Week long science celebration of Darwin

Feb. 12 was Charles Darwin’s 201st birthday.

He wrote his book, “The Origin of Species,” 150 years ago.

The biology department will present “Darwin Days” to the public throughout the week in celebration of Darwin.

Event coordinator Stephen Mullin said he thinks people, especially non-scientists, should understand Darwin’s ideas.

“For example, thanks to the evolutionary process, we can develop a vaccine for the swine flu,” he said.

Mullin said, when teaching biology at Eastern, evolution is always woven in, despite other viewpoints.

“There is a professional, as well as personal, interest,” he said. “It’s not that his ideas are challenged, it’s that non-science is taught in science classrooms.”

Mullin argues that teaching both religious and scientific perspectives is a poor method of teaching.

“People should understand (Darwin’s) contributions and the impact of his contributions,” Mullin said.

Zhiwei Liu, a biology professor and a coordinator for one of the events, said the event is an international celebration of Darwin and his revolutionary ideas on evolution.

“Without evolution, science doesn’t really make sense,” Lui said.

Lui said the biology department has the responsibility to promote science and the ideas of Darwin across campus.

“It’s a university celebration,” Lui said. “It happens across the world every year.”

The week will begin today with the movie “Darwin’s Dangerous Ideas” at 5 p.m. in Room 3080 of the Life Sciences building.

Heather Holm can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].