[Taxacom] London - Systematics Association Lecture and AGM, 9thDec

James Cotton j.a.cotton at qmul.ac.uk
Thu Dec 3 06:52:20 CST 2009

The Systematics Association
Annual General Meeting and President's lecture

Gradualism: Darwin's biggest mistake?

Prof. Richard Bateman - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and University of  

The Linnean Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
Wednesday 9th December 2009, 6 pm (following AGM at 5pm)

The meeting is open to visitors. Wine will be served after the lecture
to members and guests. Please advertise this lecture as widely as you  
The associations' AGM will be held before the lecture at 5pm.

Abstract: Although Darwin's many achievements have been justly lauded
worldwide during 2009, his repeated assertions that all evolutionary  
is imperceptibly gradual have escaped serious criticism from modern
commentators. The evidence that gradual change results in speciation is
circumstantial in even the best documented cases, and usually relies on
inadequate assessments of fitness. In contrast, saltational mechanisms
requiring that radical and instantaneous phenotypic change leads  
directly to
de facto speciation are still widely ridiculed in most biological
constituencies, despite accumulating evidence of their viability. This
lecture aims to redress the balance between gradual and non-gradual
evolutionary change.
James Cotton
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Queen Mary, University of London
+44 (0)207 882 3645
j.a.cotton at qmul.ac.uk

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