Saturday, February 5, 2011

Charles Darwin felt awe and wonder in all things natural

When I was offered the challenge of writing a book about Charles Darwin -- for 8 to 12 year olds -- by Hyland House in Melbourne, I thought I understood the theory of evolution and the man behind it. Two and a half years later I found myself beginning to understand and a year later I handed over a manuscript.

Charles Darwin's Big Idea was the most important book I've ever researched and written because of the way it expanded my own knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and my part in it. Now, every time I see a cliff-face I think fossils and Charles Darwin; every time I see barnacles along the seashore I remember Charles Darwin's 10 year study of these marine creatures. In fact, never a day goes by that I don't think Charles Darwin in relation to something in the natural world.

Charles Darwin had a keen curiosity, an open mind, a great deal of courage and patience, and the capacity to think outside established patterns. He was a man who, by thinking differently, changed our view of natural history. As a role model, I believe Charles Darwin is an inspiration for anyone interested in adventure, new ideas and wonder in all things natural.

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