Evolution Before, During and After Darwin
Daniel Hughes, Assistant Professor of Biology
Floyd Sandford, Professor Emeritus of Biology
November 3, 10, 17
Long before Charles Darwin, many philosophers sought to explain the origins of life and the development of species. From Lucretius in the first century BCE to Lamarck during the French Revolution, these initial discussions were often forgotten or suppressed. By 1859 when Darwin published On the Origin of Species, most had forgotten the advances of earlier generations. This special three-week forum, led jointly by Assistant Professor of Biology Daniel Hughes and Professor Emeritus of Biology Floyd Sandford, will explore the study of evolutionary biology past and present and the life and work of Charles Darwin, the field’s most well-known scholar. During week one, Hughes will survey the debates, thinkers and evidence that made up the field of evolutionary biology before 1859. The second session, co-presented by Hughes and Sandford, will examine Darwin’s life and unsurpassed contributions to the field of evolution and science generally; why the world knows Darwin’s name but not those of others who contributed to the field; and how the study of evolution developed after 1859. The final session will feature a performance of Sandford’s nationally recognized one-man play “Darwin Remembers” as well as a discussion of the performance and
societal responses to evolution.