tv Book TV CSPAN January 23, 2010 8:00am-9:45am EST
♪ in fact, when i know what is meant by coolerring ♪ ♪ sociobiology, he knows he's met a man who really knows his anthropology ♪ ♪ if fact when i know what is meant by cooler ring ♪ seto biology, he's met a man that knows his anthropology ♪ thank you very much. [applause] >> now, we're going to talk about mr. darwin. and the image that i had when i was a lad of darwin was this
sort of aloof, intellectual, distant figure. this is a statue that we don't see very much in this country, it's in the moscow state darwin museum. and here, he's depicted around 1920 or so, as almost a michael angelo god kind of figure, also a socialist hero, not very accessible. in the last few years, with the anniversaries and so on, we've gotten a lot more familiar and maybe a bit more irreverent towards darwin. in fact, some of the students in his own hometown placed a traffic cone on his statue and made him into the wizard of his hometown. and i have also seen him in the new york subways, opposite
but my father, dr. robert wearing darwin, a prosperous english physician, did not consider that a marketable aptitude. when i was a boy, he said to me, you care for nothing but bird shooting and rat catching and are a disgrace upon the entire family. and he said, you've got to get a proper occupation, charles. you can't bequire, a kentish hog, you know. i loved collecting beetles and bird's nests and fossils. that was my passion. my father said enough of that childish stuff, you're going to be a doctor. he sent me off to edinburgh medical school at 16 years of age. well, i was bored with the
endless lectures on material medical, you had to mix your own pills and potions. i much preferred going by the sea shore with one of the teachers who was an invertebrae zoologist and we would go to this place with a wonderful name in the scottish bay called the first of fourth and there at the first of fourth, i discould have had star fish and jelly fish and namines, and i really wouldn't do well in medical school, because first of all, i hated the site of broad, and i remember one time, you know the way they operated on people in those days before the invention of blessed anesthesia and chloroform is they would just strap you down and cut off whatever they were going to cut off, shove something in your mouth so you couldn't scream, and i saw that done to a young child in the operating theater.
it sickened me so deeply. that i ran out of that operating theater, never to return and so ended my medical career. well, my father said, well, if you can't be a doctor, let's see if we can make a clergyman out of you. that would be very respectable. you could be a country vick or, you could 50 to the best lawn parties and you could save souls and collect beet else at the same time -- beetles at the same time. i thought that sounded reasonable, so off i went to cambridge to study theology. i was a rather different theology student and i spent most of my time with one of the reverend gentleman named henslow hunting for beetles and our natural history specimens,
whenever i got a chance, but all of that changed one day when i got a letter. there was pa captain named fitz roy who was about to take a five year voyage of discovery around the world on h.m.s. beagle and he was looking for an unofficial ship's naturalist and henslow recommended me. oh, my, i wanted to go so badly, to believe england's dull gray skies for the tropics, the beautiful bright skies, the tropical birds and flowers. my mind was in a tropical glow. my father said, you'll never come back alive. and he had his point. many young adventurists, young men went out from england and never returned alive. oh, but i wanted so badly and finally, my father relented, and let me follow my heart. and so there i was on the
beagle, he hired an assistant to help me pack specimens. i was sea sick every single day for the entire five years, so there i was, a doctor who upon the stand the sight of blood, a clergyman who didn't believe in the gospels and a sailor who was sea sick all the time. not a very promising beginning, was if? but i loved the life aboard the ship. i -- i thought if it weren't for sea sickness, everyone should like to be a sailor. duty was to map the coastline of south america. and so we proceeded down the coast, and on the way, i dredged the sea with nets and i collected specimens along the
shore, wore a hat like this one and every day, just after the sailors had finished swabbing the deck, i would load it up with hundreds of new specimens to be sorted and labeled. they soon became distinctly air aromatic in the equatorial sun. one sailor asked me, mr. darwin, would you mind getting that stinking pile of ripe refuse off my deck? stinking pile of refuse. but there are so many wonderful things here. ♪ some day people will pay just to see them on display, at the british museum ♪
♪ i've dug in the ground and these rocks that i found have the features of creatures no longer around ♪ ♪ here are trilobyte beds by the ton ♪ ♪ what a glorious day, what a wonderful way to have fun ♪ ♪ i've searched by the shore and collected some more ♪ ♪ worms and star wish and gar fish and gobies galore ♪ i've got shark eggs and sea weed and slime ♪ ♪ i'm having the loveliest time ♪ ♪ the sailors can't fathom my pleasure ♪ ♪ to my mind each new find is a treasure ♪ ♪ every shell simply swell,
every sea slug a gem ♪ ♪ this place make me smile ♪ all these litters of critter packed into a mile ♪ black iguanas that swim in the sea ♪ ♪ they're all so delightful to me ♪ ♪ the sailors can't fathom my pleasure ♪ ♪ to me it's the sea's hidden treasure ♪ ♪ each new species i find, it boggles my mind ♪ ♪ at the end of the day ♪ when your voyage is through ♪ will you be able to say that your work was your play ♪ ♪ because you do what you love
i felt like a blind man that was suddenly given his sight, and was gazing with delight on fantastic scenes from the arabian knights, but delight itself is a weak term to describe the feelings of a naturalist who has wandered by him sefor the first time in a brazilian rain forest. the elegance of the grasses, the novelty of the grass, luxuriousness of the vegetation. oh, it filled me with admiration. if the eye attempted to follow the flight of some gody butterfly or bird, it was arrested by some strange tree or fruit. if you attempted to watch some
strange exotic beetle, you would be distracted by the incredibly bizarre flower it was crawling over. the mind is a chaos of delight. >> well, we continued down the coast of south america, and my teacher, reverend henslow had sent me some books to take on the voyage with me and they were written by the foremost geologist in britain, sir charles lyle, the principles of geology, and up until lyle's
time, people thought that the great features of the earth were oceans were scooped out and mountains were raised up, by some kind of divine or supernatural forces, that were beyond human comprehension, but lyle said no, after studying this surface of the earth for so long, he said, you could explain all the features of the earth by the ordinary processes of erosion, by wind and water, occasiooccasional volcanoes and earthquakes, which you could see happening and as a matter of fact, did see earthquakes and volcanos across the south of america and this is what was known as uniformtarianism. i started to see the earth through lyle's eyes. i started to interpret it
