Noemí Durán - Natural Selection, Epigenetics, and Environment
Noemí Durán is a biologist specialized in animal behavior. She has a PhD in Marine Biology from Loma Linda University and is the director of the European headquarters of the Geoscience Research Institute.
Noemí Durán - In the Beginning, There Was Love
“Survival of the fittest" and “struggle for existence." You have probably heard these expressions before, likely in connection with one of the most famous concepts in evolution: natural selection. Competition and violence are presented as the necessary tool that allowed for the emergence of biodiversity, in contrast with the biblical account of a “very good" creation. In this talk, Dr. Durán illustrates fascinating examples of altruism and cooperation in the animal world, challenging the dominant narrative and pointing back to the time when animals were designed to show the loving character of God.
The Theory of Evolution
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was based on natural selection as the engine of change in living beings. Later, with the advances in genetics, mutation was added to the theory as the source of the variations on which natural selection would act. The mutation-natural selection binomial thus became the main mechanism proposed for biological diversity. Do mutation and natural selection have the creative capacity assigned to them? Can they transform an organism into a different one by means of small changes accumulated over a long period of time? Are there other natural mechanisms that can do the job?
Natural Selection and Altruism
Altruistic behaviors are a challenge to the theory of evolution because those organisms that put the benefit of others ahead of their own should be eliminated by natural selection. However, altruistic behaviors are relatively common in nature. In this session we explore some examples of collaboration, empathy, and altruism in plants and animals. We also discuss how these behaviors are explained depending on the worldview of the researchers.
Leonard R. Brand - Science, Evolution, and Fossils
Leonard R. Brand is a researcher and professor of Biology and Paleontology at Loma Linda University. He has published his research in scientific journals and has a PhD from Cornell University.