synopsis of the exhibition

This exhibition explores the extraordinary life and discoveries of Charles Darwin, whose striking insights in the 19th century forever changed the perception of the origin of our own species as well as the myriad other species on this planet and launched modern biological science. Visitors of all ages will experience the wonders Darwin witnessed on his journey as a curious and adventurous young man aboard the HMS Beagle on its historic five-year voyage (1831-1836) to the Galapagos Islands and beyond.

The exhibition features live Galapagos tortoises and an iguana and horned frogs from South America, along with actual fossil specimens collected by Darwin and the magnifying glass he used to examine them. Darwin will feature an elaborate reconstruction of the naturalist's study at Down House, where, as a revolutionary observer and experimenter, he proposed the scientific theory that all life evolves according to the mechanism called natural selection. The objects on display, coupled with illuminating text, will provide a clear understanding of the patterns he observed among species, which led to his life's work and publication of the astonishing and brilliant Origin of Species, wherein he assembled the massive evidence of life's diversity, animal and plant domestication, and the geologic and fossil record for his theory of evolution.

Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory is central to science and is the foundation for all of modern biology. Yet, outside of the scientific community, the theory has been the subject of controversy that extends from the time of the publication of The Origin of Species nearly 150 years ago to the present day. The exhibition will address various controversies that have arisen surrounding the theory, since it was first put forward. The exhibition will also clarify the distinction between scientific theories and nonscientific explanations about the origin and diversity of life.

The Exhibition is divided into the following sections:
  1. Introduction
  2. World Before Darwin
  3. Young Naturalist
  4. A Trip Around the World
  5. The Idea Takes Shape
  6. A Life's Work
  7. Evolution Today
  8. Legacy
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