through lyle's brain. well, we got to argentina, and there was no photography in my day, came along a few years later, but there a few years later is an aria, sort of an ostrich-like bird. i was looking to see if i could find one and i did ride 400 miles inland with the rough gouchos or cowboys, and one night, we were gathered around the campfire, and i told them about this magnificent bird and i said, have you seen one of these ostrich-like birds 70 oh, they say, si, senior, you have just eaten him. well, ok. so i told everybody, gather up
all the bones, after the dinner now and we're going to send them off to the british museum, and we did. they didn't have a specimen. and i also ran into general rojas, a great dictator that was slaughtering the pompous endans, to the spaniards could take their land and we had to get a passport from him and i remember i came to general rojas and they asked me my name and i said don carlos darwin, and your occupation. naturalist. naturalist, what is this naturalist, and i told him through my interpreter, a naturalist is a man who is interested in everything, anything. aha, a spy. we were lucky to leave there
with our throats intact. well, as we went down the coast, it turned out that there was pa secret agenda to the voyage. it wasn't only to map the coastline of south america, but the captain had his own ideas of what he wanted to do. on a previous voyage, he had recruited, some say collected, four young indians from the poorest, most miserable tribe at the tip of south america, and he thought that if he brought them back to england and civilized them and christianized them that british civilization was so superior to the savage, that if they were returned to their homeland, they would teach all these wonders to their kinsmen and you know, the ships in those days, often wrecked off the coast of, that's the beagle in the storm, it almost went over,
and fitzroy imagined that one day, british sailors would be greeted by english-speaking indians, who would perhaps offer them a spot of tea and shepherd's pie. he had a vision, the captain had a vision. high top hats, high ideals. raise the "london times" with meals, you'll see said the captain with elation, oh, this would be the founding of a nation. ♪ savage squaws in gowns and bonnets ♪ ♪ speer toting natives quoting wallison nets ♪ for all you fans of internal rhyme. well, that's not what happened. what happened was that on meeting their kinsmen, the
kinsmen beat them, robbed them, took all their goods, and i must say that i wrote in my journal that they were outfitted with beaver hats, silver soup tour reasons, fine linens by the lady's church auxiliary. it was a mitigated disaster, based on culpable folly, that's what i said, and so so much for fitzroy's dream about spreading the light of britaina. well, i returned to england in 1835, and shortly there half, i married my first cousin, emma wedgewood, the wedgewood and the darwins long had a history of an alliance between the two families and they sort of pushed us together. they were a remarkable family. the wedgewoods were famous nancy reagan two things. their piety and their crockery.
and in the case of my brother-in-law, hensley wedgewood, who believed that he could speak to the spirits, they're crack pot as well. well, i worked in my home down house that emma and i bought, a georgian home in kent, worked on barnicles, first of all, for eight years, those little creatures that attach themselves to ship hulls and dock pilings. the classification of barnicles was in a total disarray and i realized that in order for me to ever have any kinds of theories or influence that would be palletble to the majority of scientists, i had to establish my credentials, by doing a piece of hard, boring, scientific work. so i took on the barnicles, and i did revise the entire class any indication of barn cems. but i must say, that after eight years, no one, no man ever hated
a barnicle as much as i did. not even a sailor on a slow-moving ship. but i did make some very interesting discoveries with the barnicles. you know, for one thing, the sexual habits of barnicles is quite interesting and they have all kinds of different sexes. not simply males and females. they have hermaphrodytes and there's one species in which the male has a penis nine times the size of his body and he's a little tiny thing that attaches to a gigantic female and rides there, except when this gigantic penis is called in to play, and if you want to give a nice factoid at your next cocktail party or cider or church gathering, just mention that the animal you found that has the largest penis in proportion to body size is the barnicle and
one of charles darwin lesser known contributions to science. so involved was darwin with the barnicles, that one day, his little wallison went to visit a neighbor, and looked around the house, and said, but, where does your father work on his barnicles? they thought all fathers did that. my grandfather, oh, i'm switching back and forth between richard and darwin, i know i shouldn't do that, but you'll forgive me. but now we go to the grandfather, and he had the first theory of evolution by natural selection of any european naturalist. he was a physician, he was a poet, he was a naturalist, and he did it all in verse. and this is a sample of irasmus
darwin's verse, because irasmus had a view of the natural world where he thought man had own see among living things and this is just a little snippet of his poetry. >> this i am peerous man arose from >> irasmus darwin. darwin was a very good father. he was not -- his children were not in awe of him.
they were -- they'd come in and out of his study while he was writing. one story that's recorded is that his wallison lenny came in to the studio once, and was jumping up and down on the sofa and darwin said, lennie, you know, that mama has said there is to be no jumping up and down on the sofa, and i have caught you, and what do you propose that we do about that? and lenny said well, father, i propose that we do not tell her. of course, his great sorrow was when his daughter annie died at the age of 10 of tuberculosis
and it shattered him and he was thought of as a theoriation and an unemotional man, but reading his diary while his daughter was dying was heart rendering, and his friend had a daughter who was very sick and which way of consolation, he wrote him a letter in which he said, much trial, much pain, but when a desert is life without love. you don't often hear that one. quoted to charles darwin, but that's the man we're talking about. now, he had quite a nice life there. in down house. unfortunately, it's been -- fortunately, it's been preserved for us to see and recently, it was refurbished, made into a museum. it's 20 minutes out of victoria
station, in bromle yes and then you take a bus or a taxi and you can see the study where origin of species was written. there's a -- there's a roster of magistrates in the local courthouse, and you can't see this, because it's not on public display, but it's -- he was a magistrate, he was a justice of the peace. he served as the justice of the palsy. he was quite proud of that. well, one day, all of this idyllic life was shattered. he received a letter from alfred russell wallace, who had come up with exactly the same theory of evolution.
by natural selection. a younger naturalist, and he didn't know what to do. he didn't know whether to burn his whole book or whether people would think he stole something from wallace, and so he sort of tore his hair out in a little soliloquy and i thought lent itself to a song, so i'll let darwin tell it. he says, a younger naturalist, alfred russell wallace, working alone in the jungles of malaysia, came up with exactly the same theory. he wrote it down, and sent it to me by post. it reached me several months later, and threw me into a panic. so all my originality would be smashed, so wallace would be first, to publish a theory of
evolution by natural selection. well, i thought, let him be first then. he'll be the most hated and reviled man in all of england. let him be first. ♪ there will be no celebration ♪ let him be first ♪ there will be no adulation ♪ let it inform the human race that it came down from the trees ♪ ♪ and he can tell the bishops, they are akin to chimpanzees ♪ ♪ let him be first ♪ highly offer no resistance ♪ let him be first ♪ i'll lend him my assistance ♪ they'll hang the man who dared
deny the stories we were nurtured by in every british home ♪ ♪ he will be cursed ♪ let him ♪ yes, let him be first ♪ let him be first ♪ and i will take no action ♪ let hem be first ♪ to claim this vague abstraction ♪ ♪ it's nothing but a theory ♪ any dreamer could conceive ♪ and not a thing a man of any substance will believe ♪ ♪ so let him be first ♪ though i've been sorely tempted ♪
♪ come, do your worst . ♪ it seems i've been preempted ♪ my bid for immortality ♪ hob a lovely joke on me ♪ i'll have to watch my pretty bubble first ♪ ♪ forget him ♪ yes, let him be first [applause] >> but wallace was not first ♪ the papers were presented together at the lynonien society of london, where i gave this little show a few week ago, right in the premises where the
two papers were originally presented, and it should actually be known as the darwin wall past theory, because they both -- they both came out at the same time. and the ripples from that presentation at the lynanian society, just went out and out and out and before i go into all of those, i want to just say a few words about alfred russell wallace, who was the co-discoverier of the theory of natural selection. alfred wallace came from a poor family, whereas darwin, darwin arizona father paid for an assistant to go aboard the beagle and help him with specimens. all as had to support his expeditions by selling beetles for a penny apiece to the british museum. he was a professional collector
of specimens, that's how he financed his jungle explorations, and he was a brilliant naturalist, a gifted, gifted man, he set out -- 14 years younger than darwin, he set out with his partner, henry walter bates, to the amazon and there's bates being mobbed by to you cans after he shot one and they collected all the wonderful butterflies, showing the evolution of butterflies throughout the rain forest. and wallace spent four years there with bates, they were collecting specimens and gathering evidence, and he had gotten malaria, still worked on through it, wrote letters home, and his younger brother, his beloved younger brother was so entranced with the story of
alfred's jungle adventures, that he came all the way from english-speaking planned to join wallace at his camp. however, no sooner had he got there, he contracted malaria and died. and wallace comes back from upriver, four days upriver, to find his younger brother is there and dead. now, totally grief striken, disspiritted, wallace packs up, his huge collection of insects and bird skins, pressed plants, thousands of them, and a live menagerie of tropical monkeys and birds, packs them up on a ship to go back to england, to at least salvage the results of his labors. but things went from bad to worse. in the mid-atlantic, offer
bermuda, wallace's boat caught fire and sank. he had to watch it go down from a life boat. it was a magnificent spectacle. the decks had completely burnt away. and as it heaved and rolled in the swells of the sea, presented its interior to us, a liquid flame. a fiery furnace bobbing and tossing, relentlessly on the surface of the ocean. and i -- i thought at that time
that all the reward of my four years of deprivation and danger was lost. how many times had i dragged myself sick with malaria in to the jungle to catch a glimpse of some rare or beautiful species? how many -- how many places where no european foot but my hone had todayen would have been recalled to me by the rare birds and insects they had furnished to my collection, and now, everything was gone. and i had not one specimen left to illustrate the wonderful, wild scenes that i had beheld.
but wallace's resilience was incredible. no sooner did he make his way back to england, at the financed a new expedition, this time to malaysia, wrote a fantastic book about the home of the orentanf, the home of paradise. he was the first european to study apes in the wild, not always with their cooperation, as you can see. he had a very interesting and productive life after that. one of his little side trips was he believed in spiritualism, he believed that you could communicate with the dead, that it was sort of a post office, that was a very popular fad in the 19th century. he thought that seyances were a post office between this world
and the next. he and darwin came to a courtroom trial in 1876, over the reality of a ghost, and -- because of an american psychic, name henry slade, was put on trial, for fraudulent experiments. the first time a psychic had been put on trial by a scientist for fraudulent experiments. all -- wallace was the star witness for the defense. darwin secretly contribut contrd money to the cost of the contribution. he hated anybody that would profit off a parent's grief for a dead child, which he had been through himself of course. so in those days, you took psychics that could talk to the dead, and you put them in jail, and today, we by them their hone national television shows. now, wallace also had some very other unpopular views.
feminism. land nationalization. he was a socialist. wildlife conservation, they thought he was really nuts on that one. and he was not afraid to answer all these controversies. darwin on the other hand, felt he had enough controversy. he didn't want anything like that, and he hated speaking in public, an everything i've drawn from darwin tonight is from his letters because he never lectured. well, wallace went on to live a great long life at the age of 90, he was still functioning, and darwin helped to get a pension -- state pension for his contributions to natural history, because he was poor all his life. in his 70's, he was oh, that last one, the spirit wrapping seafce, that's a -- seance cartoon.
and still true today. and there's old wallace. now we get to a very interesting fellow that i really have a great affection for, thomas henry huxley, and he's a very flamboyant, very ego fiscal figure, sort of reminded me of rex harrison and you'll see when we do huxley's song that it's kind of my fair ladyish. huxley was a zoologist, he was the founder of a great intellectual lynnan, there is he is with julian huxley, his grandson on his knee. julian maime a well known biologist, the director of london zoo and wrote the statement on human rights. his brother, the other grandson, was aldus huxley, who wrote
brave new world and aldus was concerned with the ethical implications of evolution, particularly what would happen if we took it on ourselves to alter our genetics. that's what brave new world is all about. huxley had another famous student, who wasn't related to him, called h.g. wells. and if you look at h.g. wells' work, we normally they have these monsters, war of the worlds, and so on. they're actually stories about evolution. war of the worlds is about what would happen in survival of the fittest if martians and humans had the struggle for hue manhattan, and of course, the humans won because they had. mount to the common cold. and huxley wrote a book called "evidence as to man's place in nature" in 1863, and he made comparative study, anatomically, of monkeys, apes and humans and he found that muscle for muscle and bone for bone, humans and
apes were much more similar than either were to monkeys. and his life was changed by a book, origin of species, when he read it in hai 18 if i have 9, huxley gave me my wonderful congress song cue, huxley wrote my first reaction in reading that book is how incredibly stupid not of to have thought of that myself. ♪ ♪ of course, of course, it must be so ♪ ♪ i should have seen it long ago ♪ ♪ "twas adaptive radiation that produced the mighty fuel ♪ ♪ his hands have grown to
flippers and he has a fishy tail ♪ ♪ selection made him streamlined for his selected habitat ♪ ♪ why didn't i think of that ♪ there was an ancient mammal that could leap around ♪ ♪ with webbing between his fingers, he could fly around ♪ ♪ why tonight don't i t ♪ there are fossil fossils in te ground, poet sew i can't in the sea, made a monkey out of me ♪ ♪ now i see how species were selectively defined ♪ ♪ how could i have been so ruddy blind ♪ and now they say dinosaurs were cousins to the birds ♪ ♪ i said it many years ago, but no one heard a word ♪
♪ now they say meteors knocked dinosaurs out flat ♪ ♪ slow and steady evolution ♪ i told darwin, with work, i always thought that mankind must have started with a jerk ♪ ♪ we wandered out of africa, before we learned to chat ♪ ♪ why didn't i think of that ♪ from the eagles in the sky to the dolphins in the sea ♪ ♪ evolution tells us why we're part of one great family ♪ ♪ hugh showed us we're related to all creatures great and small ♪ ♪ and we're really part of nature of after all ♪ ♪ there was an ancient monkey with a long and curly tail ♪ this ape evolved into a man, he's teaching at dwrail ♪ -- at yale ♪ ♪ why didn't i think of that
♪ the struggles of survival lies outside the jungle too ♪ ♪ take a look at parliament, oh, it's better than a zoo ♪ ♪ we're at each other's throats, just like the bull dog and the cat ♪ ♪ but why didn't i, why didn't i, your ideas on evolution will create a revolution ♪ ♪ why didn't i think of that ♪ >> thank you. now, i'll tell you another huxley story. huxley and the bishop, bishop samuel of oxford, in hai 1860, y
had a debate and he got up and spouted for a of who hour, ignore rantly putting down darwin and evolution and everything else and finally, he turned to young professor huxley, and said, perhaps professor huxley would care to tell us where the ape ancestry comes in. is he descended more from an ape on the side of his grandfather, or his grandmother? well, one did not insult victorian williamhood and get away with it. huxley -- ladies and gentlemen, my lord bishop, this would not have occurred to me, to bring up such a question as that, in this august assemblage when we speak of descent and biology, we speak
in terms of hundreds, perhaps thousands or millions of years. not in terms of one's own familial ancestry, but if the question is put to me, would i rather have for an ancestor, a grinning aporia man, a man of great gifts, a man of great position, a man of great othertory, a man of great intellect. a man of great prestige, who uses that privilege and those gifts and that prestige and that power for the mere purpose of making a mockery out of those engaged in serious scientific inquiry, why then i unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape. well, the audience was aghast, a lady fainted, and huxley became a celebrity overnight.
actually, i was surprised to find that huxley and the bishop repeated that debate in various venues. it was quite popular. it was sort of like the gordon liddy-timothy leery show. they would do this, an they were fairly civil to each other, except when the bishop died, huxley said something that i think was pretty nasty and i really don't like to bring it up, because we don't want to speak ill of the dead, do we? here's how the bishop died. he was riding a horse on a friend's estate, country estate, the horse threw him in a rocky field. he hit his head on a rock, and split his skull, and died. that's how the bishop died. and huxley wrote, dear darwin, i see our friend the bishop has
meant an end all too tragic for his life. his brains have finally come in to contact with hard reality, and the result was fate am. -- fatal. still funny after 150 years, isn't it? so ripples, oh, were there ripples. there are still ripples, aren't there? ernst haeckel, the german, was darwin's advocate and published books in many languages. it's a fantastic picture. it tells so much. this is the way haeckel would set up a theater when he lectured. he would have skeletons of monkeys, apes and men. he would have embryos, stuffed
apes which were hardly ever seen at that time in europe and he would stand in the middle and lecture this great gothic theater of evolution. he was a brilliant showman. had a great influence and a great impact, and there is a cartoon that was made of haeckel cannonnizing darwin in 1882 when darwin dies and haeckel offers up his halo to him as darwin ascends into the heavens with his beloved apes, but of course, haeckel did something that was a little more 16ster. he carried the idea of evolution in to all recommend else, moral, political. yeah, yeah, you'll see, what we have here, what we have here is to apply of evolution across the
board. you see, there are so many unfit people in the world, for instance. there are, you know, people that are birth defects or people that, for one reason or another, they would never survive in the wild, you know. so we should eliminate them and it will strengthen the stock of the german folk, an eventually, politics should be biology, writ large and eventually, one race will have to be the master of the races. this is the phrase we call the struggle for existence, what we call it in german is my fight, my struggle. :
>> there's a lot of ultras of a major. their hives of these, packs of wolves, herds of mascots that all help and support each other. not to mention communities of humans. what kind of creatures do we want to become? don't we want to become a more humane and compassionate species? i've often thought that i had unleashed so many bad things and trying to figure out how nature works, and of course, i had this return trip about being hanged for blasphemy. it's a horrible nightmare, you know? i had it again last night, and i wrote it down.
