Field of Science

Friday levity: Darwin Myths

There's a hashtag named ‪#‎DarwinMyths‬ going around on Twitter. Here are a few that I made up. Except that they aren't myths, of course.
1. Darwin who was a failed doctor originally planned to write a book titled "The Origin of Sepsis" to make up for his medical school failures.
2. A little known fact about Darwin: He had multiple personality disorder. The other personality's name? Alfred Russell Wallace.
3. Fun fact: The original phrase in the first edition of "The Origin of Species"was "Endless worms, most beautiful".
4. Contrary to popular belief, the main reason why Darwin used to take hot baths in sanitariums was to play with his rubber ducky.
5. Contrary to popular belief, "Darwin's bulldog" was an actual bulldog which threatened Bishop Samuel Wilberforce (Hence Huxley's misquoted quip: "The dog hath delivered him into my hands.")
6. The story goes that Darwin once spied two attractive beetles and then spied another one which he could not bear to lose, so he simply put one of the first two in his mouth so he could catch the third one. The story is actually about madeleines, not beetles. The gluttonous Darwin later asked biographers (one of whom had titled his version "The Last Madeleine") to change that minor detail.
7. Contrary to popular belief, Darwin conned his way on to the "HMS Beagle" not by pretending to be a "gentleman scientist" but by pretending to be part of a dance troupe that was supposed to keep Captain FitzRoy entertained on the long and lonely voyage. Presumably his performances were so forgettable that he could easily transition into his other role without arousing FitzRoy's fury, or attention for that matter.

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