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Canceled: Our Evolution Story Series: What Is a Species?

January 13, 2019 @ 9:45 am - 10:45 am


Have you taken some time yet to explore our Evolution Exhibit in the Library off the Becker Room? Join Ethical Society member and science educator Jim Jordan in the Hanke Room for another evolution-related 9:45 workshop!

In Charles Darwin’s 1859 seminal book, On the Origin of Species, he explained how species could arise by natural selection. In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition. The high-school biological species concept works pretty well for mammals and birds, but there are many exceptions within other vertebrate groups. It falls apart pretty quickly with many other classes of organisms. Has a better species concept been proposed?

We will explore different species constructs, including positives and pitfalls, as we discover how hard it is for a single species definition to encompass all organisms past and present. Examples will illustrate how perceived different species may be the same, how hybridization occurs be-tween “different” species, and how gene exchange between individuals can result in organismic changes and other variables. Nature is not easily defined and placed within one box, and you may leave with more questions than when you came.


January 13, 2019
9:45 am - 10:45 am
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Hanke Room
9001 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117-1003


Jim Jordan
Ethical Society Member and Science Educator