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Darwin Day 2009

in Sydney will be a members and friends meeting to be held:
at the March HuVAT meeting Humanist House 10 Shepherd St Chippendale 8 March 4 pm.
Refreshments will be served after the talk.

Richard Dawkin honorary president of Darwin Day.
Darwin Day's international home page

- see other programs around the world

Darwin Day 200 and 150

Presented by Dr Victor Bien

This will be our celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 12 February 1809 and also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his famous book The Origin of Species by natural selection in November 1859.

Out in the wider world there is a bonanza of celebrations of this tremendous scientific achievement. A visit to the ABC Radio national site will lead to a large number of links to a variety of events - see the link Charles Darwin turns 200. Various museums in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia have special events.

The presentation will be a fresh compilation of video clips from the SBS/PBS/WGBH video tape set entitled Evolution. This will give:

  • a brief recap of the impact evolution had on the deeply religious world view of 19th century England and still has today;
  • presentation of some of the scientific knowledge of how species transformed from one form to another over time; the presentation of this knowledge is stunning; looking at this evidence goes some way to overcoming what Darwin called a "failure of imagination" that many people had and still have to see how tremendous change can occur given myriads of little changes accumulating over time;
  • presentation of scientific knowledge as to why sex is so important to evolution and thereby why being aware of the evolutionary origin of sex in human life as in all life is immensely important for each of us individually as well as socially.

There will be time for questions and discussion.

Charles Darwin (b. 12 Feb 1809) whose promulgation of the Theory of Evolution, or descent with modification through natural selection, has had as profound an effect on how we view and understand the natural world as any other scientific theory ever proposed.

Darwin's influence on Modern Thought. Click here for paper by Ernst Mayer

Some key points from the article: Darwin introduced historicity into science (chemistry and physics do not have this character); he rejected all supernatural explanations; he refuted typology or essentialism -which says living things are invariant and stable, they are not; variation characterises living things, refutation of typology amounts to refutation of racism amongst other things...

Access this page on the internet at and click on the Darwin Day link at the left.