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Charles Darwin symposium welcome and introduction

Craddock Morton, National Museum of Australia

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Museum director Craddock Morton launches a symposium for examining and understanding the life and times of Charles Darwin, the impact of his published work and his scientific legacy. Includes an introduction by ABC Radio National science broadcaster Robyn Williams.

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darwin, science

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Human evolution: fossils surprising, fossils predicted

Professor Colin Groves, Australian National University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Archaeologist Colin Groves outlines the fossil history of human evolution. He examines how some parts of the human fossil record appear to depict gradual change, while others seem better interpreted by the model of punctuated equilibria.

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archaeology, darwin, science

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Darwin and social Darwinism: the political use and abuse of natural selection

Tony Barta, La Trobe University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Tony Barta examines to what extent Charles Darwin’s ideas were misused by others and discusses the tragic effect of Darwinian eugenics in Australia and Germany.

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darwin, science

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A lunatic idea: British science and evolution on the eve of Darwin’s Origin of Species

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Iain McCalman explores the dominant scientific attitudes to ideas of evolution in Britain in the years before Darwin’s Origin is published. He explains why evolution was widely regarded as a lunatic theory and was resisted so fiercely.

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darwin, science

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Evolutionary change in agriculture – the past, present and future

Dr Jeremy Burdon, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

The impact of adaptation and evolution on the development of modern agricultural crops and the use of genetically modified technologies is outlined by evolutionary biologist Jeremy Burdon.

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agriculture, darwin, science

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Darwin’s experiences in Australia

Professor Frank Nicholas, University of Sydney

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Frank Nicholas from the School of Veterinary Science outlines Charles Darwin’s visit to Australia on the HMS Beagle in 1836. What Darwin saw contributed to the wealth of evidence he assembled from around the world showing that species have evolved.

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darwin, exploration, science

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Social reactions to Origin

Dr Barry Butcher, Deakin University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Barry Butcher explores the work of four Australians who contributed to the growing corpus of Darwinian science from the 1860s to the 1890s: William Edward Hearn, Robert David Fitzgerald, Walter Baldwin Spencer and Alexander Sutherland.

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darwin, science

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Evolution and creationism

Professor Neil Ormerod, Australian Catholic University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Theologian Neil Ormerod examines debates over creationism, creation science and intelligent design, and how they muddied the waters of what was held in the Catholic Encyclopedia over 100 years ago regarding the theory of evolution.

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darwin, science, spirituality

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Charles Darwin symposium closing address

Robyn Williams, ABC Radio National

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Science journalist and broadcaster Robyn Williams presents a humorous summary of proceedings from the Charles Darwin symposium.

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darwin, science

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‘A theory to work with’: On The Origin of Species and its contemporary reception

Professor Paul Turnbull, Griffith University

Charles Darwin series, 26 February 2009

Historian Paul Turnbull summarises Charles Darwin’s arguments in Origin, its diverse reception in British and European circles from 1860 to 1900, and how the natural history of humanity came to be envisaged in Darwinian terms.

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darwin, science

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