Some more thoughts on change or if you will evolving

galapagos tortoise

Charlie Darwin was a lucky young man; fresh out of college with no career goals and no definite ambition he got the chance of a life time.  Darwin left England for 5 years traveling on the HMS Beagle; the ships mission was to chart some parts of the world for which the English had no reliable maps and charts; Darwin’s mission was to keep the captain, one Robert Fitzroy company and act as the official biologist for the voyage.  As such, Charlie collected anything and everything he ran accross, animals, plants, rocks and even a huge turtle.

The Beagle set sale from England in 1831 leaving a world where things were certain, fixed and almost unchanging, at least not in the natural world.  The world had been created as it is (or was in 19th century England) in seven days, man was the crowning glory of creation and man was on a long continuous path of increasingly higher levels of social and intellectual development – the rest of the population of the world simply sat waiting to be used to that purpose.  Darwin, Fitzroy and the Beagle were just out to document the world that Europeans had yet to explore, conquer and control. They gave names to everything and every place they visited, it was a glorious era of exploration and exploitation and England lead the world in the process.

When the Beagle returned in 1835 it might have seemed that world was the same as it was when they set sail but it was not.  Darwin had discovered many species of animals and plants unknown at the time (the process of identifying all of occupants of the earth has continued without interruption, but is still far from complete), he also discovered fossils of further unknown species of both and he brought everything back to England. Again including his Galapagos turtle, who outlived C. R. Darwin by about a hundred years. But for all of Charles’ life the turtle served as a metaphor for adaptation – each island of the Galapagos had giant turtle, but each was different from the others, adapted to specific conditions of a specific island.

For the rest of his life, Charlie, studied those specimens, experimented with domestic plant and animal breeding, read in a wide range of subjects and thought about everything.  We know the final result of his studies, experiments, reading and thinking as the theory of evolution.  However there was something even more basic that came for Darwin and his life – an awareness of change as a process. It was basic of truths; nothing in the world is permanent, every living thing and group of things is in a constant state of flux and change, all species on earth are part of the process and man is no exception. We are not the center of creation, not an exception to the laws of nature and not separate from the dynamics of change.

And that is my thought on change for today; it is something that I have to remind myself of almost daily – nothing is fixed, everything is in flux; that includes the economy, the casino industry, my life, your life and the black widow spiders that life in my basement.  It is a fatal flaw to assume a static condition in anything, business, relationships, languages or cultures – it is imperative to plan for and expect change.  There is one more problem with constant change, there is no beginning point, there is not definite turning point and there is no definable ending point. Each is part of the last, the moment and the next.

File:Galapagos Turtle skeleton.jpg

1 Response to “Some more thoughts on change or if you will evolving”

  1. 1 Rita P Best August 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing and as always thanks for making me think and consider. I can see there’s some additional reading in my future…I’ve first meet Darwin in prep school days. Both as the scientist and behaviorist and know I’m finding myself reconsidering his observations and theories as business acronyms. We live in interesting times and change has always been the constant companion. Keep talking, Im interested…rite

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