Happy birthday, Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin, 1854 (Wikimedia Commons)

Henry Seebohm, 12 December 1886:

Charles Darwin stands head and shoulders above all other biologists of the nineteenth century, as the Titan who destroyed the fetish of Special Creation; nevertheless “he found the theory of Evolution an unaccredited truth and left it an accredited fallacy.”

Happy birthday, Jonas Salk

Dr. Jonas Salk

Dr. Jonas Salk (The Owl, via Wikimedia Commons)

My mind turns to Jonas Salk whenever The Daughter has a doctor’s appointment coming up. She does not like having needles stuck into her body; I cannot blame her, but have explained that we do not screw around with polio. She has thusfar been unmoved by this, but a refreshing beverage generally soothes her.

The Scientists Collection includes Salk’s autograph, obligingly added beneath an acrostic poem written on lined paper. The poet, Jimmie Grice, used green ink (marker?), with red highlighting the opening letter of each line. For reasons of privacy and copyright* I will not transcribe it; but “A Poetrait of Dr. Jonas E. Salk” is thoroughly delightful.

* One benefit of older material—the creators can safely be assumed to be dead. When that is not the case, I err on the side of caution.