URBANOWICZ ON DARWIN AND HUMAN HAPPINESS!

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/PHIL321Fall2005.html

30 November 2005

(1) © [All Rights Reserved.] Placed on the World Wide Web on 30 November 2005, for a presentation (with visuals) this date in Professor Robert Stewart's PHIL 321 (ETHICS AND HUMAN HAPPINESS) at CSU, Chico.

ABSTRACT
INTRODUCTION
URBANOWICZ ON DARWIN
DARWIN
PREVIOUS DARWIN PAGES FOR PROFESSOR STEWART
ON-GOING CONCLUSIONS: HAPPINESS!

 

ABSTRACT

Since 1998 I have been invited by Professor Stewart to some of his classes to present my ideas concerning Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882). For every lecture I have been invited to I attempt to present some new information and create a new web page (both for Rob and the students as well as myself!). This current page does have new information and also directs the reader to previous presentations that dealt with Charles R. Darwin. Incidentally, the name "Darwin" is well represented in the state of California:

"DARWIN MOUNT (Kings Canyon N[ational]. P[ark]. Named in 1895 for Charles Darwin, famous for the theory of evolution. But Darwin Canyon [Inyo Co.] was named in 1860 for Dr. Darwin French, who searched for gold in the area." William Bright, 1998, 1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning (Berkeley: University of California Press), page 47.

 

INTRODUCTION

Darwin is hot! Consider, if you will, the following recent Darwin items: (#1) the November 28, 2005 issue of Newsweek with Darwin on the cover! (and the article entitled "The Real Darwin: His Private Views on Science & God" by Jerry Adler, with Anne Underwood and William Lee Adams); (#2) check out the New York Times of November 18, 2005 and the section on "Exhibition Review" and the article by Edward Rothstein entitled "Enough to Make an Iguana Turn Green: Darwin's Ideas" dealing with a "Darwin" exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City that opened on November 19, 2005 and which will close May 29, 2006 (http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/darwin/); (#3) see the November 2005 issue of Natural History (published by the Natural History Museum) with Darwin on the cover and major articles on "Darwin & Evolution" and, (#4) check out The New York Times of November 22, 2005 and the article by Carl Zimmer entitled "In Give and Take of Evolution, a Surprising Contribution From Islands" mentioning Darwin and the Galápagos Islands, and finally (#5) look at the December 2005 Smithsonian and the article by Frank J. Sulloway entitled "The Evolution of Charles Darwin." One can even go to The Sacramento Bee of November 22, 2005 and read Verlyn Klionkenborg's article entitled "There's a sobering grandeur in Darwin's theory: New Exhibit shows how well evolution explains life and why it's still controversial" (page B7). Darwin is hot!

One can go back to the September 2005 issue of The British Journal for the History of Science and Janet Browne's "Presidential Address Commemorating Darwin" and then fast-forward to the November 23, 2005 electronic issue of eSkeptic and Richard Dawkin's article entitled "The Illusion of Design." Pay attention to any of the current discussions concerning "Intelligent Design" (as reported in the press or on television) and you will note Darwin is hot! If one wishes to understand what is going on in the world right now then one should be aware of Darwin: from the mutation potential of Avian Influenza around the world to educational issues in the United States of America. Read something like the San Francisco Chronicle of October 28, 2005 and the following headline: "Doubts on evolution cost Kansas access to U.S. science curriculum" (by Rick Weiss) or The New York Times of November 7, 2005: "Tracing Darwin's Journey To Evolutionary Theory" (by Glenn Collins). Darwin is hot!

The aforementioned Adler, Underwood, and Adams article in the November 28, 2005, issue of Newsweek is an interesting one but I do disagree with a specific aspect of the article and have submitted a letter to the editor of Newsweek to that effect. I do not know if it will ever appear in print, but here is the submission for readers of this web page:

Dear Editor:

DARWIN IS IN but please let readers know that although the Adler, Underwood, and Adams article of November 28 was informative, alas, something important was missing. The authors wrote that "Darwin never found God" but it MUST be pointed out that in the second edition of Origin (published in 1860), and in every edition published in Darwin's lifetime (there were six editions of Origin in all, with the sixth edition published in 1872), Darwin had the following statement in his "Recapitulation and Conclusion" chapter: "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." Adler et al. chose not to reference the "Creator" in their article (just as Stephen J. Gould avoided the word "Creator" when he often cited this closing statement) but your readers should be aware that Darwin did write of a "creator" (or perhaps a supreme being or god or intelligent designer!). Incidentally, the 17th edition of the venerable Bartlett's Quotations, 2002, page 470, does have this "grandeur" version; although Bartlett's would have the reader believe that the phrase comes from the 1859 edition, the phrase comes from the 1860 edition. Every single edition of Darwin's Origin is different and readers should know which edition your writers might be quoting from! Incidentally, should you wish to check on my Darwin bona fides, please see a fall 2004 web page entitled "The Darwin Project: 1996 to 2004!" dealing with my attempt to portray Darwin in the first person (complete with shaved pate and an American accent): four videos are available on the web, ranging from 17 to 27 minutes in length, and as my colleague and director of the Project, Ms. Crowe pointed out: "The entire project took longer than the voyage of the Beagle itself." See http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/CELTOctober2004Darwin.html. For a complete bibliography of all of my Darwin-related items, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinPagesOnly.html which even includes a "Darwin Item" from 1965! For various web pages that have cited my Darwin pages, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/UrbanowiczCitations.html.