♪ i was lying awake with a dismal headache and my sleep was put off by anxiety but i fear that my plan of explaining how men had a bald would provoke nova right. i had left london town and the home that is quiet and wriggle. yet i get no repose and i can't even those without dreaming i'm back on the beagle. we are rounding the horn and a furious storm and our progress is measured in inches. we are rolling around and the crews almost drowned. since roy is in a mood and becomes unglued he cannot say where our next port is. i fear he is unwell so he turned into a tortoise. and as for my peers, makes the just of the. after 10000 miles the galapagos isles, but i fear that this place will result in disgrace when i use it to further my theory.
and i scramble ashore and the sea lions were and i hear the tempestuous figure, i glance up in a tree and what do i see? seven gyms and an anglican vicar. it's not hard to tell they're all mad as hell and i ask what's the source of your fury? its silence in court for i am your judge and your jury. with a barristers mufi declares, i'm on trial and tells me the source of his action. you cannot escape for you said man is an ape and my clients demand satisfaction to prove my office at the he calls his first witness. the birds turned into a snail and the coils becomes an iguana. the judge is perplexed, i say don't be perplexed. his honors is quiet, the court will not buy, you must tell the truth of creation. your neck is in a news and you're off to eternal damnation. i have given up hope, the chimp start to make a commotion.
and wade is a sure with a volcanic were and the island sinks under the ocean. i awake and it's all a mistake, the iguana is really a kitten. no chance insight on this miserable night, no wonder, i am back in great britain ♪ ♪ i'm a terrible record, with a crick in my neck. by anxiety is hardly diminished. but the darkness past and it's daylight at last ♪ ♪ and the nights been too long, ditto ditto my song. and thank goodness, they're both of them finished. ♪ thank goodness it's over.
[applause] >> thank you. well, by the turn-of-the-century, evolution had leapt to the boundaries of science, was no longer just biologist. in fact, it became, oh, no, i'm sorry. got a few stories to tell you before we get to t part. these are a few stories from darwin's universe. let me go over here. this is alexander agassi, who was the greatest zoologist in america. heedlessness, he was at harvard.
he refused to accept evolution to his dying day. he was very obstinate to darwin. after his death, a statue was erected to him at stanford university on the zoology building, and there was an earthquake, the san francisco earthquake, and agassi statue fell down and embedded itself headfirst. and the president of the university had remarked, that he preferred -- he said i've always thought agassi was much better in the abstract than in a concrete. [laughter] >> in england wit darwin's teacher. somebody brought some rocks to him that were very strange, and he recognized the need to leave what they were. i will to you about the.
england, the last decades of the 19th century had totally depleted its fertilizer and its field and its oil. they couldn't do anything. the farms were on profitable in the villages were dying and famine threatened the country. and they were, believe it or not, importing human skeletons by the ton from the battlefields of europe. from waterloo. never hauling in thousands of napoleon's soldiers, bones, to fertilize the fields of england, and mummies from egypt. and italian skeletons from the catacombs. that could go on very long -- couldn't go on very long. when these farmers brought these to his low, he said you have discovered gold. because these fossils are not made of carbonate. they are made of phosphate. and they can be use of fertilizers, and it turned out
they were great deposits of them that could be mined. and so one of the commentators at the time said isn't it ironic that the england going to be rescued by these fossil doo doo just as it was rescued in the industrial revolution by the oil and gasoline. all these prehistoric deposits were fueling the modern industrial revolution. well, the copper light, deposits were all over east anglia. and particularly huge deposits, and right under cambridge university work when i said in england, i said you know, it's very hard for me to imagine one of the greatest universities in the world is founded on top of a
huge pile of crap. they just roared over there because they got to the joke before even finished it. they knew exactly where i was going. well, these mines sprang up all over england. and these young men they couldn't get work were now making big bucks mind, very unsafe funds that they were not properly built. they're having cave-ins all done. people die. the young men would go and take all the money and get drunk. this actually spohn an alcoholic village culture. all over these anglican. hundreds of pubs, thousands of pubs grew up around the coprolite mind. i found this wonderful little song which i'm not going to sing because i don't know the tune. but this is some of the lyric.
