A Primer in Evolution

April 07, 2008 3:00pm - 5:00pm

In this talk, Daniel Bolnick reviews some of the basic ideas of evolutionary biology, including common ancestry, identity by descent, and natural selection. For each topic, he highlights a 1) selection of case studies, 2) lines of evidence that led scientists to these conclusions, 3) cutting-edge research topics, 4) common misconceptions about these topics, and 5) important practical applications of evolutionary ideas. The conflict with creationists is touched on briefly, with an emphasis on common creationist tactics and the lack of comparable scientific research by creationists, whose tactics are purely political and often take advantage of media's tendency to emphasize conflict and controversies.

Daniel Bolnick asks, "Is evolution a fact?"

In this excerpt, Dr. Daniel Bolnick, Assistant Professor in Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin discusses evolution. He asks Science Literacy participants to consider the question, is evolution a fact? In answer, Bolnick explains the differences between theory and hypothesis, and focuses on the fossil record to illuminate patterns in the history of life.

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