In addition to submitting this to the Editor of Newsweek I also sent a copy of the letter to Dr. Niles Eldredge, Curator (Division of Paleontology) and Curator of the Darwin Exhibit. In the past I have submitted other letters commenting on what I believed to be erroneous interpretations of Darwin and here is one that was published in the Enterprise-Record of Chico, California, on September 26, 1990:

Dear Editor:

On the Carolyn S. Neel letter of Sep. 17 [1990, in the Chico Enterprise-Record], and her last sentence, I offer the following: Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882), while visiting a friend in London in December 1881, suffered a mild heart seizure. On the 12th of February 1882, his 73rd birthday, Darwin wrote to a friend that "my course is nearly run" and within two months, on Wednesday, the 19th of April 1882, he had a heart attack and died. Darwin's remains, however are not in the community of Down (where he lived from 1842 until 1882), but are located in the chapel of St. Faith in Westminster Abbey, in London. Upon his death, twenty members of Parliament requested that Darwin be buried in the Abbey and his four-horse funeral carriage (accompanied by his sons Francis, Leonard, and Horace) made the 16 mile journey to London on the 25th of April 1882. Darwin was interred a few paces away from the final resting places of Sir Isaac Netwon [1642-1747], Sir Charles Lyell [1797-1875], Michael Faraday [1791-1867] and William Herschel [1738-1822]. His pall bearerers included the president of the Royal Society, as well as Robert Lowell (the American Minister to the British Isles), the churchman Cannon Farrar [1831-1903], an earl, two dukes and three leading British biologists of the times who were also Darwin's closest scientific friends: Thomas Huxley [1825-1895], Alfred Russel Wallace [1823-1913], and Sir Joseph Hooker [1817-1911] (of Chico's "Hooker Oak" fame). Herbert Spencer [1820-1903], from whom Darwin had borrowed the phrase "survival of the fittest" even thought the occasion of Darwin's internment at the Abbey worthy enough to attend to suspend his own objections to religious ceremonies. Ifone considers how fiercely Darwin had been attacked by certain of the orthodox clergy during his lifetime it does seem somewhat interesting that he once intended to become a clergyman and that he is, in fact, buried in one of the most symbolic religious structures of the British Empire. Since one often reads about "Darwin" and a "Creator" in the same publication, perhaps one out to also read what Darwin himself wrote concerning the Creator: "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 flows. 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." This comes from the 6th edition (1872) of what is commonly called Origin of the Species, first published in 1859. One final point: Darwin did not write about human beings in his 1859 publication (or the five revised editions which followed). All he had to say about human beings in Origins was the following, taken from the 1872 conclusions of the last, 6th edition of Origin: "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."

Hopefully my letters (as well as lectures) indicate that I believe in what I do and I share my convictions with students and the general public: this, incidentally, might be considered a brave thing to do in this day and age for the author of the November 7, 2005 New York Times article pointed out the following:

"According to a CBS News poll last month, 51 percent of Americans reject the theory of evolution, saying that God created humans in their present form. And reflecting a longstanding sentiment, 38 percent of American believe that creationism should be taught instead of evolution, according to an August poll by the Pew Research Center in Washington [stress added]." Glenn Collins, 2005, Tracing Darwin's Journey To Evolutionary Theory: Focusing on Life and Ideas, Not Controversy. The New York Times, November 7, 2005, page A20.

Interesting times we live in!

 

URBANOWICZ ON DARWIN

To get the full "feel" of my interest in Darwin (who was born on Fenruary 12, 1809 and who died on April 19, 1882), please go to http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/CELTOctober2004Darwin.html, dealing with the "Darwin Project" and the four videos which were created over the years 1996-2004. (The process to create the videos was "longer than the voyage of the Beagle" as my good friend, the Director of the project, Ms. Donna Crowe pointed out!) All four videos are available on the web and the URLs are provided in the paper. To get a complete bibliography of all of my Darwin-related items, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinPagesOnly.html which even includes a "Darwin Item" on mine from 1965 (when I was 23 years old)!  For a listing of various web pages that have cited my Darwin pages, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/UrbanowiczCitations.html.

 

DARWIN

Perhaps one of my favorite quotes concerning Darwin comes from the 1937 Hungarian-American Nobel Prize winner for Physiology/Medicine, Albert Szent-Györgyi [von Nagyrapolt], who was born in 1893 and died in 1986. Szent-Györgyi stated that a scientist should "see what everybody else has seen and then think what nobody has thought" and it has been written that "nobody did this better than Charles Darwin, who first realized that the evolution of life took place by Natural Selection" [J. Livingston and L. Sinclair, 1967, Darwin And The Galapagos, n.p.].

