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.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
Amazon: UK | .COM | etc.

1 thought on “Contemplating a tangled bank

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *