Charles Darwin Lecture Series – Dale Russell: “Islands in the Cosmos: The Evolution of Life on Land”


How did we come to be here? Answers to this question have preoccupied
humans for millennia. Scientists have sought clues in the genes of
living things, in the physical environments of Earth – from mountaintops
to the depths of the ocean, in the chemistry of this world and those
nearby, in the tiniest particles of matter, and in the deepest reaches
of space. On Tuesday, September 29, Senior Curator of Paleontology Dale
Russell presents a talk based on his new book “Islands in the Cosmos:
The Evolution of Life on Land,” which follows evolution from its origins
to the present day. The talk begins at 6:30 p.m. at the North Carolina
Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh and is the fourth
offering of the Museum’s Charles Darwin Lecture Series.
In “Islands of the Cosmos,” Russell traces a path from the dawn of the
universe to speculations about our future on this planet. He centers his
story on the physical and biological processes in evolution, which
interact to favor more successful, and eliminate less successful, forms
of life. It remains to be seen, Russell notes in the book, whether the
human form can survive the dynamic processes that brought it into
Russell is also author of “A Vanished World: The Dinosaurs of Western
Canada” and “An Odyssey in Time: The Dinosaurs of North America”.
Science author David E. Fastovsky calls Russell “one of the great
creative thinkers of all time in paleontology.” Russell played a key
role in the discovery of the world’s first dinosaur specimen with a
fossilized heart, which became international news when it was reported
in the April 21, 2000 issue of the journal Science. The
66-million-year-old Thescelosaurus, nicknamed Willo, is on display in
the Museum’s Prehistoric North Carolina exhibit hall.
Please RSVP to This lecture is free of
charge and seating is on a first come, first served basis. Doors to the
Museum and auditorium will open at 6 p.m. Signed copies of the book will
be available for purchase.
The Museum, in collaboration with the National Evolutionary Synthesis
Center (NESCent) and the W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology at
North Carolina State University, is presenting this lecture series
throughout 2009 to commemorate the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s
birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Origin of
Species.” On Tuesday, November 24, Museum paleontologist and Darwin
scholar Paul Brinkman presents the fifth and final lecture in the
series: “Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage and the Origin of ‘The Origin’.”

One response to “Charles Darwin Lecture Series – Dale Russell: “Islands in the Cosmos: The Evolution of Life on Land”

  1. Bora, please e-mail this article. Thabk you. Mom