Science is not fun

Opinions personals de membres del CEHIC i alumnes de postgrau

Feb 12 2010

Darwin’s 201st birthday – and Darder’s antievolutionism

Posted in General |

In his book El Negre i jo the Dutch journalist Frank Westerman tells us about his investigations on the infamous “Negro de Banyoles” and about Francesc Darder who brought the desiccated “bush-man” to Catalonia where he exhibited him first in Barcelona in 1888 and later in the Museum of Banyoles. Westerman gets in touch with Miquel Molina, a journalist from La Vanguardia who had done some research on Darder himself. In an e-mail Westerman asks Molina whether Darder was a Darwinist. And Molina allegedly replies. ‘Segur que no. Tinc una citació que demostra que rebutjava ‘idees noves com la teoria de l’evolució’. Ja te la buscaré. Miquel.'” Yet when I asked Miquel Molina he told me that he had never written anything like that. So my original idea to cast Darder as an Anti-Darwinist did not work out.

Until today, coincidentally Darwin’s 201st birthday and no newspaper article celebrating him. Thanks to help of several colleagues I found the obituary of Darder (he died in April 1918) by Ramon Turró in La Veu de Catalunya. Where it says: “Tothom el coneixia […] era un naturalista de debò però, ho era d’una manera molt especial. Les classificacions dels animals, la memòria ordenada dels caràcters de les espècies i fixació de l’última diferència, àdhuc les teories noves de l’evolució el fastiguejaven sobiranament.” And that must be the quote Westerman and Molina must have been thinking of as well. So Darder was an Anti-Darwinist after all although for no apparent reason other than a reluctance against theory in general. Darder always championed the application of natural history to human needs such as food. A man of deeds, of poultry and fish, not of idle speculation.

This entry was posted on Divendres, 12 Febrer, 2010 at 20:36 and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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