Darwin Day dinner Feb. 7

“Darwin’s Really Dangerous Idea” will be the topic addressed at the 7th annual Southern Connecticut Darwin Day Dinner celebration on Saturday, Feb. 7, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Norwalk Inn & Conference Center. The event will include a cocktail hour, dinner, humorous science quiz with prizes, and an entertaining presentation.

The Connecticut Audubon Society is a co-sponsoring the event. The Society operates the Birdcraft Museum in Fairfield, and other Audubon centers throughout the state.

The speaker this year is Prof. Richard O. Prum, William Robertson Coe Professor of Ornithology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and Curator of Ornithology and Head Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Peabody Museum in New Haven. His talk is titled “Aesthetic Evolution by Mate Choice: Darwin’s Really Dangerous Idea” and will address some fascinating issues: Aesthetics and beauty permeate our culture – but how are these derived from the perspective of evolutionary biology? What is aesthetic evolution? What mechanisms of aesthetic evolution have impacted humans and human sexuality? And what is meant by “coevolution of the human arts”? Those who have already heard Prof. Prum interviewed on NPR know that they are in for a treat.

Professor Prum will be giving this year’s lecture while many will be eating one of T-Rex’s distant relatives. “We pick professors who are not only renowned experts in their fields, but who have the gift of presenting their material in entertaining and easily understandable ways.” said John Levin, an organizer of the event.

The Darwin Day dinners are among the things that make living in Fairfield County special. This year’s dinner sponsored by the Norwalk Public Schools’ Science Department, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, the Bartlett Arboretum, Earthplace, The Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, The Wilton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Unitarian Church in Westport, Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC), the World Affairs Forum, and the CT Audubon Society.

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held around Charles Darwin’s February 12th birthday, celebrating the discoveries and life of the man, born in 1809, and expressing gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.

The cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m., the full course dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $65 per person, discounted to $60 if received by Jan 31. For a reservation form and information visit darwindayct.org.

PenguinsDarwin

Two penguins await with interest the Darwin Day talk on Darwin’s Really Dangerous Idea.

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