come listen you farmers, to what i do say, we coprolite diggers can now have their plate. you once did as grime down, but now it's our turn, as we can get work and farm laborers burn. we are jolly young fellows that do not work here, we can work out the fossils have a pot of good beer, with our state and a pick ax we have no work to seek. we won't work for farmers for temple of a week to your sons and your daughters with all their fine close, at the coprolite diggers, don't turn up your nose. here's another one from darwin's university. it's ghost species. what is a ghost species? when he played an animal sort of coevolved together, and one leaves the other for
pollination, then one becomes extinct, you have these mysterious plans that don't quite make any sense. if you remember the movie o god with george burns and john bender says to them, your god, you're perfect that and george burns as i'm not perfect. he says give me an example of something you did that was a perfect. and burns said, as god, the avocado. i made it too big. [laughter] >> well, the reason the avocado actually has the pit is too big because that was eaten by grounds lost that would carry them miles and miles through the forest and these powerful digestive juices would prepare the seats to be deposited elsewhere. this is a tree in central park, a honey locust tree, that's covered with thorns. there's no breezeway treelike that you have thorns, except that in the mastodons used to
feed on those trees and go for the pods. the trees had to put up a defense against getting their lower barks and limbs even. so they have thorns still to protect them from the mastodons. search for them missing moth. darwin said, he found the nectarines come these long tubes in a certain orchid found in madagascar. and he says there has to be a model or some kind of insect with a tone 14 inches long that can get in there to get the nectar, and will thus pollinate the play. and at the mall just told him, that's ridiculous, that's impossible, they're so insectlike that. and about, i don't know, 20, 30 years after darwin died, they
found the moth. and it was called the moth that was predicted. well, the search for the missing link, of course in darwin's day, everybody, they had hardly any human fossils. where's the missing link? where's the missing link? people put up sideshows your living proof of the darwin very. that was the general public was imbibing. there is a very badly stuffed gorilla. they were poorly known at that time, the great apes. now here are some recent pictures by wonderful photographer friend of mine showing bonobos which is the last eight to be discovered in the 20th century. it sort of looks like a champ at first but it has a lot a
special, special features. they just -- look at the letter he of the young ones. you just can't escape the feeling of the familiarity. they walk almost in a way that chimpanzees never do. here's one flossing his teeth. he was not taught to do that. there's one showing his brother his boo-boo. [laughter] spirit if darwin had seen these pictures i think he would have just totally flipped for the bonobos. the bonobos, you, so there disputes bisects rather than violence. they are known as the make love not war ape. and of course, we have so many missing links now we don't know what to do with them all. there's the lucy, it's clear that we're not dealing with a ladder. we're dealing with a branching
bush. there were on earth at various times three and four and five, and more, different hominids living in the same places at the same time, at least three human hominids. homo sapiens at the same time put it a branching bush, which we are the sole surviving twig. and now we can get on to how evolution has left the boundaries of science and became the province of writers and poets and lovers. ♪ when you were a tadpole, and i
was a fish, in the oceans of the camp. them side-by-side on the tide, we swam through the ooze and the slime ♪ ♪ you wait was that me and i blinked back at you as we clambered through saltmarsh and sand. you good looking creature, i just had to meet you, because i loved you, even in ♪ ♪ mindless we lead, and mindless we loved ♪ ♪ and mindless at last we dyed ♪ as deep and adrift of the african rift a note we slumbered and refined ♪ ♪ i think for you millions of eons ago, in a dreamtime that
nobody knows. ♪ yet here tonight, by this candlelight ♪ ♪ we set dining at del monaco's. your eyes are as deep can you believe it's the first time that we met ♪ ♪ your years that you and your life still new ♪ ♪ the future is before you, and yet, our sketches are etched in the caverns of france, and in utah. we buried our bones mixed with old of our stones, deep down in the turf they note here they come. ♪ yes, i remember it well.
states of america, charles darwin is put on trial. and only in the united states of america, i might add. and i found a wonderful cartoon from the 1876, from pocket magazine. and the religious authorities, had reward beecher, the pope, the rabbis, every stripe of religion, cowering underling i can -- under an umbrella while the pure light of reason comes from on high with boulder and jetson and darwin and huxley and so on. and at the top you see a baby is born, and is gifted with memory and intelligence and reason. and on the bottom it's having its brain through and its eyes put out by clerics. here's a close-up of some of
that. there they are. the clerks, and there's the pure light of reason. well, i don't think we quite look at it that way anymore, but it's close enough to show you the heart of the controversy that goes on. and of course, in 1925, a young high school teacher named john t. scopes deliberately broke the law, newly enacted law, the butler law, tennessee, against teaching evolution in the public schools. this created the first big test case can the big trial. we have william jennings bryan, ran three times for president of the united states come and evangelical preacher, and clarence zero, an old liberal warhol's from chicago who saw this as a great battle for separation of church and state. and so they gathered to have it
they about to lock me up and throw away the key ♪ ♪ that you might think that i'm some kind of crook, my only crime is a teaching mr. darwin's book. the jury got a little something to decide ♪ ♪ down here you best be careful of your species ♪ ♪ because you can get yourself busted just for what you teach ♪ ♪ and if you think out loud you will likely find ♪ ♪ the school board going to put you out on your behind ♪ ♪ so you got a little something ♪ to decide they know what i look around i realize it's really not so strange ♪ ♪ people like you think the truth is something that can never change ♪
♪ oh, no. you can make the facts feature hopes and fears they know but knowledge keeps on changing on down through the years ♪ ♪ and you've got a little something to decide. let's go to trial here. clarence darrow said, he said you believe in the rock of ages? or the age of rocks ex-♪ ♪ now many times i wondered what this life is all about. now should we keep the faith of our does it make more sense to doubt? ♪ the most sacred things a man can do is tell the world what he
believes is really true ♪ ♪ and i got a little something to decide program the jury got a little something. to decide. ♪ and we have all got a little something to decide ♪ ♪ yes, we do, we certainly do, you know. [applause] >> well, let's talk about dino and fossil place. i'm dino. and fossil face was my friend, stephen jay gould. and we grew up together in queens. there we are.
and if you know steve gould, he didn't change a bit. he died about five or six years ago. very tragic, but he was a great friend to me, and great influence. we used to go to the american museum of natural history together, bronx zoo. if i could interrupt myself, there was a story about the scope strong, i forgot. i just want to throw that in. because i love it so much. brian died right after the drug. some set of a broken heart because his beliefs were so mercilessly attacked by darrow. darrow said i do care if i go to heaven or hell, after 30 years as a trial lawyer i have so made great friends in both places.
[laughter] >> and there's a little poem about that that i would like to quote, too, from darwin's nemesis, samuel butler, who was a great writer. and he wrote a poem that i thought connected him very well with the darwin that seems no one had noticed this. it was called life after death. what he wrote was this, a sonnet. we shall not argue, saying it was twice or thus that our arguments hold true if, we shall forget who is right, who's wrong. to all be one to us. we shall not even know that we have met, yet need we shall, in part and meet again. where did we meet, on the lips of living man.
and now i will say way back into the story of me and steve gould, because steve gould was the continuation of that same argument on the lips of living man. and participated in some of the recent trials, textbook trials, and so on. now when steve and i were kids, we had a couple of interests besides evolution and animals and so on. one of them was we had a great interest in the exalted use of language, and were both big gilberts holden fans when we were kids. so some of the songs that i've written tonight in the style of the gilbert i did to tickle steve gould, and then we had other heroes besides, for example, there's steve and a giraffe.
joe dimaggio was his big euro, because of his excellence and graze on the ball field. and he was a lifelong yankee fan who had an amazing command of baseball statistics, which was almost as great of his knowledge of evolutionary biology. and he would throw it into an essay on biology every now and then. and our other big euro was jimmy duranty. partly because he was totally mangled english on the other end of the spectrum. but i was asked we had a tribute to gould while he was alive, and i was asked by michael shermer of the skeptics to write a song for steve. he wanted it to summarize all of
steve's essays in one gilbert and sullivan song. you may know that i was the editor of this column for some years, called natural history magazine. and i have been away from him for about 25 years. and when we met again and i said to them, i wrote him and i said, you've inherited huxley's medal for teaching evolution to a new generation. do you remember me? and he wrote back, blood may be thicker than water, but junior high school friendships are thicker than anything. so we met again, and that he was a big harvard professor with his great darwinian view of life. ♪ go stephen jay gould is my name. and fossil and show some again been a canadian shales and
behaving steps that brought me a measure of fame by not have darwin is your cup of tea then a budget don't have a lot of time free ♪ ♪ you don't have to lug and his words of books you can learn evolution from a ♪ ♪ i can tell you the tale of a trial of ♪ ♪ where brian and darrow want tangled a courtroom so, the truth got mangled. darwinian textbooks must go ♪ ♪ the bible contains all the signs they note a biology class needs to know they note i write of statistics, with answers provisionprovisional branches divisional watching the practically bifurcate practically, ♪ ♪ i write essays always grammatical, astros, petulance tried to go go, stalactites, stalagmites, and home and i'm magical ♪ ♪ if my essays anyone's lack,
i've got the back issues in fact. a ♪ ♪ i can find no cosmic minds behind lives eternal mystery ♪ ♪ it send eight replayed the tape, he was the only contingent history they note a plan to make a man was not evolutions objective ♪ ♪ to believe all the fuss was all about us as a prospective ♪ ♪ i write of cranial capacity always mendacity coxless audacity and said he ♪ ♪ without an apology takes illustration about in rheology ♪ ♪ there was martians collecting and butlers objecting and theology, anti-theology, ♪ ♪ but i admit for wallace's
deference, for wallace's deference to ♪ ♪ yes, my name is even jay gould. signs i very well schooled ♪ ♪ beware adaptation is look at creationism i'm not easily fooled or, as they and you would black, i've got the back issues in stacks that you can get them or me for a nominal fee if you drop me a line or a tax ♪ ♪ and please, allow six to eight weeks for delivery ♪ [applause] >> well, we're almost to the end of the treasure today, buckaroos. one more thing remains to be done. and that is, that in searching the literature, and knowing that
wallace and domino all of these people were great evolutionary biologists, i thought it would just kind of tickle my friend, steve, if i told about the greatest, unknown evolutionary biologist of all time. mr. james durante. in person. wait a minute. wait a minute. stop the music. stopped in his. i want to reminisce. colossal. ♪ >> let me hear it. from as i go along in life, you know i do the best i can.
and try whenever possible to help my fellow man they note i showed been crosby how to sing his bob abreu. and i taught big boob how to boo-boo the blue ♪ ♪ what a note. a promissory note if ever i heard when. that no was given to me by pavarotti. and was he glad to get rid of it. i've got a million of them. i've got a million of them, i tell you. but now that i look back on my career, i do recall one achievement that stand out above them all. ♪ so let's celebrate because i'm feeling great ♪ ♪ i'm the guy who found natural selection they note i was brought up to believe in adam and eve ♪ ♪ by the time was overdue for a correction.
we was all laboring under a misapprehension. ♪ i was with alfred russel wallace in the jungles of malaysia ♪ ♪ folks, i'll tell you how it happened. because i'm sure it will amaze you. ♪ one day i'm walking through the rain forest with alfred russel wallace, when we see these butterflies, millions of them a note he says to me, look at them butterflies. they were all over the place. i said indubitably, they are selecting their mates they note it's only natural. he says, jimmy, that's it. natural selection. and he puts down some notes on a handy piece of bark they note the scene changes. back in camp after dries out the whole theory of evolution and what happens. does he send it to sir richard o. when?
no. does he send it to thomas henry huxley? no. he sends it to charles darwin. what he stroked. so what happens? charles darwin says he came up with at first that albert as he came up with the first. what a dilemma. and me? i'm surrounded. everybody wants to get into the act. well, so darwin writes it down and sends it to the linoleum society of london. [laughter] >> then he writes a book on the origination of specimens. now i'm mortified beyond chagrin. so what happens? darwin gets all the credit. wallace, wallace gets downloaded to a footnote in history, and i lose by a nose. how humiliating.
but i don't care. because i know what really happened. and now the truth is out and it's beyond a doubt they note i'm the guy who found natural selection. yes, sir. i'm the guy who found natural selection from the goodnight, folks. and goodnight to stephen jay gould, whatever you are. goodnight. [applause] >> thank you for coming. thank you. thank you for coming. thank you. thank you.
