This is about 12 days late, but it’s the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Both of their birthdays are on February 12th. They do not simply share a date on the calendar. They were both born on the same day in history, February 12, 1809. That in itself is quite lot to have in common considering how important both men are to world history.
A wonderful book which explores the many surprising and illuminating points of comparison between Lincoln and Darwin is Rebel Giants by David R. Contosta.
University of Illinois professor Larry Arnhart writes a blog at Darwinian Conservatism. Professor Arnhart sees several points of similarity between Darwin and Lincoln:
(1) Both saw the universe as governed by natural laws, which included the natural laws for the evolution of life. (2) Both were accused of denying the Biblical doctrine of Creation. (3) Both spoke of God as First Cause. (4) Both appealed to the Bible as a source of moral teaching, even as they also appealed to a natural moral sense independent of Biblical religion. (5) Both abhorred slavery as immoral. (6) Both were moral realists.
When we celebrate the birthday of these great men we are celebrating a part of the happiness we now enjoy because they lived.