Celebrating 200 years of Darwin

Harold Goldstein

Professor Anthony Friscia of University of California, Los Angeles visited Pierce College Thursday in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, complete with cake and punch.
The celebration, sponsored by the Department of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences and the Associated Students Organization, took place in the Student Community Center and began at 1 p.m.
Born Feb. 12, 1809, Darwin is the British naturalist who became popular for his evolutionary theory called natural selection.
Darwin published many books during his lifetime that dealt with many subjects of natural history. “The Origin of Species,” “The Descent of Man,” “Selection in Relation to Sex,” and “The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals” are just a few of his most notable works.
Friscia narrated a special lecture about the history of Darwin and how his interest in natural history turned into a well-known theory in the field of science. Friscia also brought the audience into the lecture by telling them how to become naturalists by themselves.
“You don’t need to have any special equipment (to be a naturalist),” Friscia said. “You just need to have a keen eye and just need to observe the world.”
Friscia, who earned a B.A. in anthropology at Washington University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in biology from UCLA in 2005, was a big fan of Darwin during his time in college.
“(I started to study Darwin) not relatively too late during my Master’s degree,” he said. “In my mid-20s, I read “The Origin of Species” for the first time and it’s such a great book. It’s really fun to read and people won’t believe me, but it is.”
Many students and teachers enjoyed the festivities of the party, including Littlefoot, an 8-year-old female Galapagos tortoise brought over by a California State University, Northridge graduate who has taken care of her for more than a year. Darwin studied Galapagos birds in his mid-30s.
The lecture was sponsored by the Department of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences and the Associated Students Organization at Pierce.