Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Lamarck You Made

This Friday would mark the 263rd birthday of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who believed in evolution before evolution was cool (offer may not apply in many southern U.S. states--please consult local religious-political cranks before redeeming your coupon). Before he was a naturalist he soldiered, even showing great physical courage on the battlefield in the Pomeranian War. Having no fear of little teeth, he punted many of the furry, snarling enemy, only to have one of his comrades playfully lift him by the head, which led to an inflammation in the lymphatic glands of his neck. (I wish I was making this up.) (At least the second part.) If only Corporal Klinger knew Lamarck's story, but think of all the cross-dressing laff riot mayhem we would have been denied. Although Darwin gets all the big press (how it must please yahoos that don't believe in evolution anyway that the Frenchman who first developed the theory isn't honored for it), scientists wrote a mash note to Lamarck by naming both a subspecies of honeybee and a blue jellyfish after him, in honor of his stinging personality. Just ask the Pomeranians.


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