Scientist of the Day - Charles Kingsley
Charles Kingsley, an English theologian and author, was born June 12, 1819. In 1863, Kingsley published a children's novel in which young Tom, a chimneysweep, is transformed into a water-baby, and (skipping here most of his adventures) ultimately encounters Mother Carey (Mother Nature, see first image above). Tom asks why she is not making new creatures, and Mother replies "I am not going to trouble myself to make things, my little dear. I sit here and make them make themselves." The Water-Babies, Kingsley's book, is in fact a Darwinian tale, and Kingsley was one of the first theologians to realize that a God who creates through evolution is grander than one who has to attend to every little detail. Darwin knew Kingsley, and had sent him an advance copy of the Origin of Species in 1859, to which Kingsley responded with high praise. Darwin was greatly pleased, and quoted Kingsley's letter at length in the second edition of the Origin. Water-Babies has never been out of print, and there have been several editions illustrated by notable artists, such as Linley Sambourne (third image) and Jessie Wilcox Smith (first and second images). Quite of few photographs of Kingsley survive, and there is a painted portrait in the National Portrait Gallery (fourth image). Kingsley was also famous enough in his own time to be caricatured (fifth image). The book he is holding in the caricature is Westward Ho (1855), his other famous novel. Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Comments or corrections are welcome; please direct to email@example.com.