Today I received a voicemail from one of our grandsons (Evan) wondering if I might come and speak to his science class. After leaving a message saying I would be happy to do this, he called back and explained.
His middle school science teacher is working with the students in a study of evolution, and fossils. When they were talking in class, especially about fossils, it reminded him of the crinoid stem fossils
that I had given him, and after class he talked with his teacher about this, and she asked him if I might be interested in coming to his class. On the phone he asked me if I had actually “dug up” the fossils, or did I buy them. He asked, did you go on an archeological dig? I replied that, yes, I did dig them up, and in fact had collected them from Paleozoic rocks in North Georgia near Lookout Mountain. It was an area where I took many of my students for years on fossil collecting and hunting trips.
He further explained that in class they were talking about Charles Darwin—you know—he said, “the Father of Evolution.” I hadn’t heard that phrase used in connection with Darwin, and of course I replied, yes, of course. And in the same breathe he mentioned Mendel, the “father of genetics!”
I’ve been reading about Darwin recently, especially given that this is the 200th anniversary of his Birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Serendipity. I wanted to write a bit about Darwin, and now I had the reason to do so! More tomorrow. Right now, we’re dealing with squirrels in the attic!Tags: Charles Darwin, crinoids, evolution, Mendel