Charles Darwin explored diverse ecological systems during his five-year voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle, 1831 – 1836. His observations led him to conclude that species change over time due to random mutations, selective pressures of the environment, and the inheritance of traits favorable to survival. This led him to formulate his theory of evolution by natural selection, which he explains in The Origin of Species. The concept of evolution has become the unifying principle of biology.
In commemoration of Darwin’s birthday on February 12, OU Libraries has put on display a collection of Darwin’s books, Darwin memorabilia, and specimens of Galapagos finches (courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History). The display, “Celebrating Charles Darwin’s Genius,” will be on exhibit in the main lobby of Bizzell Memorial Library throughout the month of February.
Also in celebration of Darwin Day, OU History of Science Professor Piers Hale will present a lecture titled “Reconsidering Darwinian Ethics: From The Origin of Species to The Descent of Man,” at 7 PM on Sunday, February 12, in the Kerr Auditorium at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.