Horizon highlights – Darwin edition

Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web throws Charles Darwin a 200th birthday party. Let’s kick it off:

Book review: "Darwin’s Sacred Cause"
"Darwin, ironically, shared that passion with abolitionist Christians, with both declaring the brotherhood and essential equality of all humans, regardless of race. While Christians found their justification in the Bible – all humans as the children of one God – Darwin sought evidence in nature, gleaning it from years of collected data in the field and piecing together the meaning, a process that persuaded him that humans were indeed a single species derived from a common ancestor." [via CSMonitor Books]

Looking back: A skeptic's take on the public misunderstanding of Darwin
"On the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birthday two myths persist about evolution and natural selection." [via Scientific American]

Looking ahead: Evolution in the next 200 years
Thinkers share their questions and predictions about where Darwin's theory will go from here, and explain what scientists still don't know about evolution. [via New Scientists]

Unnatural selection: Robots start to evolve
"Living creatures took millions of years to evolve from amphibians to four-legged mammals - with larger, more complex brains to match. Now an evolving robot has performed a similar trick in hours, thanks to a software 'brain' that automatically grows in size and complexity as its physical body develops." [via New Scientists]

Experiments: Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning 
"The Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain." [via The Telegraph]

Specimens: The fastest-evolving bird
"It's official: birds within the family Zosteropidae, also called white-eyes, evolve more rapidly than any other known bird." [via Wired Science]

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