A few days ago I got a letter from the Royal Mail. It was a complete set of Darwin stamps issued by the Royal Mail in the UK to honour Charles Darwin. You can see some of them on the right. They are stunning. Thank-you Ms. Sandwalk for arranging to have them sent.
I also got a postcard from Kate. She mailed it from London on Darwin's birthday. It was addressed to someone called "The Nutty Professor" but for some strange reason it ended up in my mailbox anyway. Thank-you Kate & Mick.
Great Britain, especially London, was the intellectual capital of the world back in Queen Victoria's time. Most of the world's top scientists were there and the number of scientific advances that came out of that environment was truly amazing.
Much of it was due to the wealth of the British Empire (science loves money) but also to the intellectual freedom, individualism, and entrepreneurship that was characteristic of that society. It was the same society that created the industrial revolution and sustained it for one hundred years.1
What's amazing is that not only did Victorian England nurture and support men like Charles Darwin but that today, 150 years later, Great Britain is still proud to celebrate the scientist whose name is most closely associated with evolution.
1. Eat your heart out, Ken Miller (Only a Theory). :-)