In my opinion Darwin is synonymous with the word "change" and please consider the following facts dealing with his monumental publication, for which he is most often remembered (and, unfortunately, criticized): 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). Darwin continued to do his research and he continuously revised Origin in his lifetime; please note the changes Darwin made in the SIX editions of Origin (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 %

I am an Anthropologist and I am interested in human beings and I like to point out that Charle R. Darwin took great care not to write about Homo sapiens in Origin in 1859 and all he had to say about human beings was the following:

"In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." [Chapter XV: "Recapitulation And Conclusion"]

In the 5th edition of 1869, Darwin used (for the first time) the famous phrase (borrowed from Herbert Spencer [1820-1903]): "Survival of the Fittest" and in the 2nd edition of Origin, published in 1860, Darwin wrote 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 [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" [stress added]. [Chapter XV: "Recapitulation And Conclusion"]

Darwin's use of the word "Creator" appeared in every edition published in his lifetime. What version of Darwin are you reading? 

If you "surf" the web (and I do), please surf carefully and evaluate wisely: below you have some examples for information concerning "Charles R. Darwin" available on the web at various points in time: note the different amounts of data generated by different search engines: evaluate carefully! Before examing the "Search Engine Results" below, 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.

Consider some previous search engine results since October 2001 to today, November 30, 2005:

DATE
GOOGLE
ALTA VISTA
WISENUT
ALLTHEWEB
November 30, 2005
2,180,000
2,980,000
8,202
2,600,000
July 5, 2005
688,000
1,100,000
937
958,000
March 22, 2005
750,000
909,000
937
776,000
January 19, 2005
697,000
531,000
1,775
435,000
November 2, 2004
306,000
597,000
5,186
506,000
October 12, 2004
292,000
601,000
5,186
497,000
May 4, 2004
264,000
108,303
18.247
91,931
April 14, 2004
268,000
106,585
18,247
90,571
March 22, 2004
279,000
90,610
18,247
556,125
February 10, 2004
260,000
90,749
26,209
582,798
January 4, 2004
251,000
89,979
26,209
568,418
September 27, 2003
278,000
81,607
39,116
463,572
November 27, 2002
143,000
84,274
76,294
516,281
May 2, 2002
130,000
36,608
64,940
N/A
February 6, 2002
118,000
40,131
N/A
N/A
October 17, 2001
120,000
65,975,088
N/A
N/A

Incidentally, MSN Search had 125,510 on November 30, 2005. Two things should be obvious: (#1) interest in Darwin appeats to be accelerating 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.

 

PREVIOUS DARWIN PAGES FOR PROFESSOR STEWART

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/PHIL108FALL2004.htm [Charles Darwin And Religion. November 30, 2004.]

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinSP2004PHIL108.html [Charles R. Darwin and Moral Evolution. May 5, 2004.]

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinFA2003PHIL137.html [Darwin, Sex, and Love. 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/SP2001DarwinPhil108.html [April 30, 2001.]

Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882): Spring 2000 Miscellaneous Information [April 26, 2000.]

http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/DarwinMiscSep99.html [Charles R. Darwin: Fall 1999 Miscellaneous Information For Various Activities, November 17, 1999.]

Urbanowicz on Darwin (Again!) For PHIL 108 & MATH 154 [May 3, 1999.]

Darwin: From The Origin (1859+), To The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation To Sex (1871), And The Expression of Emotions...(1872) To Today! [December 2, 1998.]

 

ON-GOING CONCLUSIONS: HAPPINESS!

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Darwin is with us today and is having a tremendous influence in a wide range of fields, from anthropology through biology and evolutionary psychology. The world of "business" has discovered the ideas of Darwin as the following makes clear:

"We are emotional animals, and an evolutionary and anthropological view of the workplace is essential for survival in a competitive struggle that seems increasingly Darwinian." Richard Conniff, 2005, The Ape In The Corner Office: Understanding The Workplace Beast In All Of Us (NY: Crown Business), page 7.

It makes me happy that Darwin is being recognized! Perhaps another one of my favorite quotes concerning Charles R. Darwin is the following:

"He [Charles Darwin] believed that the natural world was the result of constantly repeated small and accumulative actions, a lesson he had first learned when reading Lyell's Principles of Geology [1830] board the Beagle and had put to work ever since. ... No one, not even Lyell [1797-1875] himself, or any of Darwin's closest friends and supporters, accepted as ardently as Darwin that the book of nature was about the accumulative powers of the small [stress added]." Janet Browne, 2002, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place - Volume II of a Biography (NY: Alfred A. Knopf), page 490.

Not only is the "book of nature" about the "accumulative powers of the small" but so is the book of culture: what we are today is the result of what we were yesterday (and the many days before that) and what we will become is the result of today. If you are interested in my own changes over time, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/ANTH600Fall2005.html which was prepared for an Anthropology Graduate Seminar in Fall 2005: I am definitely not Charles R. Darwin but I certainly adhere to his ideas and approach. Darwin is hot!

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[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/PHIL321Fall2005.html]

[~3,575 words]


Copyright © 2005; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz

30 November 2005 by cfu

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