Darwin Day Celebration 2010 - in honor of Chuckie D's 201th

 
 
Stanford Darwin Day Symposium
and Celebration
 
Sunday, February 7, 2010
1:00 to 5:30 pm
 
The symposium will include a series of short talks by Stanford faculty, students, and staff
on topics related to evolution and Darwin.
 
With Special Guest:
John van Wyhe,
Bye Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge University
 
 Also Featuring:
The Reverend Eustace Paluxy
Tom McFadden and the BioRappers
 
and, of course, the
Evolutionary Birthday Cake
 
The Stanford Bookstore
will be hosting a table at the break with a selection of Darwin related books.
 
Building 320, Room 105
 
The event is free! Open to the public!
Come for part, come for all.
Spread the word.
 
And above all, keep evolving!
 
For information contact
 
Organized by
Robert Siegel, MD, PhD and William Durham PhD
   
 
Refreshments (including birthday cake)
Bea Strickland
Paula de Los Angeles (CPDLA) 
 

 
Interested in helping out???
Please contact us.
***We are looking for speakers (faculty, student, community members, etc), planners, as well as help with logistics, publicity, resources, etc,
 

Evolving talk topics and schedule
Details on timing are preliminary and subject to change
 
Session 1 - William Durham - moderator
  • 1:00 Bill Durham - Welcome & Introduction
  • 1:10 Jason Lewis - “A Darwinian approach to the origins of human bipedality"
  • 1:30 Andrew Schein - “How 1 became 14:  The adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches”
  • 1:50 Jenny Rempel  - “Flightlessness in Insects: What Darwin Didn't Know” 
  • 2:10 Sam Cohen-Tanugi - “Eradicating introduced feral mammals in the Galapagos"          
  • 2:30 Robert Siegel - “The Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris) - evolutionary considerations
  • 2:50 Bob Stephens - "A Short History of Darwin Day"

Break

  • 3:10
    Refreshments, Book Table, Mingling
 Session 2 - Robert Siegel - moderator
  • 3:40 Greg Priest - “Charles Darwin's Tree of Life as Image, Metaphor and Model”
  • 4:00 Becca Tisdale, Josh Wong (and Anne Stake in absentia) - “The Darwin Safari:  Revisited”
  • 4:20 Biorappers Tom McFadden, Derrick Davis, and Sam Coggeshall - "3.5 til infinity", "Regulatin' Genes" 
  • 4:40  Devaki Bhaya - "Viruses and bacterial immunity via CRISPRs"
  • 5:00 John van Wyhe - “Charles Darwin - the true story”
  • 5:30 David Fizgerald - “The irReverend Eustace Paluxy Tells It All"

    Parting words - organizing committee

 

