Sunday, 8 February 2009

Darwin was Scottish shock

Darwin aficionados in Edinburgh say that if you want to get to grips with the intellectual growth of one of the world's most influential thinkers, you have to understand the timing. The young Darwin arrived in Scotland's capital city at a critical moment in its development, when Enlightenment ideas were bursting out in their rich final flowering.

John Scally, head of collections at Edinburgh University, says that Edinburgh in 1825was a city of almost unlimited potential, of scientific innovation and philosophical enquiry. The shadow of the sceptical David Hume loomed large; Sir Walter Scott was still in his pomp - Darwin even attended the Royal Society of Edinburgh when Scott himself was in the chair.

“We have one of the greatest intellectual fireworks displays that ever happened in Europe. And then one of the greatest minds which the UK ever produces happens to settle on it. You would expect something very important to happen,” Dr Scally said.

It's been a quiet January, but here's a handful of stories.

To read more about Charles Darwin in Edinburgh, go here: Young Darwin.

On Hogmanay in Edinburgh, a woman's head was discovered in a shopping bag, by a footpath in Edinburgh. Her name was Heather Stacey. This is an interview with her brother, Tim Stacey.

And here's an update on the state of the Edinburgh fringe: Ticket fiasco.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Hey Mike,

You've inspired me to finally write a last verse:

And so, please mark this poignant tale
Next time you see baked goods for sale
Which proves true love defies convention
(And leads to couplings we can’t mention)

And so, it comes as no surprise,
The kneady baker’s dough did rise
Though some may scoff, deride and scorn
From such forbidden love, Nigel was born.

Nigel Blackwell, pray please do tell:
How could your parents risk it?
A baker’s son, born of a bun…
Half a man, half a biscuit