What’s with the scribbles?

This is a re-post because it seems that my original post got lost in the blogs.vt.edu reshuffling. Enjoy:

For the two of you reading this blog, you may have asked yourself “what’s with the scribbles at the top of the page?” If you have seen it before and know all about it, then feel free to move onto better, more interesting blogs and posts.

For those of you that may be dying to know about the scribbles, consider the following. This is part of Charles Darwin’s personal diary. And this entry is of particular interest because it is the first, ever, drawing of an evolutionary tree. The image had to be cropped for the aesthetic purposes of this website, but allow me to explain the figure. The ancestral species is 1, which then diverges into a separate line of species A (cropped off the page) and another line. That line then diverges into a species B, C, and D. Evolution. Booya!

When teaching biology, there can be no more important a topic than evolution. Biology is the study of life and nothing can be more fundamental to life than its evolution.

It is inspiring to see the elementary drawing of a madman putting to paper the thought in his head that explains so perfectly this fundamental concept. It is the “aha!” moment that we all hope to have as scientists, but few of us ever will. Hopefully, teachers have a better success rate at facilitating that “aha!” moment for students when they finally really, truly grasp something like evolution.

And finally, note the “I think” at the top of the page. How very profound.

What have you recently doodled?

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