"New York Philosophy" Message Board › "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time" at Colum

"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time" at Columbia, Feb. 14, 6 PM

user 2415779
New York, NY
Post #: 34
"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time"

Jonathan Weiner, Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University

Thursday, February 14th, 2008, 6:00-7:30pm
Davis Auditorium, Schapiro CEPSR Building , Columbia University
http://www.columbia.e...­. .
116th Street " Columbia University " Station on the 1 train

Advance registration is required for all seminars. Please RSVP at www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr/rsvp.html

For more information, please visit www.columbia.edu/cu/cssr or email Ossian Foley at opf1[at]columbia.edu
CSSR Seminars are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

About the book, from Wikipedia:

"The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time" is a Pulitzer Prize winning book on evolutionary biology written for the layperson by Jonathan Weiner in 1994. The finches of the title are the Galapagos or "Darwin's Finches", passerine songbirds in the Galapagos Islands. The adaptations of their numerous species, in three genera, exploiting several ecological niches in the rugged and dry Galapagos Islands provided evidence to Charles Darwin that ?species are not immutable.?

The author Jonathan Weiner follows the career of two biologists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who have spent twenty years proving that Charles Darwin did not know the full strength of his theory of evolution. On a desert island among the Galapagos, Daphne Major, the Grants are showing that among the finches of the Galapagos, natural selection sometimes takes place so rapidly we can watch it at work.

Darwin's finches are 13 different closely related species of finches Charles Darwin discovered on the Galapagos Islands. Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle, and the finches in particular, are known to have influenced his thinking so that he would later produce a basic theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin reasoned that there had to be a common ancestor. Later, extensive research was done by Peter and Rosemary Grant. The birds are all about the same size (10-20 cm). They mainly differ in the form of the beak. The beak is adapted to the food they eat. The birds are all brownish or black. They have short rounded wings and a rounded tail that often appears cocked to one side. Most male finch mature to a solid black color, while the females mature to a drab grayish color. Exceptions are made for the Vegetarian and Tree Finches the males never become completely black rather they have a black head, neck and upper breast. Warbler, Woodpecker and Mangrove Finches have more of an olive color.

In the conclusion the author relates the speed of evolution to the growing resistance of insects to insecticides and of bacteria to penicillin and related anti-bacterial drugs.
Patrick S.
New York, NY
Post #: 104
Thanks Olga, sorry I was ignorant of these events. Will you come to see "12" by Mikhalkov next week?
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