…Of course, Darwin’s theory was not immediately accepted by all scientists, either; in England its opponents were lead by Sir Richard Owen, superintendent of the natural history department of the British Museum, while in America the chief protagonists for and against Darwin were Asa Gray and Louis Agassiz. Darwin himself played little part in the controversies that surrounded him, devoting his time to his orchids and earthworms and contenting himself with boyish shouts of applause from the sidelines. He was not interested in metaphysics and was not by nature combative. He was, moreover, by now an invalid.
There has been much speculation about Darwin’s malady. Was it the aftermath of some tropical illness, caught during the voyage of the Beagle, which confined the mountaineer and explorer of the 1830′s to his sofa at Down House for a large part of his later life? Or was it, as has been suggested, psychological in origin, due to a feeling that removing God from his part in the Creation he had committed a kind of parricide? Much has been made, too, of Darwin’s confession of the withering, in later life, of his feeling for beauty. He has been called “the fragmentary man,” “the anesthetic man,” and so on.
It has been remarked, not altogether unfairly, that he debated whether to marry- he married his cousin, Emma Wedgewood, in 1839- rather as a man might decide whether to keep a dog, but it is difficult not to find something attractive in his reflection: ” charms of music & female chitchat, good for one’s health; but forced to visit and receive relations, terrible loss of time.” There was always a childlike simplicity about Darwin, which has endeared him to some commentators and irritated others.
(see link at end)…A series of books for primary schoolchildren, describing Charles Darwin as a Jew with a big nose who kept the company of monkeys and other historical figures in anti-Semitic terms, has caused outrage in Turkey amid fears of rising religious intolerance.
A teachers’ union is taking legal action over the distribution of the books last week to about 1,000 schoolchildren in the Maltepe district of Istanbul. The local education authority, which approved the books and ultimately answers to the central government, has denied knowledge of their content….
…The European Commission and other bodies have long complained that the traditional Turkish education textbooks are deeply flawed, painting minorities as untrustworthy and treacherous. But the books in Maltepe, intended as potted biographies, go further. A book on Albert Einstein describes the physicist as “filthy and slovenly”. Immediately after saying that he ate soap, it adds: “The sad part is during that time the Gestapo was putting Jews into ovens and making them into soap.” The book on Darwin says the proponent of natural selection “had two problems: first he was a Jew; second,
ated his prominent forehead, big nose and misshapen teeth.” It adds that he threw nuts to monkeys at the zoo rather than go to school. Darwin was not Jewish. Read More:http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f27adba8-1a01-11e2-a179-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EeaMU5kh