June 7, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Is Alive and Well at Down House

Chris Darwin, that is – the great, great grandson of Charles, and his fellow descendants Erasmus, Sarah, Allegra, Randal Keynes, and Leo Darwin Vogel.  The family members are retracing his footsteps in the fields around his old house by inventorying the plants, reports the BBC News.  The survey will help show if the flowering plants have evolved over the last 150 years.
Update 06/16/2005: Chris Darwin described for the BBC two trips he took to the Galápagos islands to retrace the footsteps of his famous great great grandfather.  Chris chuckled that he must not have his predecessor’s genes, because he failed basic biology class.

Nice activity, surveying plants, but what’s evolution got to do with it?  This experiment continues the misperception that looking at microevolution will somehow demonstrate that bacteria can evolve into humans, given enough time, and enough small, incremental changes (see next entry and 08/20/2003 entry).  Charlie’s botanizing, though amateurish, was commendable; his storytelling was not.

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Categories: Botany

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