Spring 2009 Faculty Lecture Series

“Darwin and the Origin of The Origin,” Steven Stanley, Geology and Geophysics.

Darwin’s early informal training in natural history under the tutelage of a variety of mentors prepared him well for his life’s work. Geographic distributions of organisms that he observed on the voyage of the HMS Beagle convinced him of the reality of evolution. His reading of Malthus’ works triggered his sudden conception of the process of natural selection. The “eureka” moment and the steps in his reasoning are recorded in his journal. The reasons for his delay in publicizing his theory were more complex. First, he felt the need to become a respected anatomist and taxonomist, so he took several years to become the world’s expert on barnacles. Additional delays, undoubtedly, resulted from his dread of the devastating impact his contribution would have on his numerous fundamentalist contemporaries, one of whom was his beloved wife, Emma Wedgwood.

February 12, 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Manoa Campus, UH Hamilton Library, Room 301

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