Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tribute to History

Out of all the commotion and hussle going on in the world today, we sometimes forget those that contributed to this day and age even on their specific holidays. Now, readers, (hopefully those who will forgive my lack of posts), I'd like to pay a special tribute for several important leaders in history:

Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12, 1809-Good Friday: April 14, 1865)
Biography as courteously and conveniently posted on the White House website:

The 16th president of the United States was born in Hardin County, Kentucky on February 12, 1809 to parents (whose names goes unmentioned by Lincoln himself) from both Virginia and Indiana. His mother died when he was 10 years old and his father re-married.
As a boy growing up in Kentucky, he struggled to make a living and educate himself. His dad remarried and life was a struggle to obtain knowledge on his own and live.

When he was a young man, he made a living working on a farm and keeping a store in New Salem, Illinois. He became captain during the Black Hawk War and served in the Illinois legislature (sound familiar?).
He later married Mary Todd and they had four boys, sadly only one of whom reached maturity and adulthood. In 1858, Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) for senator. None of this could have really prepared him for the ,perhaps, Darkest Period of U.S. history: the Southern succession and the Civil War.
After his election to the presidency in 1860, the South had succeeded and declared attack on Fort Sumter the following year. The Civil War had begun!!
He managed to build up the Republican party and rally most of the Northern Democrats for the Union cause.
On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed ALL slaves in the South and turned the tide in the war. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln issued the famous "Gettysburg Address", declaring the battlefield into a national cemetery.
Sadly, after his GREAT achievements, his fate was to be assinated on Good Friday, April 14th, 1865 by John Wilkes Boothe at Ford's theatre in Washington, D.C. Lincoln's assination stunned the nation as it was the first assination of a U.S. president. Boothe was later arrested and killed by Union military. There have been several tributes in Lincoln's honor such as: the Lincoln Memorial with the Gettysburg Address inscribed around the head of the giant statue of Lincoln across the reflecting pool from the obelisk: the Washington Monument. His room at the White House is open to the public and guests sleep on the same bed Lincoln did. And, for Naveed, yes, there have been rumors that the bedroom is haunted by his ghost. There have been "sightings" by guests of his ghost.

Charles Robert Darwin (Yes, THE Darwin) (1809-1882)

The famous English Naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution through Natural Selection (And, whether you believe it or not, that's YOUR business, so just keep it to yourself, please!)

Charles Darwin, doesn't need much of a biography as nearly EVERYONE knows who he is. So, let me just clear up some facts about Evolution in general what "Natural Selection" really means.

First of all, forget what you THOUGHT you knew about evolution. Another thing, evolution is NOT a linear process as it is commonly portrayed to be. For those of you who have seen "Darwin Took Steps" by Glendon Mellow: the Flying Trilobite, you've probably noticed the dead-looking tree in the background. That tree represents what evolution truly is and the reality of species struggle for survival. As you can probably guess, it's NOT linear, right? I will cover much more of that in another post. That misconception of linear evolution, is the one that gotten us, Darwinians, attacked. Clearly, Creationists are attacking something they know nothing about. They are criticizing the process of evolution, yet they know nothing about it. Even, some aethiests and Darwinians know hardly anything about it.

Jean-Bapiste-Lamarck (1744-1829)
French Botanist and Invertebrate Zoologist, that proposed the once-discredited theory that behavior by parents influences traits inheretid by the offspring.
However, recent genetic research shows that Lamarck was on to something with this early theory of evolution. (In case you guys don't remember, I gave you the link to the article from Newsweek in one of my earlier February posts.)
Why mention him? Without him, there probably wouldn't be Natural Selection as there would possibly be nothing to build off of. And, the fact is, I felt I couldn't mention Darwin and Natural Selection without this preceeding Biologist and his theory.
Here's my tribute from me to you, Darwin and Lincoln!! Happy 200th Birthday!!=)


Naveed said...

"Yes THE DARWIN" For some reason that sounded awesome. Not only is he Darwin, he's The Darwin. Almost sounds like a super hero! Great tribute Raptor!

Raptor Lewis said...

Naveed- Thanks, lol. I was, in fact, trying to be a funny when I said that too.