Contemplating a tangled bank

Times: Enslaving the Amazon

… Charles Darwin's famous image of the "tangled bank" certainly owes its origin to his impressions of tropical forests

Certainly? I think not.

Charles Darwin was writing for an audience who, in almost all cases, had never seen, nor ever would see, a tropical forest. In his magnificent final paragraph of On the Origin of Species, Darwin is inviting the reader to contemplate something very familiar to them: a tangled, British bank. That's why they should find their contemplation interesting: because his theory applies not just to tropical jungles and the African savannah; evolution is happening back home in Blighty, in her tangled banks and hedgerows.

Where's your patriotism, Times? I herewith cancel my subscription.

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…

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