Thursday, October 22, 2009

Q2C - Day 4

I took my mom to a talk entitled "Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species", by Sean B. Carroll. He's an evo-devo expert (evolutionary developmental biology) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He's also a good speaker.

(The talk was filmed, but is not yet available online. I'll update this post when it appears.)

Prof. Carroll talked about some of the details leading up to the discovery of the theory of evolution, outlining the contributions of Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Walter Bates, and - of course - Charles Darwin. In particular, Darwin seems to have known about the theory in the 1830s, but took his time publishing because he thought the theory would be repugnant to his colleagues and family. However, Wallace independently discovered the theory, and started to publish it. That pushed Darwin to finally publish his own version in 1859, in a book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. After that, Bates chimed in with an exquisite example of natural selection: mimicry.

Do NOT be confused by the new edition of On the Origin of Species. The ludicrous creationist Ray Comfort is remarketing the book, but with his own warped introduction.

The video is online now. My mom and I appear about 18 minutes into the video.

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