Darwin and the Eye - Kepler’s New Astronomy
Darwin and the Eye
Quentin Cooper hears about the latest remarkable example of natural selection - a fish eye that focuses light using a dished mirror - and how it illustrates Charles Darwin's 150-year-old theory.
Darwin recognised that the eye, in all its perfection, could represent a real problem for the theory of evolution. But in fact, with hundreds of different seeing organs specialising in different functions across the animal kingdom, the eye actually reveals the great inventiveness of natural selection.
Kepler’s New Astronomy
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is celebrating the birth of modern astronomy, reminding the world of Galileo’s first use of the telescope to study the heavens 400 years ago.
What’s being overlooked in the clamour is the Nova Astronomia or New Astronomy published by Galileo’s contemporary Johannes Kepler the same year.
Insisting on physical causes underlying planetary motions, this volume demonstrated conclusively that the Earth orbits the Sun, and not the other way round.
And the work led directly to Newton’s law of Gravity.