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Darwin Symposium at Field Museum offers broad overview of his science and its impact
Date:10/17/2007

CHICAGOWorld-class experts from the United States and Great Britain will speak at The Field Museum for a one-of-a-kind symposium on Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, which continues to excite the world and direct scientific research 125 years after Darwins death.

The free one-day symposium will be held Saturday, November 3, 2007, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Field Museums James Simpson Theater. It will cover Darwin and his theory broadly and comprehensively and reveal new directions in cutting-edge research. At the same time, subject matter will be presented in clear terms that museum goers will be able to understand.

We will be celebrating one of the great scientific revolutions of all timeas well as the person behind it, said Neil Shubin, Field Museum Provost and Associate Dean for Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. Darwin changed the way we think about our world and our place in it. This symposium is an opportunity to showcase some of the cutting-edge research that is currently underway in the variety of fields that Darwin impacted.

Shubin will speak at the symposium about the origin of tetrapod limbs. A tetrapod is any vertebrate with four limbs (or four-limbed ancestors). It is a group of animals that includes the human being. Shubin made headlines around the world last year with the discovery of Tiktalik, a fishlike creature with limbs that allowed it to walk on land.

At this time with the theory of evolution under attack in some quarters, the public should strive to better understand Darwin and how his theory of evolution continues to provide a contextual framework for explaining all of life on earth, scientists say. It is truly amazing that Darwins theory continues to hold up under the light of modern genetics and molecular biology, said Olivier Rieppel, chair of The Field Museums Geology Department and Curator of Fossil Amphibians and Reptiles.

Darwin had no knowledge of genes w
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Contact: Greg Borzo
gborzo@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7106
Field Museum
Source:Eurekalert

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