Letter To The Editor [Concerning Charles R. Darwin]. [Chico Enterprise-Record], September 26, page B4.] 


MAY 2004 POSTSCRIPT: SEARCH ENGINE REFERENCES

In 2000 there was a delightful book entitled Dear Mr. Darwin: Letters On The Evolution of Life And Human Behavior, wherein the author has Darwin saying:

"I am so glad you have taken the time and trouble to write to me. It is one of the saddest aspects of human existence that, as soon as one passes away, it is generally assumed that the deceased has no further interest in what he or she spent a great part of life investigating. From what you tell me of the Darwin industry of scholars in your day, busy seeking out every nuance of my life and thoughts, I have to conclude that there is indeed life after death [stress added]." Gabriel Dover, 2000, Dear Mr. Darwin: Letters On The Evolution of Life And Human Behavior (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson), page 3. 

For-virtually-every web page I do dealing with Charles Darwin, I "update" the following information concerning "Darwin" and "Search Engines" on the World Wide Web. Before examing the "Search Engine References" below, please consider the following:

"Google--or any search engine--isn't just another website; it's the lens through which we see that information, and it affects what we see and don't see. At the risk of waxing Orwellian, how we search affects what we find and by extension, how we learn what we know [stress added]. Lev Grossman, 2003, Search And Destroy. Time, December 22, 2003, pages 46-50, page 50.

On May 4, 2004, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 264,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 108,303 items; WiseNut had 18,247 items; and AllTheWeb had 91,931 web pages.

On April 14, 2004, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 268,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 106,585 items; WiseNut had 18,247 items; and AllTheWeb had 90,571 web pages.  

On March 22, 2004, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 279,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 90,610 items; WiseNut had 18,247 items; and AllTheWeb had 556,125 web pages.

On February 10, 2004, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 260,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 90,749 items; WiseNut had 26,209 items; and AllTheWeb had 582,798 web pages.

On January 4, 2004, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 251,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 89,979 items; WiseNut had 26,209 items; and AllTheWeb had 568,418 web pages.

On September 27, 2003, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 278,000 items; Alta Vista Search had 81,607 items; WiseNut had 39,116 items; and AllTheWeb had 463,572 web pages.

On November 27, 2002, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 143,000 items; "Power Search" by Northern Light had 2,720 items; Alta Vista Search had 84,274 items; MonkeySweat had numerous items; and WiseNut had 76,294 items (and AllTheWeb had 516,281 web pages for "Charles R. Darwin").

On May 2, 2002, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 130,000 items; "Power Search" by Northern Light had 2,623 items; Alta Vista Search had 36,608 items; MonkeySweat had numerous items; and WiseNut had 64,940 items.

On February 6, 2002, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 118,000 items; "Power Search" by Northern Light had 2,587 items; Alta Vista Search had 40,131 items; and MonkeySweat had numerous items!

On October 17, 2001, "search engine hits" for "Charles R. Darwin" resulted in the following information: Google had 120,000 items; Northern Light had 51,939 items; Alta Vista Search had 65,975,088 items; and MonkeySweat had numerous items!

Incidentally, on January 28, 1999 (pre-Google days!), Northern Light had 40,025 "hits" and Alta Vista had 29,330.

Two things should be obvious: (#1) interest in Darwin continues and (#2), obviously, just as with people, all "search engines" are not created equal and there is "cultural selection" involved in everything we do! How does one "evaluate" and "use" this wide range of information? One does it just as Darwin did, carefully, patiently, and slowly, for as Darwin wrote:

"False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness: and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened." Charles R. Darwin, 1871, The Descent of Man And Selection in Relation to Sex[1981 Princeton University Press edition, with Introduction by John T. Bonner and Robert M. May], Chapter 21, page 385.
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(1) © [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the WWW on May 5, 2004, for a presentation (with visuals) in Professor Robert Stewart's PHIL 108 (ETHICS AND HUMAN HAPPINESS) at CSU, Chico. For additional Darwin information, please consult the Urbanowicz references cited above; incidentally, it is best to read them in "reverse chronological order" since new information is added for each presentation. To return to the beginning of this paper, please click here.

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 [~2,356 words]} 5 May 2004


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

to the Department of Anthropology;

to the Department of Philosophy;

to California State University, Chico.

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSP2004PHIL108.html]


Copyright © 2004; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz

5 May 2004 by cfu

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