Sunday, May 24, 2009

Very gradual change we can believe in

I just came across this fantastic poster/T-shirt image, created by Mike Rosulek at the University of Illinois. Lyell's gradualism meets Shepard Fairey's Obama poster! (hat tip: Nick Loman)

There are several more variations on a theme on Mike's blog, one of them let down by a misquote (a Darrow quote, often erroneously attributed to Darwin). And why is Darwin always an old man in any iconography?! We should learn to appreciate the young frisky Darwin epitomised by Anthony Smith's recent sculpture!

Anyhow, here is my selection of Darwin "change" quotes that Mike might like to try on later versions of poster:
  • "Over all these causes of Change I am convinced that the accumulative action of Selection, whether applied methodically and more quickly, or unconsciously and more slowly, but more efficiently, is by far the predominant Power." Origin p. 43
  • "We see nothing of these slow changes in progress, until the hand of time has marked the long lapse of ages, and then so imperfect is our view into long past geological ages, that we only see that the forms of life are now different from what they formerly were." Origin p.84
  • "I can see no limit to the amount of change, to the beauty and infinite complexity of the coadaptations between all organic beings, one with another and with their physical conditions of life, which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection." Origin p. 109
  • "I doubt whether species under nature ever undergo abrupt changes." Origin p. 454
  • "geology plainly declares that all species have changed; and they have changed in the manner which my theory requires, for they have changed slowly and in a graduated manner." Origin p. 465
  • "species have changed, and are still slowly changing by the preservation and accumulation of successive slight favourable variations." Origin p. 480

And if you prefer to draw on the alternative Obama Hope poster for an analogous Darwin image, how about this quote:
"We shall never, probably, disentangle the inextricable web of affinities between the members of any one class; but when we have a distinct object in view, and do not look to some unknown plan of creation, we may hope to make sure but slow progress." Origin p. 434


Mark Pallen said...

My wife says my choice of "change" quotes from Darwin is rubbish, as they are all too long to fit on a T-shirt. But sadly, Darwin didn't go in for sound bites!

Mike said...

Hi Mark, thanks for linking to my Darwin stuff. I too was disappointed with the dearth of Darwin sound bytes ;) I'm trying to think of some way that this stuff is not just a one-hit wonder..