Today marks the kick-off of the annual Darwin Day festivities at UT, a month-long celebration all things Darwin (and Wallace). Festivities kick off this evening with the giant Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace puppets. Look for them on Market Square and other spots in downtown Knoxville.
UT’s Darwin Day, established in 1997, is one of the oldest student-run Darwin Day organizations in the world. An international celebration, Darwin Day is used to promote the understanding of evolution and its importance as a unifying concept in biology.
Once again, NIMBioS is co-sponsoring the activities, which include lectures, a cake contest, a daily information booth on UT’s Pedestrian Walkway, and a birthday party for Darwin on Feb. 12 at McClung Museum. He will be 207 years old.
To mark this year’s theme of paleontology, Neil Shubin, best-selling author of Your Inner Fish, will give the keynote address at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, in Cox Memorial Auditorium. The world-renowned paleontologist will discuss our 3.5-billion-year journey of evolution on earth and how humans came to be. Shubin will sign books after the discussion.
Specific NIMBioS-related activities include a lecture, “Breathing Life into Fossils: Living Fishes and Salamanders Provide Clues to the Evolutionary Invasion of Land,” given at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 by NIMBioS postdoctoral fellow Sandy Kawano, as well as a teacher workshop on Saturday, Feb. 13 at NIMBioS to provide local teachers with new tips and techniques for teaching evolution.
For a complete schedule of events, visit the Darwin Day website.