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Science discovery Charles Darwin

Lost Charles Darwin fossils rediscovered in cabinet

Darwin fossils The fossil plants are polished into thin, translucent sheets

A "treasure trove" of fossils - including some collected by Charles Darwin - has been re-discovered in an old cabinet.

The fossils, lost for some 165 years, were found by chance in the vaults of the British Geological Survey HQ near Keyworth, UK.

They have now been photographed and are available to the public through a new online museum exhibit released today.

The find was made by the palaeontologist Dr Howard Falcon-Lang.

Dr Falcon-Lang, who is based in the department of earth sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, spotted some drawers in a cabinet marked "unregistered fossil plants".

"Inside the drawer were hundreds of beautiful glass slides made by polishing fossil plants into thin translucent sheets, " Dr Falcon-Lang explained.

"This process allows them to be studied under the microscope. Almost the first slide I picked up was labelled 'C. Darwin Esq'."

Darwin fossilsThe item turned out to be a piece of fossil wood collected by Darwin during his famous Voyage of the Beagle in 1834. This was the expedition on which he first started to develop his theory of evolution.

In the course of his visit to Chiloe Island, Chile, Darwin encountered "many fragments of black lignite and silicified and pyritous wood, often embedded close together".

He had these shipped back to England where they were cut and ground into thin sections.

Joseph Hooker, a botanist and a close friend of Darwin, was responsible for assembling the "lost" collection while he briefly worked for the British Geological Survey in 1846.

The fossils became "lost" because Hooker failed to number them in the formal specimen register before setting out on an expedition to the Himalayas.




The complete works of Charles Darwin online

by pelon

This site currently contains more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images of both publications and handwritten manuscripts. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from secondary reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, published descriptions of Darwin's Beagle specimens and important related works for understanding Darwin's context.
Most of the editions provided here appear online for the first time such as the first editions of Journal of Researches [or Voyage of the Beagle] (1839), The descent of Man...

H.M.S. Beagle, the famous ship that

by garyd777

Took Charles Darwin on his 1831-1836 voyage around the world, had a rather mundane history following her return to England.
She was transferred by the British Navy to the Customs and Excise Department and was used to catch smugglers along the southeast coast of England.
The Beagle was finally sold for scrap in 1870 after 50 years of service.

2

by GodAlmighty

Charles Darwin confesses evolution is a hoax: We received an E-mail in 2003-SEP which said that evolution is a hoax. Darwin just "thought it up" and presented it as truth even though he knew it had no evidence to back it up. It is doubtful that anyone reading Darwin's books (On the origin of species, The descent of man, The voyage of the Beagle: Charles Darwin's Journal of Researchers, Charles Darwin's Zoology Notes and Specimen Lists from H.M.S. Beagle, and his autobiography) could come to this conclusion. His finding that evolution happened and happens through natural selection is based on a massive number of observations of nature

"In China We Can Criticize Darwin": Prelude  — Discovery Institute
In his February lecture at the Burke Museum of the University of Washington, Chen described many of the Chengjiang fossils and argued that their abrupt appearance in the early Cambrian was a problem for Darwinian evolution.

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