I found Dr. Anelli’s discussion of the historical context of Darwin’s work very interesting. I was somewhat aware of the background, but there was a lot I didn’t know or hadn’t really considered seriously before. For example, I was aware generally of the “Great Chain of Being” idea, but had assumed that it was some sort of Medieval Christian idea. I wasn’t aware that it was an idea that traced its roots all the way back to Aristotle. Also, I was not familiar with John Ray or Rev. William Paley, especially how many modern creationist arguments trace their roots back to these two. It was interesting to me that Darwin was initially a follower of Paley’s, but makes sense in that looking for “God’s hand” in nature seems very compatible with a more general awe of, and fascination with, nature.