>> if you don't know it already is a baltimore map. the original is on display in the jefferson building in the great hall. if you haven't been over there to see it already i strongly strong urge you to go do it. there's nothing like face time with the real thing because on one copy that survives in the world. it's this one. it's probably about that big. it's 8 feet by four and a half
feet. so please go over there at some point. i didn't know anything about this map for the history of cartography when i started. in 2003 when i was an editor and a right at the atlantic in boston, opening my mail i came across a press release from the library announcing that for $10 million it had bought what it called america's birth certificate. the map to give america its name. that $10 million was the most the library has been on anything. it was also almost $2 million more than aggressively been paid for and ritual copy of the declaration of independence. that got my attention. i had never heard of the map, never had seen the met. the library seem to think it was its most important piece. so i wanted to find out more. and at this point i was thinking
maybe i would to an article, short piece for the atlantic. so i did some research and got the basics of the story pretty quickly. early in the 1500s, in the eastern art of friends, there was a small group of scholars, among them the mapmaker came across a letter by amerigo vespucci. and they decided that what you're reading about and what you're seeing on these charts was not a part of asia as most people had assumed it was. but in fact, it was a new continent. people traditionally have thought of the world as having three parts. europe, asia and africa. they decide this was a fourth part of the world, hence the title of the book. because they made that decision
that seemed to represent a fourth part of the world it needed a name, just like the other continents had names that they came up with the name america in honor of amerigo vespucci. it's a great story. there's a lot more to it than that and will get into it a bit more later. but as i was looking at the map i learned pretty quickly it is also significant for other reasons, not just for the naming of america. if you look on the left there, that's the new world, south america and with north america about it. if this is really the first map to show north and south america, unambiguously surrounded by water. not at some undefined part of a georgia some undefined undefined place that really isn't identified at all. because it shows north and south america surrounded by water it's the first map to suggest the existence of the pacific ocean. this is something of a mr. because europeans are supposed of known about the pacific ocean until 1513, when albaugh cost sight of it from a mountaintop. that's something that brings a lot people back to the map.
it's something that peter has written about extensively. it's not something i'd want in the book because i felt the ministry is almost more fun to leave as industry than try to resolve. but it's a great part of the story. it's not the only part of the story. there's more that is very, very significant about the map. if you look at africa for example, this is one of the very first printed maps to show the full coastlines of africa. africa had only been circumnavigated a bit. the frame at the bottom of the map here is broken that it would have been easy just to push the frame down a little bit. i think the point is clear the break with tradition, this is new knowledge and it's exciting. people tend to forget that, but this is a great discovery because it means you can sail from europe around africa and into the indian ocean and
beyond. even beyond that fact though is the fact that map shows the full 360 degrees longitude. it's one of the very first to do that as well. the map sprite to this one had tended to leave a certain portion of the globe unmapped, kind of implied on the back of the map as it were, in the application was generally it was really need uncharted oceanic to try to depict it. here, is one of the very first pictures of the world laid out in a full-page three under 60 degrees. what we're seeing is a picture of the world roughly as we know today. it's obviously not fully correct. it's distorted and full of misconceptions and deliberately odd juxtapositions. but it is basically a vision of the world that we have been refining ever since. and that to me was really what struck me that this is not just a matter announcing the new world.
it's a matter declaring a, we can now see the whole world for the first time. so great story. i thought this would be a great article. i put some clippings and a little article idea folder that a cap. and then i got sidetracked for a couple of years. and only in 2005, when word came down the atlantic was going to be moved from boston to washington did i start to try to think about the map again. and i did because i wanted to make a living in boston and not move to washington. [laughter] >> excuse me. and we went back to my article idea folder, i had a brilliant idea. i would write a little book about the making of this map, and it would come out in 2007, timed perfectly to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the naming of america. and i barely made it to 2009. neat happepepepepe why did it take me longer than i expected? the simple answer is i just got
sucked in. and i thought when i came to the map that i would be focusing on the new world and particularly the naming of america. very quickly, as john suggested, i started just saying more and more in the map and feeling as though there was an opportunity to do a much more comprehensive book that would survey the map as a whole, and could be an issue for doing a kind of geographical and intellectual adventure story. with the map kind of as the backdrop. so what struck me most was it wasn't just one world that's depicted here. it's actually many worlds, and if you just change your perspective is one that, it's kind of like a kaleidoscope. you can tease out different stories, different coalitions of ideas, different mysteries as well. and i wanted to do something that was sort of complex enough that it would do the map in full, just as.
even if you've never seen this met before or don't know maps of the spirit, it's pretty easy i think to see what we're looking at. north is at the top. this period was a necessary always the case. we assume today north is always at the top. there were plenty of maps that didn't do that at the time. over here therefore is the east. this is not what we recall the pacific, china, india, central asia, the middle east, europe. , africa, and the most famous part of the map, north america up here the gulf of mexico here, these are the islands of the caribbean. and then this big, big long landmass, south america. the dominant, visual impression you get from looking at the new world is this giant southern place.
and that's really what was making an impression on europeans in the early days of discovery that it wasn't so much the westin is of the new world. it was obviously columbus had pioneered a great new route across the atlantic. but he thought it reached asia. so he and just about everybody thought that he confirmed old geographical ideas. south america, which amerigo vespucci wrote about, in the late 1490s and early 1500s, extended far into the south into a part of the globe that people tended to think there wasn't any land and. and that made a big impression. we will get back to that in a minute. what dominates the map that is the southern part, and that's why the cartographer put the word america.
i was due in on. is probably on what today would be considered brazil. right there. that's the first use of the work. these guys made a name up and and put it on the map. as i said though there's much, much more to the map and just did depiction of the new world that i want to do a book for ra like me who is reasonably well-informed that really didn't know anything about the map or the history of really world mapping, would read and learn as much as possible from. and i wanted to come up with a will of making it kind of gripping narrative read. as many different stores as possible. the way i came up for organizing all that was to use the map as the guide, and as the backdrop. the book is organized into chapters that move all over the map that each chapter starts with a little detail from part of the map. starts at about the 12 hundreds in england at the very western edge of the known world at the time. and then gradually moves across
the map through geography and through history as europeans gradually make their way out to central asia and into china. comes back to europe and then moves down along the coast of africa and then eventually moves across the atlantic and over to the new world. speculative portion of a booktv program. you can view the entire program and many other booktv programs online. go to booktv.org. type the name of the author or book into the search area in the upper left hand corner of the page. select the watch link. now you can view the entire program. you might also export the recently on booktv box, or the featured video box to find reason and featured programs.
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