Talk descriptions:
NB: Details regarding timing are preliminary and subject to change.   
Please check back to revision, and additional program information.
  • Jason Lewis, Michael Needle & Janet Monge: "A Darwinian approach to the origins of human bipedality."  - When discussing the origins of human bipedality, Darwin stated “man could not have attained his present dominant position in the world without the use of his hands” and that with bipedal posture, early hominids “would thus have been better able to have defended themselves with stones or clubs, or to have attacked their prey, or to have otherwise obtained food.”   The Darwianian approach to this issue would be to test theories on the origins of human bipedality as part of larger evolutionary trends, namely the when, where, how and why of an adaptive radiation of the Gorilla/Chimp/Human clade, based on either predation or subsistence pressures.  This talk will introduce some initial thoughts on analyzing the totality of ecological, comparative morphological, and fossil data to further test the predation vs. subsistence hypotheses of hominid origins.
  • Andrew Schein: “How 1 became 14: Adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches.”  Darwin theorized that one species could become two, even without the aid of geographic separation, as long as different individuals in the population acquired different niche preferences. Evolutionary experts now reject this model of divergence, called sympatric speciation, for most species. We will look into whether the very finches on Galapagos that originally helped inspire Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection might also vindicate his theory of sympatric speciation.
  • Jenny Rempel:  Flightlessness in Insects: What Darwin Didn't Know.”  Although fascinated by beetles and inspired by the Galapagos Archipelago, Darwin's hypotheses on the evolution of island insect flightlessness have been largely discredited by the scientific community. An examination of the theories surrounding insect flightlessness using the Galapagos Islands as a case study yields interesting insights into what has been called 'backwards' evolution. Come share in the discussion of insects, evolution, Darwin, and Galapagos.
  • Samuel Cohen-Tanugi:  Eradicating introduced feral mammals in the Galapagos.” - I discuss the application of key evolutionnary concepts to conservation, hoping to promote understanding of large scale efforts such as the eradication of goats in Galapagos. This topic allows for a rich discussion of fundamental concepts of evolution and their ethical applications, as well as a detailed and technical presentation of the efforts in Galapagos.
  • Robert Siegel: "The Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris) - evolutionary considerations"  - The Northern elephant seal is of special evolutionary interest for a number of reasons.  In returning to an aquatic environment, this species has undergone a series of extreme adaptations resulting from physiological and sexual selective pressures.  Little more than a century ago, hunting led to the near extinction of the species.  Since that time, the population has shown impressive resilience in bouncing back.  However, the effects of this genetic bottle neck may be enduring.  There are even implications in terms of specialized elephant seal parasites.  Issues of conservation in species preservation will also be discussed.
  • Greg Priest:  “Charles Darwin's Tree of Life as Image, Metaphor and Model.”   A diagram of the "tree of life" played a central role in the development of Darwin's thought: it was the first drawing in his personal notebooks on the transmutation of species and became the only illustration in the Origin.  The paper explores how Darwin developed the tree and how he deployed it as an illustration or image, as a metaphor to serve his polemical objectives and as a scientific model of the evolutionary process. Darwin's three uses of the tree of life were not disconnected, but rather represented for him a single coherent whole, an understanding of which helps reveal Darwin's conceptions of the nature of the scientific enterprise.
  • Anne Stake and Josh Wong: “The Darwin Safari Revisited.” In the summer of 2007 a group of Stanford students, led by the eminent Dr. Bob Siegel, journeyed to the United Kingdom to follow the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Here, three of them present highlights of the trip and how an enduring interest in Darwin has shaped their lives since.
  • Devaki Bhaya: "Viruses and bacterial immunity via CRISPRs - why would Darwin care" - A novel microbial defense system or "host immunity" system against viral attack, with some analogies to gene silencing via RNAi in eukaryotes, has recently been uncovered (Barrangou, 2007). Although many details remain elusive, fundamental components of this prokaryotic “immune system” are Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) CRISPR arrays consist of small tandemly repeated genomic segments (21-47bp) separated by non-repetitive spacers (20-50bp).New spacers are integrated in a sequential manner, can range from 2 to 728 repeats, and are suggested to serve as a “memory” of previous viral insult. However, basic questions of CRISPR distribution and diversity have yet to be addressed in naturally occurring populations and to the best of our knowledge, no model system has yet been developed to explore these fundamental aspects. We are examining these questions in the context of viruses in the mats of Yellowstone National Park with an emphasis on their cyanobacterial hosts. This is a fascinating new system in which to probe question of selection and evolution of host and virus.
  • John van Wyhe:  “Charles Darwin - the true story”

pix


 
Logistics
 
Map of auditorium:
 
Parking
Most campus parking is free on weekends.
Your best bet may be to park in "the oval" on Palm Drive and walk across to the opposite side of the quadrangle.
 
Registration
No need to register.
We would love to get an email if you intend to come.
This will help us gauge the size of the audience.
  
