A common pastime at my primary school was collecting and swapping scraps – die-cut paper images. Scraps were stored between the pages of a book, either individually or in a set, a collection of a single image in various sizes. At playtime, collectors would swap scrap books and thumb through the pages, poking scraps of interest out of the top of the book before beginning the trade negotiations. Simple pleasures.
The book featured is Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” (1859), which introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. The book also presented evidence from the HMS Beagle expedition that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. The political and theological implications were intensely debated at the time, and the theory was not accepted by the scientific mainstream. However, Darwin’s theories now underly the life sciences.
Image 48cm x 35cm
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars.