International Darwin Day – “The science behind survival”

International Darwin Day seeks to inspire people around the globe to reflect and act on the noble principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and a hunger for truth. Principals embodied by Charles Darwin.

It will be a day of celebration, activism, and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being.

In 2003 I discovered Charles Darwin. Yes, I should already have known about this genius, however, pursuing a career in sport came before education earlier in my life. My discovery came after I spent many months, as part of a previous job, in the company of Richard Dawkins. This gave me the opportunity to discuss topics such as natural selection and differential reproduction first hand, with one of the leading authorities on Charles Darwin.

From that point forward I’ve been fascinated by the scientific theories behind why a species of fish is poisonous to birds and other larger fish, but as humans we can touch and eat it; why certain birds can fly and some can’t, and how the industrial revolution and the Clean Air Act of 1956 had a direct effect on the Light and Dark Peppered Moth populations of England.

Such is my enthusiasm for the topic I could talk about these questions all day.  I hope schools use the 12th February, the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s death, and International Darwin Day to inspire similar enthusiasm in their students. Encouraging young people to embrace the diversity of the natural world, to explore these big questions and to celebrate the continuing importance of scientific enquiry.

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