Saturday, November 14, 2009

Celebrating 150 Years of Origin

The children’s room at Takoma Park Library is proud to honor Charles Darwin as we celebrate his classic work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The book was first published on November 22, 1859. London publisher John Murray printed an initial run of 1250 copies which were priced at 15 shillings per copy. All copies sold out that very same day. The book immediately ignited a firestorm of public and private discussion. The word evolution did not appear until the 1872 edition.

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was an English naturalist who composed a thoughtful and compelling theory to explain that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors. His evidence to that effect illustrates a pattern of evolution that is made possible by a specific process called natural selection. While many members of the scientific community accepted Darwin’s theory in his lifetime, it was not until the 1930’s-1950’s that a broad consensus developed which accepted natural selection as the fundamental mechanism of evolution. Darwin’s discovery is one of the most essential unifying theories in the life sciences as it helps explain the expansive diversity of life this planet has seen since the first organisms.

I have taken some time to create a bulletin board and book display featuring Darwin, Origin, evolution, and the natural world. If you have questions about what books we are featuring or would like to learn more about how Takoma Park Library is celebrating this important milestone please contact me in the children’s room at (202) 576-7486.

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