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HOW NATURAL SELECTION SHAPES CONTEMPORARY “HOMO SAPIENS”

Thursday, April 17, 6:00 pm
Have modern sanitation and medicine stopped human evolution, as some claim? Does the pressure for sexual selection of males constrain the evolution of females, and vice versa? Does having children shorten or extend life? Analyzing the data from the renowned Framingham Heart Study, evolutionary biologist Stephen Stearns, in this Evolution Matters lecture, will explore how natural selection has shaped women’s bodies and physical health, and how reproduction has affected women’s average lifespan.

 
THE EXTREME LIFE OF THE SEA

WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 7:00 PM
In this lecture and book signing, marine scientist Stephen Palumbi will draw on his newest book, The Extreme Life of the Sea, to explore the spectacular life forms, such as blind zombie worms, ageless jellyfish, and the unicorn-like narwhal, that thrive at the ocean’s most brutal limits. From the icy Arctic to boiling hydrothermal vents and pitch-dark trenches, Palumbi looks at extreme habitats and considers how humans may be driving dramatic changes to the ocean’s ecosystem.

 
FINAL FLIGHT: The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

Final Flight marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the last passenger pigeon, a species that once filled North America’s skies by the billions. In this small exhibit, see one of the world’s last mounted specimens of this now vanquished bird and learn how its extinction inspired the protection of other species.