In 2009, it was exactly 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years since his famous book “On the Origin of Species” was published for the first time. 150 years on, our understanding of exactly how and why evolution works has been greatly improved since the discovery of DNA and genetics.
To mark this special occasion people all over the world are celebrating the man and his work, from David Attenborough’s latest program ‘On Charles Darwin’, to events such as ‘Discover Darwin’ being held at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens in April.
EVOLUTION IN FRONT OF OUR EYES
In late 2008 a scientist named Richard Lenski working at Michigan State University in America finally finished an experiment he had spent the last 20 years working on! Amazingly he and his team managed to watch a species of bacteria called Escherichia Coli evolve in front of their very eyes. Without any outside help from the scientists the bacteria were able to evolve to live on a completely different food source from usual. This could only have taken place through evolution. To find out more about this amazing experiment follow the links below.