Acknowledgements 
    Bob and Loala Stephens
    Bea and Jim Strickland
 
Co-Sponsored by
   *** The Stanford Department of Anthropology
   *** The Program in Human Biology

humbio logo

 
   *** The Stanford Bookstore
 

Stanford University Bookstore

   *** Bob Stephens
   *** Silicon Valley Coalition of Reason
 

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We are an atheist organization founded by atheists for atheists. We want to live religion-free lives and promote our U.S. Constitutional right of freedom from religion.  We are affiliated with American Atheists, and are committed to:
* Defending the separation of government & religion, and the civil rights of atheists
* Promoting critical thinking, with science as our basis for knowledge
* Understanding our love and compassion
* Promoting respect toward all freethinkers
* Educating the public about atheists & atheism
* Meeting other atheists for mutual learning and enjoyment

The Bay Area Russell Set

The Bay Area Russell Set (BARS) is a local chapter of the Bertrand Russell Society, based in Silicon Valley. Our organization is named after the philosopher, mathematician, humanist, and peace activist Bertrand Russell. It is dedicated to exploring his ideas and advancing his ideals.

D.A.M.N.
(Doubters, Agnostics, Mythbusters & Nontheists)

of De Anza College
D.A.M.N. is a home for nontheists at De Anza College where we can share our joy in reality, help our community and educate ourselves and others. We are an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance. 

The Humanist Community in Silicon Valley

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Humanist Roots Group of UUCPA

We are a growing community of friendly and intelligent people dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual and social needs of south San Francisco Bay area humanists. Everyone is welcome to join our monthly potluck dinner/discussion parties usually held on the first Saturday of each month, at 6:00 pm, in the UUCPA (Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto) Fireside room. Discussion topics vary from the philosophical/religious, such as personal beliefs and ethics, to scientific topics of our day that range from evolution vs. creationism, to global warming, genetic engineering, cloning, Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins. 

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We are a small but dedicated group of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics, and humanists. We meet in Foster City the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM. We choose articles, books and topics related to humanism and secular humanism.

We are affiliated with the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley and believe that Humanism is a philosophy of life based on science and reason rather than supernaturalism. The responsibility for our lives is ours and ours alone.

  
 

 
Other upcoming events of interest
 
Speaker: George Schaller
Event: Jhumki Basu memorial lecture at Stanford
Inaugural Lecture in the annual Jhumki Basu Memorial Series at Stanford University on “Science & Adventure”
Admission free
Reception follows
George Schaller, pioneer of wildlife protection, will speak about  “A Naturalist in the World’s Wilderness”
Our speaker is the Chief Conservationist of Wildlife Conservation Society, and Vice President, Panthera, devoted to saving the world's wild cat species
Dr. Schaller is the author of 16 books, among them The Deer and the Tiger, The Year of the Gorilla, The Serengeti Lion and The Last Panda
Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 7 pm
Location:
BISHOP AUDITORIUM
Graduate School of Business
518, Memorial Way
Stanford University
 
******
July 25 to August 5, 2010  
Faculty leader: Robert Siegel
 
 
 

PAST DARWIN DAY EVENTS
 

Darwin Day Celebration 2009 - in honor of Chuckie D's 200th

Stanford Darwin Day Symposium
and Celebration
 
February 8, 2009
1:00 to 5:30 pm
 

 
Building 320, Room 105
 
The event is free!
Open to the public!
Come for part, come for all.
Spread the word.
And above all, keep evolving!
 
For information contact
 
2009 Speakers included:
 
Robert Siegel
Stanley Falkow
Richard Klein
Lynn Rothschild
Greg Priest
Bob Stephens 
Laura Moorhead
Quayshawn Spenser
Tom Hayden
Josh Wong
Joseph Mallon
William Durham
 
 
 Featuring:
The Darwin Readers' Forum
Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite Darwin quotes to read.
(To avoid duplicates - please submit your quotes ahead of time to email address above.)
 
Borders Bookstore in Palo Alto
will be hosting a table at the break with a selection of Darwin related books.
Borders, Palo Alto, CA 

 
Interested in helping out???
Please contact us.
We are looking for speakers (faculty, student, community members, etc), planners, as well as help with logistics, publicity, resources, etc,
 

NB: Details regarding timing are preliminary and subject to change.   
Please check back to revision, and additional program information.
 

