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Humanists UK presents:

Darwin Day Lecture 2023:
The Speed of Life: A Deep Time Perspective

8th February 2023 · 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Doors open: 7:00pm

In person | Virtual event

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Darwin Day Lecture 2023: The Speed of Life: A Deep Time Perspective

The Darwin Day Lecture 2023 features Professor Anjali Goswami – President of the Linnean Society and Principal Investigator at the Natural History Museum’s Goswami Lab – and Professor Alice Roberts.

Why is evolution seemingly a story of fits and starts, with long periods of relative stability interrupted by rapid transitions? What allows some species to survive and quickly exploit new opportunities, while others are consigned to the fossil record? Why do some groups diversify into thousands of species, while others potter along at small numbers for millions of years? Why do the same forms evolve over and over again in different groups, at different times, and in different places, while many hypothetical forms never evolve at all? Why, in essence, has life on Earth evolved the way that it has?

With data from thousands of extinct and living vertebrate species representing hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history, we are now beginning to understand the most critical factors directing the trajectory and tempo of evolution. Evolutionary paths in many ways are as diverse as life itself, but commonalities abound in how species respond to changes in their world, with characteristics such as social behaviour, herbivory, and metamorphosis seeming to speed up the pace of evolution.

Yet, the fossil record also demonstrates that there are few rules and even fewer winners in global biotic collapse, and that with great change comes great unpredictability…

The Darwin Day Lecture explores humanism and humanist thought as related to science and evolution, Charles Darwin, or his works. The Darwin Day medallist has made a significant contribution in one of these fields. The lecture and medal are named and held to mark the annual global celebration of the birth of Charles Darwin, held every February.

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