Darwin Day 2016!

February 12th is the birthday of Charles Darwin, and “Darwin Day” is a global celebration of science and reason. This will be the 8th celebration in Saskatoon and the 6th year that the Saskatchewan Minister of Education has recognized February 12 as Darwin Day in Saskatchewan!

The Saskatoon Skeptics and Centre for Inquiry Saskatoon are proud to host the annual Darwin Day celebration in Saskatoon on February 13 at 1pm. Come and celebrate Darwin’s 207th birthday with 2 presentations followed by discussions, cake and coffee.

Our first speaker this year is Dr. Jeffrey Lane (pictured below), Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Lane’s lab combines theory and techniques from ecology, evolutionary biology, quantitative genetics and physiology to better understand adaptation of populations to their natural environments. They primarily work with wild mammal systems that have been studied for multiple decades. Dr. Lane will be speaking about evolutionary responses to climate change.

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Our second speaker this year is Dr. Ryan McKellar (pictured below), Research Scientist, Curator of Palaeontology, Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Dr. McKellar’s current research is focused primarily on amber inclusions and composition. His presentation is entitled Evolution through the eyes of a palaeontologist, in which we will explore the deep-time component of evolution, using case studies drawn from trilobites, as well as fossil insects preserved in amber. The fossil records of these groups provide excellent examples of diversification and extinction on a global scale. They also provide an opportunity to observe evolutionary patterns across millions of years. Darwin’s work has had a lasting impact on how palaeontologists view fossils as a source of data. Ultimately, this has made palaeontology a valuable addition to studies of the phylogeny (evolutionary relationships) and biogeography of modern organisms, even with our increasing reliance on molecular or genetic studies.

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Below is a photo from Dr. McKellar’s work of Chrysomelid beetle phylogeny.

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Schedule of Events (subject to change):

1:00 pm Introduction & 1st Presentation (Dr. Jeffrey Lane)

2:30 pm 2nd Presentation (Dr. Ryan McKellar)

3:30 pm Birthday Cake & Coffee (in the foyer – no food or drink is allowed in the theatre)

5:00 pm Pub Discussion – anyone interested can join us for further discussion & cheer – at The Congress, 215 2nd Avenue South

You are welcome to attend all or any part of the event. There will be some short activities for children.

Donations are welcome and appreciated. Suggested donation: $10 (not required). Charitable donations of $20 or more to the Centre for Inquiry are eligible for a tax receipt if contact information is provided.

Come out for an afternoon celebrating science!

We are looking for volunteers to help with the following tasks:

1) Advertising – now! share the event in your electronic or physical community board or work place. Post the poster (available soon).

2) Event set-up – 12:30pm Feb 13

3) Event assistance (e.g. door greeter, sales table, display table) – during event Feb 13

4) Event clean-up – 4:30-5pm Feb 13

Please email Kendra if you are able to help out in any way.

University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance

Are you associated with the University of Saskatchewan as a student,  employee  or alum? If so, we encourage you to join our affiliated campus group called the University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance (note that the group is supported, but not operated by CFI Saskatoon). If you are an undergraduate student, you could get even more involved by joining the group’s executive. Over the years, the USFA has done several outreach and informational events:

  • Darwin Day (in conjunction with CFI Saskatoon and Saskatoon Skeptics)
  • Blasphemy Rights Day
  • Carl Sagan Day
  • Hug an Atheist (over $1200 raised for Doctors without Borders)
  • Trivia nights
  • Pub nights

To get involved, join the student group on Facebook or Meetup.