Happy Birthday, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin

Lincoln & Darwin

Lincoln & Darwin

Today is the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. The scientist and the politician both challenged the thinking and beliefs of their time, and each changed the modern world in vital, irreversible ways. (Despite the efforts of some!)

President Obama Spoke at the Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration, and much inevitably is being made of the Obama-Lincoln link. And Darwin too is much in the spotlight these recent years, especially as some religious zealots continue to call into question the science of evolution. So much and so little have changed in two centuries.

In poking around a bit, I’ve discovered two savory morsels:

“Charles Darwin’s trip on HMS Beagle was as a self-financed gentleman, a companion to the 26-year-old captain Robert Fitzroy.”

And, although Honest Abe was a fan and frequent quoter of William Shakespeare, Darwin scoffed, “I have tried lately to read Shakespeare and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.”

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