                                    Logistics
 
Map of auditorium:
 
Parking
Most campus parking is free on weekends.
Your best bet may be to park in "the oval" on Palm Drive and walk across to the opposite side of the quadrangle.
 
Registration
No need to register.
We would love to get an email if you intend to come.
This will help us gauge the size of the audience.
 
Facebook group
 

 
Organized by Robert Siegel
 
Co-Sponsored by the Program in Human Biology

humbio logo

 With much thanks to Robbie Torney, Rebecca Tisdale, Thomas Lew, Lauren Smith, Karina Padilla
    Wendy Max, Katherine Preston, Lynn Rothschild, Carol Boggs.
    Human Biology and Borders Bookstore in Palo Alto
 
The wonderful cake was the brilliant work of Katherine Preston.
The wonderful program was designed by Rebecca Tisdale.

                    Evolving talk topics and schedule:
                    (The schedule below differs slightly from the program but reflects the actual sequence of symposium events.)
 
Session 1 (1:00)
 
Introductory comments - Robert Siegel
  • 1:00 Bob Stephens - Darwin Day Celebration - a brief history
  • 1:10 Robert Siegel - Nitpicking Darwin
  • 1:30 Laura Moorhead - Meet Mr. Vestiges: Robert Chambers, The Man Who Readied the World for Darwin’s Evolutionary Thinking
  • 1:50 Greg Priest - What Would Darwin Do?  Reconsidering Darwinian Ethics
  • 2:10 Josh Wong - Controversies in Annie Darwin's Death: Scapegoat or Flashpoint?
  • 2:30 Stanley Falkow - Microbes Discovered Evolution before Darwin Did
  • 2:50 Lynn Rothschild - "If we had no moon..."
  • break (3:10)
 
        refreshments
        book display
        mingling
 
Darwin quotes
 
Session 2 (3:30)
  • 3:30 Richard Klein - Modern human origins
  • 3:50 Quayshawn Spenser - The Evolution of Darwin's Idea of Race
  • 4:10 Tom Hayden - "There is no proof for Darwin's heresy": A Brief Appreciation of Fan Letters from the Fringe
  • 4:30 Joseph Mallon - Review of Origins of Music and Speech by Peter Marler
  • 4:50 William Durham - Following in Darwin's "footsteps" - by private jet
Parting words (5:10) - Robert Siegel
 

Talk descriptions:
 
  • Robert Siegel - Nitpicking Darwin
Darwin fever is in high gear.  He is venerated.  He is despised.  Careers are made over Darwinian quibbles – scientific, historical, and moral.  Why are we so obsessed with the man, the idea, the controversy, the gospel of Darwin?  This presentation seeks to ask many questions and answer few.  We will set the stage for the symposium and for yet another century of nitpicking Darwin.
  • Laura Moorhead - Meet Mr. Vestiges: Robert Chambers, The Man Who Readied the World for Darwin’s Evolutionary Thinking
    Charles Darwin, we know, was not alone in his evolutionary thinking. But few realize how influential Scottish journalist Robert Chambers was in readying the world for Darwin’s work. Fourteen years before Darwin presented his theory of evolution in a joint paper with Alfred Russel Wallace to the Linnean Society of London, Chambers published his 396-page science-based treatise on evolution, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Chambers got many of his facts wrong, but his big idea—that “a gradual evolution of high from low” was completely “natural”—was right. More importantly, the book did not go unnoticed: Vestiges outsold Origin until the twentieth century, and the book surfaced in Darwin’s own writing, both personal and professional. It was also hugely controversial, particularly with the scientific community. As historian Milton Millhauser put it, Chambers “absorbed a number of the roughest blows that might otherwise have fallen on Darwin’s shoulders.” Darwin wrote Joseph Hooker, “birds of a feather flock together’, & therefore I sympathise with [Chambers].” (In another letter, Darwin actually complained about being publicly accused of plagiarizing Vestiges.) Chambers forced a coterie of educated men out of their ivory towers and pastorial retreats and into very public debates that played out across countries and in the most popular newspapers and journals of the Victorian age. This presentation considers Chambers as “the essayist of the middle class,” an associate of Darwin, and a champion of the evolutionary cause.
 
