In Philly for Darwin Day

February 11, 2009 • 6:59 pm

I haven’t been in Philadelphia since 1989, when the Philadelphia Academy had its speciation symposium (the one that produced the Otte & Endler volume), but I’m back again for Darwin Day–or rather two days. The University of Pennsylvania is presenting a symposium on Darwin’s Legacy in 21st Century Biology (program here), held at the Harrison Auditorium at the Penn Museum.

A lot of diverse talks on tap. Tomorrow, after some introductory remarks by the redoubtable Warren Ewens, I’ll be talking about what we’ve learned about speciation since The Origin of Species. Then an old friend, Deborah Charlesworth, on Darwin and The Importance of Plant Mating Systems in Evolutionary Biology, another old friend, Rick Grosberg, on Does Life Evolve Differently in the Seas?, Dorothy Cheney on The Evolution of Our Social Minds, John Doebley on Evolution Under Domestication, and Ottoline Leyser on Auxin: The Molecular Behind the Power. The evening’s talk will be my evolutionary friend and religious nemesis, Ken Miller, giving the keynote address with the same title as his book, “Only a Theory? Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul”. Concluding remarks by yet another old friend, Paul Sniegowski. Report on first day’s talk follows tomorrow.

This evening Grosberg and I went in search of The Great Philadelphia Pork Sandwich (two Jewish boys seeking pork!), but failed, and had to be satisfied with another local non-kosher delicacy, the cheesesteak. Washed down with a Yuengling Porter, it was an epicurean delight.


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