Darwin’s birthday today

Celebrations recognise the impact of Darwin’s theory of evolution on society today

Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and birthday celebrations are taking place across Australia.

Darwin published On the Origin of Species 150 years ago. His idea of evolution by natural selection revolutionised how we understand the natural world, including ourselves, and has been extended to many other fields including social science, economics, even advertising.

As part of a whole year celebrating Darwin, birthday celebrations are happening around the country today, including:

  • Eat your way through the evolutionary tree at Evolution – the Dinner at the Melbourne Museum: from primeval soup to meteroric impact surprise. The guest of honour is a great great grandson of Darwin – Chris Darwin.
  • Eat birthday cupcakes at the launch of a new Darwin installation garden display, with scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
  • A tree trunk engraved by members of Matthew Flinders 1802 exhibition and the third voyage of the Beagle in 1841 links two expeditions of Queensland’s northern coast. It is part of Charles Darwin – the reluctant revolutionary exhibition, which opens at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
  • A 12m long example of one of evolution’s success stories, the crocodilians, is on display at Supercrocodilians – Darwin’s ultimate survival story, an exhibition which opens at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
  • Celebrate with a birthday cake in the café of the Australian Garden and Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Victoria.
  • Can the nature versus nurture argument be applied even to our aesthetic taste? Denis Dutton discusses the evolution of our sense of beauty and evolution’s impact on our moral, intellectual and artistic lives when he launches his book The Art Instinct: beauty, pleasure and human evolution in Sydney.
  • Darwin‘s flea: see a flea collected by Darwin as part of Accidental Encounters, which opens at the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney. The exhibition displays correspondence between Thomas Huxley and his Australian fiancée.
  • Darwin, Wallace and the ascent of man free public lecture by Ian Cowan, hosted by the Canberra Skeptics at the Australian National University, Canberra.
  • Charles Sturt University and other scientists from both sides of the NSW-Victorian border will celebrate with cake at a morning tea and evening drinks in Albury.

For more public information about events that celebrate evolution and Darwin: www.evolutionaustralia.org.au

For interviews contact: