Tag Archives: evolution

Good evolution talks at Appalachian State University

In Boone, NC:

Michael Ruse will present “Darwin at Two Hundred Years Old: Does He Still Speak to Us?” Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at 8 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium. Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University and the foremost philosophical scholar on the relationship between evolution and science. He is the author of “Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?”
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, Jim Costa, director of the Highlands Biological Station at Western Carolina University, will discuss “Charles Darwin and the Origin of the Origin.” The talk is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center’s Powers Grand Hall. Costa is a noted Darwin scholar and evolutionary ecologist, as well as author of the soon-to-be-released “Darwin Line by Line: The Living Origin,” an annotated version of “On the Origin of Species.” He will discuss how Darwin came to write the work.
Sean Carroll presents “Into the Jungle: The Epic Search for the Origins of Species and the Discoveries that Forged a Revolution” Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, at 8 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium. Carroll is a professor of molecular biology, genetics and medical genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Researcher. He is the author of several popular books on evolution, including the upcoming “Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Specie.” Carroll will be host of a PBS “NOVA” special about Darwin and evolution, which will be shown nationally next spring. His talk is co-sponsored by the Darwin Bicentennial Celebration Committee and by the university’s Morgan Distinguished Lecture Series in the Sciences.
Paul Ewald from the University of Louisville’s Department of Biology will present a lecture Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8 p.m. in the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center’s Powers Grand Hall. His presentation is titled “Darwinian Insights into the Causes and Prevention of Cancer.” Ewald is noted for his theories regarding the co-evolution of humans and disease organisms. He argues in his book “Plague Time” that many diseases attributed to environmental stresses may actually be caused by bacteria or viruses instead.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Weiner will speak on “The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time” Thursday, March 26, 2009, at 8 p.m., in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom. Weiner is a professor in Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. His Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Beak of the Finch” profiled the research of the husband/wife team Peter and Rosemary Grant as they carried out extensive studies of evolution on Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands.
Elisabeth Lloyd from Indiana University’s Department of History and Philosophy of Science will present the lecture “Darwinian Evolution and the Female Orgasm: Explanations and Puzzles” Thursday, April 2, 2009, at 8 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom. Lloyd is a leading historian and philosopher of science and author of several books on these subjects.
Niles Eldredge, curator of the American Museum of Natural History, will speak on “Darwin, the Beagle and the Origin of Modern Evolutionary Biology” Monday, April 6, 2009, at 8 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium. Eldredge, along with his colleague the late Stephen J. Gould, co-authored the seminal paper on punctuated equilibrium which emphasized that evolutionary change was not constant through time. He is also author of more than a dozen scientific books for the public, including “Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life,” a new analysis of how Darwin came to write “On the Origin of Species,” based largely on Darwin’s original notes and writings.
In addition to the lectures, a series of affiliated events has been planned, including an Evolution Film Festival which will feature a variety of movies based on or about the subject of evolution; a play by the L.A. Theater Works based on the Scopes Trial (Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009); a performance by the Department of Theatre and Dance of the courtroom scene from “Inherit the Wind” (Feb. 12-14 and 19-21); art and music events; plus special outreach activities for students and teachers.

I wish Boone was closer to me….

Darwin and Evolution talks in North Carolina

I get e-mails about such events, so I thought I’d share, so you can attend some of these talks if you want:

NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott will be speaking twice in North Carolina shortly.
First, at 7:00 p.m. on January 27, she will be speaking on “Darwin’s Legacy in Science and Society” in the Wright Auditorium on the East Carolina University campus in Greenville. “Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 was an extraordinary milestone for science, but it also had profound effects on theology, philosophy, literature, and society in general. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States, where the teaching of evolution has been contentious since the early part of the 20th century. Why have Darwin’s ideas been so valuable — and yet so controversial? The answers lie not in science, but in history and culture.” Admission is $10; free to ECU faculty, staff, and students. For further details, visit:
Second, at 7:30 p.m. on January 29, she will be speaking on “Why Evolution Is Taught in North Carolina Schools” in the Burney Center on the University of North Carolina, Wilmington campus. “The North Carolina science education standards have received high marks from national evaluators. They require the teaching of what scientists and teachers consider important for students to learn, including evolution. Why do scientists and teachers feel so strongly that evolution should be part of the curriculum? And why do some parents object to their children learning it?” Admission is free and open to the public. For further details, visit:

Edward J. Larson will be speaking on “The Scopes Trial in History and the Theatre” at 8:00 p.m. on January 22, 2009, in the Farthing Auditorium on the Appalachian State University campus Boone; the event is free and open to the public, so please spread the word!
A professor of law at Pepperdine University, Lawson wrote Summer for the Gods, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning history of the Scopes trial and its impact, as well as Trial and Error, the definitive legal history of the creationism/evolution controversy.
Larson’s talk is part of Appalachian State’s extensive lecture series in honor of Darwin’s bicentennial. Among the other speakers in the series are NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott (who spoke in September) and NCSE Supporters Michael Ruse, Kenneth R. Miller, Sean Carroll, and Niles Eldredge.
For a press release about the lecture series, visit:
For a poster advertising the series, visit:

Carl Zimmer
“Darwin and Beyond: How Evolution Is Evolving”
February 12, 2009
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Talk Overview: Charles Darwin launched the modern science of evolution, but he hardly had the last word. In fact, today scientists are discovering that evolution works in ways Darwin himself could not have imagined. In my talk I will celebrate Darwin’s achievements by looking at the newest discoveries about evolution, from the emergence of life to the dawn of humanity.
Please join us for a Darwin Day presentation by Carl Zimmer. Mr. Zimmer is well known for his popular science writing, particularly his work on evolution. He has published several books including Soul Made Flesh, a history of the brain, Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea, At the Water’s Edge, a book about major transitions in the history of life, The Smithsonian Intimate Guide to Human Origins; and his latest book Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. Mr. Zimmer contributes to the New York Times, National Geographic, Discover, Scientific American, Science, and Popular Science. He also maintains an award winning blog The Loom.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601-1029

Evolution in PLoS ONE

Evolution is the theme of the month for January at PLoS ONE, so we have picked , for your pleasure, some of our papers for the Top picks in Evolutionary Biology. In conjuction with this, I have also conducted an interview with our Evolution Section Editor Dr.Tom Tregenza.
Dr.Tom Tregenza studies sexual selection and sexual conflict in crickets, both in the lab and in the field, and we discuss some of his research in the interview. He is also involved in a collaborative study of the amazing mimic octopus – see the movie below – so I hope you go and check out the interview: