Gorilla Aesthetics

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.–Charles Darwin, On the Origin of the Species

I have a gripe against Darwinism. Why did my species evolve to create buildings on cold, snowy islands like Manhattan without developing super thick skin? Or better yet, why does my species not live only on tropical islands? Yet another snow storm in progress here at Art Ravel’s shivering office. (It’s so cold the office itself is shivering.)

Darwin is everywhere. More and more books keep coming up on him. My ears now prick up at the name, since I attended a book tour lecture that links current aesthetics with our evolutionary past. (That book, too, got a mention in the New York Times.) Yet Darwinism and evolution isn’t the prickly subject it once was. Why the spout of interest?

Perhaps it’s because his 200th birthday is coming up. It may be that radical thinker Charles Darwin himself was a fascinating man, no doubt party true. However, it is also the case that biographers feel that they need to argue either that racism is inherent to Darwin’s theories or, on the contrary, that he was an abolitionist and his theories show a common origin for all mankind.

If people are still arguing about him and theories are still sprouting from his ideas, perhaps Darwin’s worth the glut of pages. I have it on good authority that The Origin of the Species is fascinating reading. Im not actually going to read it, but I thought I might put up some lovely gorilla art in Darwin’s honor. Unfortunately, there is no lovely gorilla art. (See above.)

4 thoughts on “Gorilla Aesthetics

  1. Why do we not grow super thick skin? Other animals adapter to their environment. Humans are the first to make their environment adapt to them…

    Love your blog, by the way…

  2. I can’t think of things less related than science and art. One is measurable and one is intuitive. It’s a neat theory I guess

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