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'Evolving' lecture teaches about Darwin using art

By KSL.com | Posted - Feb. 13, 2012 at 12:59 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — It is a teaching technique you may never have seen before: discussing Charles Darwin's impact on science with a visual twist.

Dr. Daniel Fairbanks, a geneticist at Utah Valley University, incorporated sculpture into his lecture Wednesday on Darwin's scientific legacy.

Often, when we think of evolution, the first name that comes to mind is Charles Darwin, but some are uncomfortable with the idea of evolution.

"I have great admiration for Darwin as a biologist," Fairbanks said. "Darwin, of course, is one of the most influential figures in my field of study."

The idea is to bring science and art together, which is what comes to mind when we talk about Darwin.

"As a scientist and an artist I'd like to bring the two together and use this as a way to promote science," he said. "I like to try to time the lectures so that I have Darwin looking as he did when he published the origin of the species."

During the lecture, you see Darwin age.

The scientist's lambchop sideburns give way to a more familiar long beard. Eventually, the Darwin most people are familiar with emerges.

"Science and art really do come together in many ways, and this is a great way to do it," Fairbanks said.

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