On the Origin of Valentine’s Day

204 years ago today Charles Darwin was born, and to celebrate his life and achievements today is known as Darwin Day. Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub has a series of suggestions for how to celebrate Darwin Day, but one activity that is missing would be to make a Darwin inspired card for Valentine’s Day!

What better way to show someone you care

You can’t spell “evolution”, without “Love”.

Thursday is Valentine’s Day, a holiday with interesting and dark origins, where it’s customary to give a card to a loved one just to say “I Love You,” and what could be better than anyone of these delightful, science inspired cards. Speaking of science, here are 7 science-based tips to improve your Valentine’s Day. If those tips don’t seem to work, you might, as Darwin did, take a closer look at the animal kingdom. The animal kingdom is is filled with kinky rituals, titillating pheromones, post-coital cannibalism, and so many other goodies, which are wonderfully discussed in Dr. Carin Bondar’s web series, Wild Sex.

If for some reason science doesn’t do it for your loved one, there are plenty of other Valentine’s Day cards available, whether they are a fan of Arrested DevelopmentStar TrekFirefly, the Ikea Monkey, naturegeneral geekeryHalloween, or a Honey Boo Boo fan, there is a card for everyone!

When a card isn’t enough, there is always a nice Valentine’s dinner, but as Serious Eats pleads, try and go beyond the red wine and chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, if you are in need of some chocolate related Valentine’s Day dinner conversation, try this on for size. New research implies that by the end of the 8th century C.E., cacao beans, which grow only in the tropics, were being imported to Utah from orchards thousands of kilometers away. If talking about ancient chocolate trade doesn’t light the Valentine’s Day fire, how about a discussion of how our brain in love, looks very much like our brain on cocaine.

If however on this Valentine’s Day you find yourself alone, fear not, as the odds of finding love are pretty good, as can be seen in this video.

As is pointed out in the video, many people are now looking for love on the internet, and indeed there is a dating site for nearly everyone, yes even for Sea Captains. And to understand a bit more about dating sites, here is a look at the algorithms behind the popular dating site OKCupid.

Joe Hanson points out in a rather beautiful sentiment that, analyzing the scientific nature of love does not diminish its beauty and passion, but instead unlocks a new appreciation for how special that combination of neurochemistry, mathematics and human evolution truly is.

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