The Tree of Life must be discovered through rigorous analysis. Genetic information is crucial because appearances can be deceiving, and species that look similar can prove to be genetically very dissimilar and not share recent common ancestors. Two criteria, used to determine what the “correct” Tree is, are simplicity and whether the tree maximizes the probability of observing what we actually see.
Celebrating Science & Humanity
Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.
On this website you can find all sorts of information about Charles Darwin and the International Darwin Day Foundation. If you are hosting a Darwin Day event, you can post information about it on our events listing. You can also locate Darwin Day programs near you by searching our events section.
We also have resources for hosting Darwin Day events, including promotional support and a list of potential Darwin Day presenters.
Click here to read more about the history of the International Darwin Day Foundation.
Darwin Day News
The Palouse Coalition of Reason and AHA teamed up to bring three speakers to the area.
News 12 Connecticut covered a Darwin Day celebration thrown by the Southern Connecticut Darwin Day Committee in Norwalk, CT.
San Diego joins a growing list of cities that have officially recognized the birthday of the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Darwin. Mayor Bob Filner issued the proclamation.
Speciation is the process through which species diverge from each other and/or from a common ancestor. There are several definitions of species, most of which focus on reproductive isolation and/or phylogenetic similarities. This can cause some controversy. Speciation can result from geographical separation or ecological specialization. There are stages of speciation in which organisms cluster first into distinct populations before finally becoming different species.
We can use methods of genetic analysis to connect phylogenic information to geographical histories. Human migration has left genetic traces on every continent, and allows us to trace our roots back to Africa. Molecular genetic methods allow us to determine whether or not trait states were ancestral, which can have profound implications for fundamental biological ideas.
The history of life and evolution has been characterized by several key events. These events can be grouped as new hierarchal levels of selection coming into play, as biological units coming together in symbiosis and specialization, or in a number of other ways. Other important events are situations of conflict resolution or information transmission, from the genetic to the cultural level.
Geology and climate have shaped the development of life tremendously. This has occurred in the form of processes such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere, mass extinctions, tectonic drift, and disasters such as floods and volcanic eruptions. Life, particularly bacteria, has also been able to impact the geological makeup of the planet through metabolic processes.
The fossil record holds a lot of evolutionary information that can…
Coevolution happens at many levels, not just the level of species. Organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts serve as good intracellular examples. Other living things make up a crucial component of an organism…
Evolution plays an important though underutilized role in medicine. Evolution guides how our bodies respond to various treatments, how pathogens will respond to treatments, and how pathogens…
There is a distinct possibility that humans are currently part way through an evolutionary transition between individuals and groups. The conflict between these two units of selection and levels of organization, between biology and culture, may explain some of the tensions in modern human life. Examples of selfishness and altruism exemplify how these types of selection act on humans.
While there are many differences between modern science and philosophy, there are still a number of lessons in modes of thought that scientists can take from philosophy.