Happy Birthday, Darwin!
February 12, 2009
Happy Birthday, Darwin!
Thursday, February 12
7 p.m., reception follows
Shoenberg Theater (Main Entrance)
Note: Access to garden grounds and conservatories ends at 5 p.m.
To celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday on February 12, the Garden hosts three professors from Washington University and the University of Missouri—St. Louis who specialize in evolution, biology, and ecology.
Darwin's revolutionary 1859 book, On the Origin of the Species, created widespread interest in the theory of evolution and generated much controversy upon its publication.
Darwin's theories developed over a five-year, around-the-world expedition aboard the HMS Beagle.
The time spent along the coastal regions of South America and the Galápagos Islands was particularly significant to the development of his theory of evolution by natural selection.
Darwin's theories challenged many religious beliefs about biology and human development. Legal challenges to teaching his theories persist to this day.
Topics of discussion will include genetics and human evolution, birds of the Galápagos Islands, and religious naturalism.
Galapagos past and present: The legacy of Darwin.
Dr. Patricia Parker
E. Desmond Lee Professor of Zoological Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Senior Scientist, St. Louis Zoo
Parker's research interests include evolutionary ecology and the population biology of birds. In collaboration with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galápagos National Park, Parker has studied the avifauna (birds of a specified region or time) of the Galápagos Islands and their associated diseases and parasites. Learn more about Dr. Parker.
On the Origin of Species: A 21st century perspective on species and speciation.
Dr. Alan Templeton
Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology, and Professor of Genetics and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University
Templeton's research in the application of molecular genetic techniques and statistical evolutionary genetics has been applied to many fields of study including coronary artery disease, HIV/AIDS, human genetics, and the conservation of endangered species. His current focus is the impact of managed forest fires on species such as the Eastern collared lizard. Learn more about Dr. Templeton.
Darwin and the Sacred.
Dr. Ursula Goodenough
Professor of Biology (Anatomy and Neurobiology), Washington University
Goodenough is the author of the best selling textbook Genetics and of the award-winning book The Sacred Depths of Nature. She is a renowned researcher in the molecular genetics and evolution of sex in Chlamydomonas (a single-celled alga). Goodenough is the former president of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and has been a scientific advisor to the Dalai Lama.