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In the Light of Evolution III:
Two Centuries of Darwin

Organizered by John C. Avise and Francisco J. Ayala

January 15-17, 2009
Irvine, CA

Meeting Overview:
The year 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his most influential publication, On the Origin of Species, in which he developed the equally revolutionary concept that a natural but non-random process—natural selection—yields biological adaptations that otherwise can give a superficial impression of intelligent conscious design.

This colloquium brought together leading evolutionary biologists and science historians to reflect upon and commemorate the Darwinian Revolution. One goal of this symposium was to canvass modern scientific thought and research approaches regarding each of the three main categories of selection (natural, artificial, and sexual) that Darwin addressed during his career. Although Darwin is associated most often with his elucidation of natural selection in The Origin, he also thought and wrote extensively about artificial and sexual selection, as reflected for example in two other books titled, respectively, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (1869) and The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871). Other goals of this colloquium were to place Darwin’s seminal contributions in historical perspective, and in general to celebrate Darwin’s ongoing scientific legacy.

Video Available

I.  Natural Selection: Adaptation to Nature
Introduction, John C. Avise, University of California, Irvine

 Selection in Action During Speciation
Sara Via, University of Maryland

 Adaptive Radiations
Scott Hodges, UC Santa Barbara

 The corresponding evolutionary histories of euglenozoans and dinoflagellates:
cascades of convergent evolution or accumulation of oddities?

Julius Lukes, Institute of Parasitology, České Budějovice

 The Genetics of Ecological Speciation - it is Different?
Dolph Schluter, University of British Columbia

II.  Artificial Selection: Adaptation to Human Demands
Chair, Dolph Schluter, University of British Columbia

 The Genetic Architecture of an Adaptive Trait: Maize Flowering Time
Ed Buckler, Cornell University

From Wild Animals to Domestic Pets
Stephen O’Brien, National Cancer Institute

 Unnatural Selection: Human-induced Evolution in Wild Animals
Fred Allendorf, University of Montana

 Pathways of adaptive protein evolution: lessons from directed evolution
Frances Arnold, California Institute of Technology

Keynote Lecture
Introduction, Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine

Beyond Biology: Darwin's Revolution and Society
Daniel C. Dennett, Tufts University

III.  Sexual Selection: Adaptation to Mating Demands
Chair, Julius Lukes, Institute of Parasitology, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

 Mate Choice and Sexual Selection: What Have We Learned Since Darwin?
Adam Jones, Texas A&M

 It's About Time: Reproductive Decisions Under Ecological Constraints
Patty Gowaty, University of California, Los Angeles

 Sexual Selection and Mating Systems
Stephen Shuster, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

 Missing Pieces of Darwin’s Puzzle
William Eberhard, STRI Costa Rica

Session IV:  The Darwinian Legacy: 150 Years Later
Chair, John C. Avise, University of California, Irvine

 Darwin and the Scientific Method
Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine

 The Darwinian Revolution
Michael Ruse, Florida State University

 The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin, Madison

 Darwin’s Place in the History of Science
Robert Richards, University of Chicago

Concluding Remarks, John C. Avise, University of California, Irvine


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