Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Stewart, D., Stillman, B., Witkowski, J. (2009) Evolution: The Molecular Landscape. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

URL: http://symposium.cshlp.org/content/74
DOI: 10.1101/s74/v


The 74th Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposium on Quantitative Biology on Evolution: The Molecular Landscape was dedicated to Charles Darwin on the occasion of the bicentennial of his birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. The Laboratory celebrated the 100th anniversary in 1959 with its 24th Symposium on Genetics and Twentieth Century Darwinism. What was entirely absent from that Symposium and what dominated the Symposium 50 years later are the contributions molecular biology has made to our understanding of evolution. Even as the details of Darwin’s ideas have been modified over the years, evidence from molecular studies has strengthened his fundamental thesis. The 2009 Symposium set out to examine the current state of many of the ideas that Darwin developed in his four great books: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. Leading investigators were invited to present their latest research in a diversity of fields ranging from the origins of life (unicellular and multicellular) to speciation and domestication to the evolutionary basis of human attributes. An overarching theme of the meeting was the extent to which much of evolutionary biology can now be viewed in a molecular, and often genomic, framework and the extraordinary degree to which many of Darwin’s insights remain profoundly relevant today. The Symposium included two rather unusual sessions. Evolutionary concepts have had an impact far beyond the boundaries of science and there is hardly a field of human endeavor that has not been influenced by evolutionary thinking. To acknowledge this contribution of Darwin, there was a session on “Cultural Evolution” that included presentations on principles of natural selection applied to linguistics, ideas, and economics by, respectively, Daniel Dennett, Matt Ridley, and Niall Ferguson. In the second unusual session, “Evolution and the Public,” Kevin Padian, Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, and Eugenie Scott discussed so called “intelligent design” and the threat such irrational and antiscientific attitudes pose to education in the United States and elsewhere.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: evolution
Publication Type > Meeting Abstract
CSHL Authors:
Communities: Banbury Center
CSHL labs > Stillman lab
Meetings and Courses
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 2009
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 20:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2021 20:44
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/29562

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