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Meetup details changed: NYC ATHEISTS DECEMBER BRUNCH & SPEAKER

From: KENNETH B.
Sent on: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 1:13 AM

Origins & Evolution of Plants...

If Plants Evolve to Adapt, Why Are There Are So Many Different Kinds?
Is It Evolution Gone Wild?


As an Atheist, you no doubt accept Darwin’s theory of evolution about humans: We evolved through millenniums and in time became the sole brainy captains of our planet. But with plants, no single species of plant and vegetation evolved to dominate the planet. Instead, there is a vast assortment of hundreds of thousands of different types of plants and trees and flowers suffusing our entire globe in their infinite variety.



How did this happen? How do Evolutionary Botanists explain the uncountable variety of plants and flowers and vegetation that exists in the world? The orchid alone grows in hundreds of different colors and shapes. Is this evolution gone wild?



That is a question that has intrigued Professor. Kobinah Abdul-Salim, holder of a doctorate in Biology and Plant Systematics from Harvard, who has traveled as far afield as Madagascar to find new species of plants and trees and try to figure out how they came into being and why.

 



 

 

 

 

Dr. Abdul-Salim, originally from New York’s Harlem, now teaches at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York and also does research at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

 

 

Can Reproduce Asexually



Plant evolution is different from animal and human evolution, Prof. Abdul-Salim notes. It is faster than animal evolution because plants can reproduce asexually much more easily than animals. And at times of disasters, such as the one that wiped out dinosaurs, the long periods of dormancy that seed plants have, allows them to “sit out” the tough periods and wait for better times to burst back into life.



Mysteries of Adaptation



But what accounts for the vast diversity in the plant world? Come on Sunday, December 9, to the NYC Atheists Brunch, and hear Dr. Abdul-Salim tell how, in many ways, plants are more adaptive in using other plants and insects to aid in reproduction.



Explore, with the good professor on Sunday, the mysterious tenacity and survival capability of the wild melange of flowers and trees that surrounds us, beautifies our world, gives us sustenance, and shares the planet with us. Your office rhododendron will never look the same to you again!



EVENT SUMMARY



WHAT: “THE ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF PLANTS,”
a talk by Dr. Kobinah Abdul-Salim, professor of
Evolutionary Biology at Medgar Evers College of
CUNY.



WHEN: December 9, 2012 at 12 noon



WHERE: The Press Box
932 Second Ave. (bet. 49th & 50th Sts.)

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