Darwin Day to celebrate 200th birthday of controversial thinker

November 16, 2009 | Events, UToday
By Jon Strunk



Over the last 100 years, the College of Arts and Sciences has certainly evolved. And at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, as part of the ongoing celebration of the college’s anniversary, award-winning Charles Darwin scholar Dr. Tim Berra will present “Darwin: The Concise Story of an Extraordinary Man” in Doermann Theater.

In addition to celebrating the 100th anniversary of the college, the talk will honor the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s seminal theory on biological science, On the Origin of Species, as well as the 200th birthday of the controversial thinker.

Berra, professor emeritus from the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at Ohio State University, will discuss Darwin’s life and theories, which have caused nothing short of century-long debate.

“Darwin’s advancements in our understanding of biological science are the basis for all life on Earth,” said Dr. Carol Stepien, director of The University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center, one of the sponsors of the event. “We all readily observe the process of natural selection at work and in our everyday life.”

Stepien explained that natural selection is the process by which flu strains like H1N1 mutate and bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.

“All organisms developed through the process of natural selection, i.e., ‘survival of the fittest’ from generation to generation,” she said. “We could not conceive of possibly understanding anything about any living entity without understanding natural selection.”

The event is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Lake Erie Center, and the departments of Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Sociology and Anthropology, and Philosophy. A book-signing will follow. Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

Berra also will give a special brown-bag seminar in Lake Erie Center Room 155 at noon Tuesday, Nov. 17. That talk is titled “Chasing Nurseryfish and Avoiding Crocodiles in Northern Australia.”

Click to access the login or register cheese