Thursday, August 13, 2020

Darwin and Coronavirus

I thought this weeks post would only tangentially be about the coronavirus.  It is about the book that currently tied for the top spot in my poll on the greatest nonfiction book of all time, On The Origin of Species.  

This is the book where Charles Darwin proposed his theory of evolution saying that all living things came about by a long slow process of natural selection.  Oliver Thorn presents Darwin's ideas and the influence they had on a whole range of thinkers from Karl Marx to venture capitalists to Nazis.  

Viruses with a small amount of DNA can mutate and evolve much more quickly than much larger organisms.  The coronavirus had a mutation or mutations that gave it an advantage over its rival viruses enabling it to spread to 188 countries on earth, killing more than 752,225 people world wide.

Darwin's ideas were reviled from the beginning in 1858 when he made them public.  Likewise, the some have called the coronavirus pandemic a hoax as well as other scientifically valid theories such as human caused climate change.  The facts should determine the theories and not the other way around.


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