Darwin Day will be celebrated with free admission at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum as a part of its annual Darwin Day observance on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Darwin Day includes several talks, a discussion panel and a variety of activities for children.

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science that occurs around Feb. 12, which is the birthday of Charles Darwin, who was born in in 1809.  The mission of Darwin Day is to recognize the scientific accomplishments of Darwin and his description of evolution through natural selection as well as to explain the far-reaching impact of evolutionary science.

“As we at the Natural History Museum observe Darwin Day, we are dedicated to providing the public with scientific information regarding evolution and other topics in a thought-provoking but informal setting,” said Dr. Blaine Schubert, museum director.

The schedule for Darwin Day includes:

  • Noon – “The Evolution of Bipedalism among Human Ancestors,” presented by Dr. Bill Duncan, ETSU Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Dr. Duncan will discuss the origins of bipedalism, or walking upright on two legs, and how it might have evolved, perhaps through tool use, body temperature regulation, or identification of predators.
  • 1:00 p.m. – “The Myth of the Missing Link,” by Dr. Blaine Schubert, museum director and ETSU Department of Geosciences.Dr. Schubert will address ongoing questions on whether gaps in the fossil record indicate holes in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Activities for children will be held throughout the day, including lessons on such topics as human evolution and why humans are primates, how natural selection works, and understanding geologic time evidence from fossil records.

For more information, call the museum at (423) 439-3659, email info@grayfossilsite.com, or visit www.etsu.edu/naturalhistorymuseum.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.