Penn Museum Offers Free Darwin Day and Evolution Teach-In

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Media Contact:Pam Kosty | pkosty@sas.upenn.edu | 215-898-4045January 8, 2007

PHILADELPHIA- The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers its annual Darwin Day and Evolution Teach-In on Feb. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m.  The free event is being held in honor of the 198th birthday of Charles Darwin, originator of the modern theory of evolution.

The day will feature short teach-in talks, a Science Cafe discussion forum and a physical anthropologist's corner with plaster casts of hominid skulls and other bones.  "Darwin" will be on hand, reading excerpts from his writings.  There will be a film, an ongoing children's workshop, a birthday cake and badminton, reputedly a favorite game of Darwin's.

"Penn Museum is delighted to be part of a growing, international chorus of classroom teachers, museums, universities and other organizations in celebrating the life and achievements of Charles Darwin," Jeremy Sabloff, Penn Museum director, said.  "Darwins' theory of evolution has dramatically changed the way people study and think about our world.  We are especially looking forward to 2009, when we'll mark the bicentennial of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book "On the Origin of Species."

Penn faculty from several disciplines will participate in the teach-in, offering perspectives on the study of evolution.  At 3 p.m., the Museum Cafe plays host to a special afternoon session of Penn's Science Cafe.  Ted Daeschler, paleontologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences, will discuss some of his current research involving active fossil collecting in Arctic Canada in the talk "Discovering an Evolutionary Link Between Fish and Land Animals: The Story of Tiktaalik Roseae." A complete listing of Darwin Day events at the Penn Museum is available at www.museum.upenn.edu.