  • Tom Hayden - "There is no proof for Darwin's heresy": A Brief Appreciation of Fan Letters from the Fringe
Science journalist and Stanford lecturer Thomas Hayden reads from his collection of outraged creationist response to entirely mild and perfectly reasonable writing about Mr. Darwin.
 
 
  • Greg Priest - What Would Darwin Do?  Reconsidering Darwinian Ethics
Discussions of Darwinian ethics tend to begin and end with social Darwinism.  Books and articles abound that analyze whether, how and to what extent Darwin thought that "might makes right."  Correspondence between Charles Darwin, a radical Unitarian minister who denied the divinity of Christ, and one of the founders of American pragmatism sheds light on what Darwin's moral philosophy actually was.  That philosophy turns out to have very little to do with social Darwinism.
 
  • Lynn Rothschild - "If we had no moon"
     
Discussions of Darwinian theory focus on competition among organisms.  Darwin was guided from his Beagle days on by Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, a solid uniformitarian tract.  Yet, the evolution of life on earth has been strongly shaped by the biggest catastrophe in the history of the earth: the formation of the moon.  What the moon means to the evolution of life on earth will accompany the speculation, what if we had no moon?

  • Richard Klein - Modern human origins

Twenty-one years ago, a landmark exploration of mitochondrial DNA diversity popularized the idea of a recent African origin for all living humans.  The ancestral African population was estimated to have existed 200 ka (thousands of years ago), plus or minus a few tens of thousands of years.  A corollary was that at some later date, its fully modern African descendants expanded to swamp or replace the Neanderthals and other non-modern Eurasians.  The basic concept soon became known as “Out of Africa,” after the Academy Award winning film (1985) that took its title in turn from Isak Dinesen’s classic autobiography (1937).  Many subsequent genetic analyses have reaffirmed the fundamental Out-of-Africa model, and the fossil and archaeological records also support it strongly.  The fossil record implies that anatomically modern or near-modern humans were present in Africa by 150 ka, and the fossil and archaeological records together indicate that modern Africans expanded to Eurasia beginning about 50 ka.

  • Josh Wong - Controversies in Annie Darwin's Death: Scapegoat or Flashpoint?
 The death of Darwin's daughter Annie is often cited as spiritual motivation for his dismissal of orthodox religion.  Controversies in Annie Darwin's Death examines how this milestone in Darwin's life fits into the much more complex puzzle of Darwin's views on religion.
 

 

Tabling:
  • Borders Bookstore
  • Defend Science

 
Stanford Darwin Day:

 

 
  
 
 Publicity 2009
+ "Stanford celebrates Darwin's birthday" by Nikhil Kamat
The Stanford Daily, February 13, 2009
Article on Stanford Darwin Day Celebration
+  "Stanford will celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday today" by Hadley Legett
San Jose Mercury, February 8, 2009
Article on the Stanford Darwin Day Symposium


 


More Darwin related sites
 
    Darwin200
 

Other events (2009):
 
Daniel Dennett
Stanford Presidential Lecture
January 12, 2009 7:00 Building 320, Room 105
January 13, 2009 4:00 Stanford Humanities Center
 
****
 

January 5, 2009 at 5 pm in Cubberly Auditorium (Stanford University) -- an hour-long World Premier reading of ORIGIN, the new screenplay about Charles & Emma Darwin written by Stanford alum John Zussman and Patti Zussman.

Professional actors from Stanford Drama and beyond are doing the reading, with music, projected images, and THE WORKS! 

 

****