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Birthday Celebration Held in Honor of Charles Darwin

February 23, 2009

Dr. Len Epp and Dr. Charles McClaugherty on research trip to the Galapagos IslandsProfessors of biology, Dr. Leonard Epp and Dr. Charles McClaugherty, shared experiences from their recent visit to the Galapagos Islands with the Mount Union campus community on February 12.

The presentation was held in honor of Charles Darwin, whose study of the Galapagos Islands served as foundation for his research and work in human evolution, more specifically for his creation of the Darwin Theory. His theory of evolution, developed in the mid 1800s, claims that all species of life have a common ancestor, and that all complex creatures have evolved from simple creatures.

Darwin turned 200 on February 12, which prompted Beta Beta Beta, the biology honorary society, to organize a celebration. The year 2009 also marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. In celebration, Drs. Epp and McClaugherty shared their thoughts and research about Charles Darwin.

Epp and McClaugherty shared photographs documenting the fascinating geology and biology of the Galapagos, which are a series of volcanic islands located off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The Islands are relatively young, and were studied by Darwin to help discover his Theory of Evolution. The Galapagos Islands were most recently up for nomination to be added to the Seven Wonders of the World for their beauty and fascination. Drs. Epp and McClaugherty peppered their presentation with plenty of history and “Darwiniana” as well.

After the presentation, students, faculty and guests shared conversation over generous slices of Darwin’s birthday cake, and many participants wore t-shirts sporting images of Darwin.

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