Darwin's Secret Notebooks

In today's documentary, evolutionary biologist Armand Leroi (from the excellent documentary What Makes Us Human?) retraces Charles Darwin's famous five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, and exposes us to the serendipitous biological and geological clues that would eventually lead Chuck to revolutionize our understanding of the development and variety of life.

Of course, it wasn't merely his fortunate exposure to key phenomena that explains Darwin's revolutionary vision (everyone else on The Beagle saw it as well). His ability to question received dogma, his refusal to dismiss what everyone else took for granted, his search for patterns, his quest to find naturalistic principles to provide real explanations for the phenomena all around him, and his unique ability to understand the immense power of small cumulative effects through time and space, all help to explain why it was Darwin, more than anyone else (at least until Wallace), who dared challenge the received wisdom of his day and open our eyes to his grander vision of life.

Check out a beautiful reenactment of Darwin's personal and intellectual life, or anything in the Darwin tag.
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