Posthumous Knighthood for Charles Robert Darwin
- About time
Darwin’s legendary book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, is frequently listed as one of the greatest books ever written. The three critical ideas he developed in it are:
* The fact that evolution occurs.
* The theory of natural selection is the driving force or mechanism behind the process of evolution.
* The concept of phylogeny, that all forms of life are related to one another genealogically, through their pedigree or "family's roots."
In 1859, Lord Palmerston proposed to Queen Victoria that Charles Darwin should be conferred a knighthood. The proposal was abandoned, however, when Bishop Wilberforce intervened to stop the idea as it contradicted the beliefs his religion held on how humans were created. As it was proposed while he was alive but refused on religious grounds I personally believe that this qualifies as a disservice to the process of Knighthood. It was religious persecution, only 'religious logic' was taken as evidence for abandonment. His life's work changed the world forever, he did not set out to claim or nor did he ever claim to defy the existence of god yet was removed from consideration as it went against the teaching of a select number of religions. Therefore I believe the process of attaining knighthood for Darwin was unfairly guided and subjugated purely on the basis of religious persecution at the time. We live in a different age now, I do believe that rectifying this matters.
In the words of Sir Julian Huxley:
"Darwin's work ... put the world of life into the domain of natural law. It was no longer necessary or possible to imagine that every kind of animal or plant had been specially created, nor that the beautiful and ingenious devices by which they get their food or escape their enemies have been thought out by some supernatural power, or that there is any conscious purpose behind the evolutionary process. If the idea of natural selection holds good, then animals and plants and man himself have become what they are by natural causes, as blind and automatic as those which go to mould the shape of a mountain, or make the earth and the other planets move in ellipses round the sun. The blind struggle for existence, the blind process of heredity, automatically result in the selection of the best adapted types, and a steady evolution of the stock in the direction of progress..."
"Darwin's work has enabled us to see the position of man and of our present civilization in a truer light. Man is not a finished product incapable of further progress. He has a long history behind him, and it is a history not of a fall, but of an ascent. And he has the possibility of further progressive evolution before him. Further, in the light of evolution we learn to be more patient. The few thousand years of recorded history are nothing compared to the million years during which man has been on earth, and the thousand million years of life's progress. And we can afford to be patient when the astronomers assure us of at least another thousand million years ahead of us in which to carry evolution onwards to new heights."
The following video is the first of five which details Darwin's life, the title is 'Charles Darwin - Evolution's voice'.
The above video is the first part in a series of five running almost an hour. To watch the entire program please see the following links in order:
Part 2 - http://youtube.com/watch?v=pn3Zclb7how&feature=related
Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcSmdZOrtbo&NR=1
Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGKDSIKbzJc&NR=1
Part 5 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4h8JGZcw_c&feature=related
This online petition will be used in conjunction with physically collected signatures and headed by a formal request detailing Charles Darwin's achievements and reflecting how he forever changed the world. To aid in physically collecting signatures please contact me via my profile. I will not get into debates on the subject of the petition.
Anyone who chooses to sign this petition please pass the link on to those who you believe would be interested in signing this petition. Thank you.
We the Undersigned ask that the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom to consider bestowing a posthumous Knighthood to Charles Robert Darwin for his major scientific contribution to the human race.
We call on the Cabinet Office to reverse the injustice carried out by Bishop Wilberforce in 1859 which caused the proposal put forth by Lord Palmerston to Queen Victoria that Charles Robert Darwin be knighted to be abandoned on religious grounds alone.
The Posthumous Knighthood for Charles Robert Darwin petition to The Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom was written by About time and is in the category Science & Technology at GoPetition.