This chapter aims to look at Darwin’s observations, locating them within a prepsychoanalytic history and culture, and within Darwin’s project of establishing man’s connection with the earthly animal kingdom and the notion of evolution. Can we find evidence in Darwin’s observations of the sorts of issues we would think about, even though Darwin himself was looking with another purpose? This chapter charts Darwin’s observations of his son, published thirty years after he made them originally, and ends by contrasting Darwin’s short description of a ‘peep-bo’ game with a modern piece of observation showing how such a game emerges in a situation related to frustration by mother and the presence of the observer:
Plans were announced in 2002 for an international day to celebrate Darwin’s achievements (his birthday, February 12th), and Richard Dawkins, President of the Darwin Day Organisation, declared that along with Shakespeare and Newton, Darwin is ‘our greatest gift to the world’. The philosopher David Dunnett has talked of evolutionary theory as ‘the single best idea anyone has ever had’.