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February 12, 2007

Happy Darwin Day!

Today is Charles Darwin's 198th birthday. Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. You can explore various key aspects of Darwin's theories through Gizmos.

During the famous voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, the young Darwin observed a variety of small birds on the Galapagos islands--seed eaters, insect eaters, and even woodpeckers. To his surprise, he later learned that all of these birds were finches! He reasoned that all of these different types  must have evolved from a single group of mainland finches that were blown to the islands by a storm. You can explore how some of the different beak shapes are selected for in the Rainfall and Bird Beaks Gizmo.

Darwin's observations eventually led to his famous theory of evolution by natural selection. You can explore how natural selection works in Natural Selection and Evolution: Mutation and Selection.

Late in life, Darwin became interested in the origins of humans. Some of the fossil evidence for human evolution is explored in Human Evolution - Skull Analysis.

After Darwin's death in 1882, scientists made the connection between evolution and the newly rediscovered theory of Mendelian genetics. An example of how natural selection might act on individual genes can be seen in Microevolution.

Happy birthday, Charles!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 09:38 AM | Permalink

February 02, 2007

Site Maintenance Scheduled

In order to perform routine maintenance, the ExploreLearning site will be unavailable from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM Saturday, 02/03/2007.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you.

Posted by ExploreLearning at 09:34 AM in Site Status/Known Issues | Permalink