Why ‘Entangled Bank’?

Why the strange name? Are you a Bank?

No, we’re not.

Young Charles Darwin

The first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published in November 1859, ends with this poetic conclusion:

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. … 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.

Darwin’s ending condenses his theory of Evolution by Natural Selection into a single paragraph. His entangled bank imagery can be interpreted as a metaphor for the entire organic world. We rather like that. It has been said that the idea of evolution by natural selection was the greatest thought ever to have arisen in the mind of man. (Actually two men – see our current appeal!) It forever changed the course of biological science and founded the discipline of evolutionary biology, without which no other branch of the life sciences makes sense. We’re delighted to use Darwin’s beautiful metaphor as our trading name.

Origin of Species - Entangled Bank