Paranoia returns
Bumping is back to normal

Not a bad book, if you want a recommendation

I've just finished reading "Evolution's Captain" by Peter Nichols, which makes a pretty good fist of writing up the professional life of Robert Fitzroy, an exceptionally talented seamen who captained The Beagle and was the person who invited Darwin to be his on-ship "friend" as it were for the course of the journey. from which Darwin eventually clicked the evolutionary imperative, etc, etc.

The writing style is a tad idiosyncratic at times, but it does make a fascinating read. I could really see a Sunday serial on BBC1 made up of this book plus a couple more episodes particularly about Darwin on top. Fitzroy deserves a rehabilitation by history and he seems to be getting it, gradually. Such a creature of his time - hidebound by "society" - his rank, his expectancies from life, and at the same time living in this age of incredible.. I suppose you could say it was a second scientific rennaissance. Finding yourself either retreating in to the familiar because it's less scary, and apparently more concrete, or embracing new theories which must have been like having a cold shower sluicing everything you thought you knew from your head.

And he did such brilliant things for the metereological office too - he basically created it, but was hidebound by the scientific materials he had available at the time. Poor bastard - if only he could have just realised he'd found a new career that had meaning, that had importance - instead he was more impressed by the fact that his weather predictions were published by The Times.

Something else struck me during reading it - there were obviously diversions in to Darwin territory because the theories expounded by Fitzroy's erstwhile mate helped compound his parlous psychological state. I suddenly realised the bleedin' obvious. Athiesm is such a normalised state to me, and the acceptance of evolutionary theory ... well, one shrugs one's shoulders and says "Er, yeah... so?" because it's all so clear, accepted, average...

But Darwin basically realised the scientific explanation that dematerialised God. Forget the philosophical debates - he, ultimately, is responsible for the clear acceptance of athiesm. If athiesm were (perversely) a religion, he'd be the Prophet who sat under the tree and received enlightenment. there's some sort of background to a "Brave New world"-esque story there. Instead of Ford being the icon, Darwin being there on pedestals, worshipped. No doubt someone's gfonig to tell me of the miriad of science fiction stories which do exactly that. Yeah, yeah so sue me for getting there late.

by the way - almost as soon as I posted the last thing, she kicked me in the feckin' kidneys.