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EVOLUTION

New Exhibition Opens April 18 at Harvard Museum of Natural History  

On Saturday, April 18, 2009, the Harvard Museum of Natural History will open EVOLUTION, a new permanent exhibition dedicated to the concept that revolutionized biology and continues to inform current research. Harvard scientists have been leaders in the debate and study of evolution since the time of Charles Darwin, and the University remains a center of some of the most important and exciting new research in the field.

Leveraging the latest in this research and Harvard’s rich natural history collections, EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. EVOLUTION will showcase evolutionary transitions such as life’s move from water to land—the recent discovery of the ‘missing link’ between fish and land animals—and the emergence of mammals. Visitors will observe some of the animals and plants that sparked Darwin’s theory of natural selection; view dramatic displays of diversity within species; and access computer simulations to learn how natural selection acts on such variation to produce evolutionary change. EVOLUTION will offer behind-the-scenes looks at ongoing evolution research at Harvard from exciting new discoveries about human origins to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin's Finches.

University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin will offer the exhibition opening lecture, Finding Your Inner Fish, on Thursday April 16th. Shubin has made international headlines with his team’s recent discovery of the 375-million-year-old fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseaedubbed the “missing link” between fish and land animals. To celebrate the opening of the museum’s EVOLUTION exhibit, Shubin, the author of Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion Year History of the Human Body, will discuss the evolutionary baggage that we carry in our human genetic lineage that originated in lower animals. The lecture will take place April 16th at 6 pm and is free and open to the public.   

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA, a 6 minute walk from the Harvard Square T station. The Museum is handicapped accessible. For general information please call 617.495.3045 or see the Plan your visit page.

   

Harvard Museum of Natural History
With a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, the Harvard Museum of Natural History draws on the University’s collections and research to present a historic and interdisciplinary exploration of science and nature. More than 165,000 visitors annually make it the University’s most-visited museum.  


The EVOLUTION press release is available for download in pdf format.