Sunday, December 27, 2020

Birthday Boys of Science

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac is one of the great pleasures in my life. The research done there does lifting that I'd have to do (but don't). Two significant events in science are noted today, both of whom are major figures in the scientific revolution--one by looking up and doing the maths; the other by looking around him and thinking about the meaning of what he observed.. Scientific evolutionaries both who changed our view of the earth below and the sky above.

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It’s the birthday of astronomer Johannes Kepler, in W├╝rttemberg, Germany (1571). He was the first to discover that planets move in an elliptical path around the sun.

Kepler said, “The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”


It was on this day in 1831 that Charles Darwin  set sail from England on the HMS Beagle. (A minnow of a boat!) Darwin’s biology professor had recommended that he go on the upcoming voyage touring the Galapagos Islands and South America, but his father was against the dangerous trip. Darwin went anyway, and he explored the rainforests and was amazed by the plants and animals that he found. He returned to England, and he thought about what he had seen and developed his theory of evolution. In his book On the Origin of Species (1859), he wrote: “Probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. There is grandeur in this view of life that … from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (added)

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Here is the link to today's The Writer's Almanac from which this was taken to which I tip my hat (once again and gladly) and say "thank you".

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