Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution

Free Public Lecture and Book Signing

Jonathan Losos, Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America; Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Curator in Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Nature abounds with instances of convergence: structures or adaptations that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists, most notably Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould, also point out examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a different course. What role does each force play in the natural world? Are today’s plants, animals and humans, inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? Jonathan Losos will discuss these questions and more as he presents content from his new book Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution.

The Evolution Matters Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit.

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