Today is Darwin Day, a global day to pay homage to Charles Darwin’s evidence for, and explanation of, organic evolution. The evidence was already then, in the 19th century, tremendously compelling and is since the revelation of genetics in the 20th century massively overwhelming. The explanation is natural selection and one of the most important insights to ever have struck a human being. How important the insight was and how hard it unfortunately struck Darwin is illustrated by his private remark that “it is like confessing a murder” [quote from a letter dated 11 January 1844].
Darwin Day occurs every year on Darwin’s birthday 12 February, but is not about the birth of a human being, but the intellectual coming of age of a species of great apes. Charles Darwin was the first organism who at bottom understood why organisms are the way they are. And he explained it to us. And in what a way he did.