Did Darwin Solve it All? – Lecture to Celebrate Darwin Year

Monday, 16 November 2009

A public talk entitled 'Did Darwin Solve it all? – Evolution 150 years on' will be given by Professor Wallace Arthur, Professor of Zoology, at 7.30pm in the Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway on Tuesday, 24 November. It is widely known that 2009 is 'Darwin Year' and exactly 150 years ago, on 24 November, 1859 Darwin's masterpiece The Origin of Species was published. This book forever changed the way we look at the entire living world, including the human species. Professor Arthur explains: "There was heated debate immediately after the publication of Darwin's book. Then, over the next few years, that debate gradually subsided as the evolutionists won the day. But what is the situation now regarding the theory of evolution? Did Darwin really solve it all? Or are there major gaps in the theory?". One famous present-day evolutionist – the English biologist Richard Dawkins – thinks that Charles Darwin (together with Alfred Russel Wallace) did indeed solve it all. He remarks at the start of one of his books: "Our own existence once presented the greatest of all mysteries, but it is a mystery no longer because it is solved. Darwin and Wallace solved it, though we shall continue to add footnotes to their solution for a while yet". However, many biologists do not agree with Dawkins, and NUI Galway's Professor Wallace Arthur is one of them. In this lecture, Professor Arthur will explain why he feels that current research into evolution is doing much more than 'adding footnotes' to Darwin's work. The talk is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Those interested should contact Anne Quinn, Zoology, Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway at 091-492323.
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