Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Chocolate - All About Chocolate

We are still waiting for my next instalment of Cooper's Evolution of Reason commentary, but since this blog is devoted to chocolate and evolution, I have to note that the Field Museum in Chicago has an exhibit on right now on chocolate, and there is a direct tie-in to evolution.

No, I don't mean that chocolate has culturally evolved from being a sacred drink taken with chilli powder to being a substance that is More than the Sum of Its Parts - also known as the religion of Chocoholism, of which I am the leading (indeed only) exponent.

I mean that the best history of chocolate is the one written by anthropologist Sophie D. Coe and posthumously published after being edited and revised by her husband Michael Coe, The True History of Chocolate.

The link? Her middle name was Dobzhansky - yes, that's right; she was Theodosius Dobzhansky's daughter. She died too young of cancer.

Dobzhansky was one of the four people who set off the so-called Modern Synthesis, along with R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and E.B. Ford. I guess they didn't have many names in those days, and had to make do with initials.