Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy 201st Birthday: Abe Lincoln and Charles Darwin

Happy Lincoln's Birthday! Honest Abe Lincoln was born today, February 12, 1809, 201 years ago. In 1863, Lincoln gave his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, pronouncing those immortal words, "Our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

On the same day and year, a continent away, Charles Darwin--father of the Theory of Evolution-- was born. In his Descent of Man, 1871, Darwin wrote: "Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate the savage races throughout the world . . . The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."

Amazing that two men, born of the same age, could see their fellow men so differently, and it is no surprise that, between the two, Abe Lincoln is loved the most.

Last year, for Lincoln's 200th birthday, I took some time to choose some really fine books about Abe Lincoln, no longer subject to copyright and free online for reading or download. If you are interested, just click here.

h/t to The American Minute for the idea for this post.


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