Can you even begin to imagine what Darwin went through when he was coming up with his book ‘Origin of the Species”…?
Here we have a man who has spent years studying plants and animals and is pretty sure that God …doesn’t exist. This theory produced at a time when anyone guilty of such thoughts could have been not only laughed at but possibly tried and executed for blasphemy!
Darwin wrote to colleague (Hooker) in 1844 stating that he was …’convinced – quite contrary to the opinion that I started with – that species are not (it is like confessing to a murder) immutable’ …
Like… ‘confessing to a murder’…!
Imagine how he must have felt?
He was straying from the scientific orthodoxy of his day. This as time when the prevailing view was that God created the word in six days – and that the way plants adapted to their environment was simply further proof of a devine masterplan. To challenge this was to challenge the very foundation of Victorian society. It was to challenge God himself…not something to be done lightly.
Darwin’s grandfather had been publicly ridiculed for his ‘evolutionist’ views – his father Robert had similar ideas but kept quiet to avoid trouble. Now Charles found himself forced by the scientific evidence to tread the same path of heresy. He did this with caution – in fact his theories were first outlined in 1838 but took a further five years before even hinting at it in his letter to Hooker in 1844. Fifteen more years passed before his publication of his theory in ‘Origin of Species’.
Darwin spent much of those fifteen years accumulating an unassailable mountain of evidence to prove his ideas.
Now…I’m not suggesting that I have anything in common with Darwin…but…I have spent the last fifteen years accumulating a hell of a lot of evidence that we have a problem with invasive non-native species in the UK. …it may not be ‘heresy’ but it seems that the ‘powers that be’ just will not listen to the issues that we have.
Maybe I need to write a book – and call it…. ‘Origin of the Invasive Non Native Species’…..