Over the the Friends of Charles Darwin weblog The Red Notebook, Richard Carter gives Janet Browne's book on the Origin of Species the thumbs up.
Meanwhile: '“I regard the current backlash against science as a betrayal of the Enlightenment.” He deplores the slide in science in British universities.' Richard Dawkins interviewed in The Times Online.
Meanwhile in history: 5th August 1832, HMS Beagle has sailed into Montevideo and the place is in a state of armed revolution, read it at the Darwinbeagle weblog. Captain Fitzroy is ashore, Charles Darwin aboard where the cannons are loaded and run out, the boarding nets raised to stop locals storming the boat in search of arms and ammunition. It's a reminder that Charles Darwin went through real dangers, discomfort and hardship during his five year circumnavigation. A young man from a wealthy family, he could have bailed, run for home. His armchair critics who have never bothered to instruct themselves in his writings nor the science of evolution, far less put themselves in any discomfort for the sake of furthering the lot of human knowledge would do well to remember it. They may also quieten themselves eating pages torn from Behe's Edge of Evolution (shredded here) (or Atlas of Creation, according to taste) and smash their keyboards into Scrabble sets on a convenient hard object. But that is optional.
Give another generation of young scientists a chance to get some excitement in their scientific education: donate, sponsor and help us build this replica HMS Beagle.