On Wednesday, Feb. 12 IU Northwest will be one of hundreds of college campuses worldwide commemorating the life and work of the famed British naturalist Charles Darwin. The Anthropology department will host the fifth annual Darwin Day celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Library Conference Center.
Several IU Northwest faculty will discuss evolutionary topics related to their research. Kristin Huysken will be discussing the bumper car theory of earth’s revolution. Kathy Forgey, will tackle the topic, “Human Trophy Heads as Evidence of Warfare or Ancestor Veneration.” Mark Hoyert’s topic is, “Galton, Darwin, Thought, Intelligence: Some Influences of Darwin on the Study of Cognition. ” Christine Malcom will address evolutionary anthropology.
“We have several excellent speakers on evolution and Darwin, cake, songs, and just plain fun. The featured speakers will each talk for 30 minutes, with a few minutes for questions between talks,” says Bob Mucci, associate professor of anthropology. “Come whenever you can, and stay as long as you want!
Born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England, Darwin studied medicine and then earned a degree at Cambridge with plans to join the clergy. In 1831 he accepted an invitation to serve as an unpaid naturalist aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, on a five-year scientific expedition to the Pacific coast of South America. His research during this voyage formed the basis of his landmark book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Published in 1859, the work aroused a storm of controversy that continues to this day.
"Darwin's theory of evolution has become the central organizing principal in biology, and the recently decoded human genome clearly demonstrates the mechanism by which all living things on this planet are connected," said Robert J. Stephens, chair of the International Darwin Day program. "Thus Charles Darwin becomes an attractive symbol for us all to recognize and celebrate scientific achievement."
The anthropology club will be selling t-shirts and Darwin emblems at the event. For more information, contact Bob Mucci at (219) 980-6607.