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Darwinspotting in 2009: Are there any real ones out there?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Karyn Megy.

2009 is a very special year for the theory of evolution. It is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species. Since then Darwin has served as an icon of evolution of modern science, not just in scientific circles, but in a world-wide public context. He has been equally celebrated, tolerated and hated. In 2009 the so-called “Darwin Industry” is working at full steam and with many different agendas. In this blissful mess of scientist, historians, administrators, journalists, opinion makers and religious groups it is impossible to claim priority on how Darwin should be represented. Instead we find a series of different Darwins shaped to fit particular needs and interests. Consequently, we find Darwin as a scientific hero, a saint and, indeed, a sinner. In fact, the quiet Victorian gentleman naturalist has even been made responsible for 9/11 and all terrorists have been dismissed as Darwinists. This lecture will look at some of the many Darwins in the anniversary year and see if we can spot any real ones.

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