Evolution revolution

Nov 22, 2005
Darvin

The blue-footed booby, the giant turtle and the horned toad are among several unusual creatures currently on show at The American Museum of Natural History. They form part of new exhibition, running until May 2006, of animals from the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin studied wildlife and introduced his contentious theory on evolution.

The blue-footed booby, the giant turtle and the horned toad are among several unusual creatures currently on show at The American Museum of Natural History. They form part of new exhibition, running until May 2006, of animals from the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin studied wildlife and introduced his contentious theory on evolution.

Darwin explored the remote Galapagos Islands from 1831-36. After studying the wildlife in these remote islands, he adopted his theory of evolution and natural selection. According to Darwin, all forms of life evolve according to the mechanism of natural selection. Darwin shocked British scientists and theologians of his era by detailing man's links to simian ancestors. This triggered a long-running debate, giving birth to the rumor that Darwin said, "An American monkey after getting drunk on brandy would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men."

In the early 20th century, Darwin's theory was challenged in the legendary Scopes "Monkey Trial" when a high-school biology teacher in Tennessee was prosecuted for teaching Darwin's revolutionary theory of evolution. Today, Darwin is at the center of a new debate. Two schools of thought are arguing about whether to include the religion-based notion of intelligent design in biology courses alongside the theory of evolution. The exhibition presents and explores these opposing viewpoints.

The exhibitors at the Museum have linked Darwin's prolific writings and experiments with the actual animals and the very fossils that he studied on the Galapagos. The show, open to students of natural history as well as the merely curious, offers many opportunities for hands-on learning. Darwin's magnifying glass is also on display.

The American Museum of Natural History in New York opened the exhibition to chronicle the life of Darwin and his work on Saturday 19 November 2005. It will run until May 29 2006.

Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com

Explore further: Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Every time a fig is born there is a wasp massacre

Jan 28, 2015

"Don't put all your eggs in one basket" is a common refrain. But usually it is not followed by the words "because your neighbours may kill you". However, this is precisely the scenario faced by some female ...

Social insects, your grandma and Darwin

Jan 13, 2015

Darwin was not a fan of social insects, or at least not of those you're likely to step on or be stung by. Some of these critters—notably ants and termites, and certain wasps, bees and aphids—exhibit a high degree of social ...

Microbiome may have shaped early human populations

Dec 16, 2014

We humans have an exceptional age structure compared to other animals: Our children remain dependent on their parents for an unusually long period and our elderly live an extremely long time after they have ...

How mutualisms evolve in a world of selfish genes

Nov 11, 2014

Reproduction for a female fig wasp can be a nightmarish process. When she is ready to lay her eggs, she leaves the fig in which she was born and became pregnant and searches for another. After she finds it, ...

Recommended for you

Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

Jan 30, 2015

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call him ...

Reintegrating extremist into society

Jan 30, 2015

The UK government's increasingly punitive response to those involved in terrorism risks undermining efforts to successfully reintegrate former extremists, according to research by the University of St Andrews.

Strategies to enhance intelligence analysis

Jan 30, 2015

If you've ever watched a thriller about undercover agents, you probably have the impression that intelligence officers are models of objectivity, pragmatism and sharp, unbiased thinking. However, in reality ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.