RATIONALIST INTERNATIONAL

12 February 2009

http://www.rationalistinternational.net

IN THIS ISSUE

This February 12 marks the 200th Birth Anniversary of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin (12th February 1809 to 19th April 1882)

This February 12 marks the 200th Birth Anniversary of Charles Darwin. With his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, introduced a 150 years ago in his revolutionary work On the Origin of Species, he deflated established religious world views and opened our eyes to reality. He liberated our mind and changed forever the way we view the world and ourselves. His ingenious idea, hardened by an overwhelming multitude of proofs, gave us the key to understand all life on earth in its complexity and diversity - and all possible life on any planet.

Darwin's findings rejected the most powerful reason to believe in a god. "I could not imagine being an atheist before 1859, when Darwin's Origin of Species was published. Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist", says the prominent British atheist and biologist Prof. Richard Dawkins, Darwin's most articulate scientific successor and strong protector against the wave of fanatic religious creationism – Christian as well as Islamic - that tries to re-establish the old religious order.

Richard Dawkins
The Genius of Charles Darwin
Prof. Richard Dawkins -"Darwin's Bulldog", and his documentary "The Genius of Charles Darwin"

Dawkin's latest TV serial "The Genius of Darwin", broadcast in three parts by Britain's Channel, was honoured with the British Broadcast Award 2009 for the Best Documentary Series. It is available as DVD on www.richarddawkins.net. Parts can be seen in the Internet.

Click the pictures to see parts of the documentary on Google TV and YouTube.

Now a six-hour abridged audio version of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species is available, edited and vividly read by Richard Dawkins. "Listen to Origin of Species, and you immediately find yourself ushered into the presence of one of the finest minds ever to grace this planet. In this recording, which was a true labour of love, I made no attempt to act the part of Darwin, but instead worked hard, as a modern follower of Darwin, to convey the true meaning of every sentence. I even surprised myself: the exercise of reading Darwin's words aloud and identifying in every phrase the syllable that needed to be stressed, revealed to me the subtleties and depths of meaning that I had missed when reading quietly to myself. I hope listeners will be enlightened in the same way."

The origin of species by Charles Darwin
Click the picture to download an excerpt of the audio book.

To honour Charles Darwin, Down House in Kent will become a World Heritage Site this year and the HMS Beagle is being rebuilt. Latest news and things to know about the life and times of Charles Darwin are collected on www.aboutdarwin.com.

And finally, there is the Darwin Day Celebration Website, announcing and reporting more than 600 special events in celebration of science and reason that have been scheduled to take place in 42 countries on this "Darwin Day": www.darwinday.org.


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