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Science and Ideas Group - The Evolution of Beauty

Thursday, March 9, 2023, 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM
via Zoom - details below:
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Joseph D Evinger
Interest Group
Registration is recommended
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RSVP:  Joseph Evinger (

When: Every 2nd Thursday of the month, 3:00-4:30 pm

Where: Zoom

Meeting ID: 848 0146 1083
Passcode: science

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        +1 669 900 9128
Meeting ID: 848 0146 1083 

Open to: All

Science and Ideas Group Presents

The Evolution of Beauty - How birds got their colors, their songs, and their displays

Roger Newman, Ashby Village Member and Volunteer


Darwin’s great idea, that Natural Selection shapes the evolution of all life, is the bedrock of modern biology. Less well known is his theory of Sexual Selection, the idea that mating choices also guide the evolution of species.


Nowhere is this great concept more apparent than in the class Aves or birds of the world. Join us to see, hear and discuss the magnificent variety of beauty in their world. We will witness the beauty of song birds in both coloration and mating calls. Local birds that we all are familiar with will be featured, as well as some of the more outrageous displays of birds of paradise, manakins, and many others.


Ornithologists debate whether their vast array of colors and displays has arisen solely from adaptation in natural selection, or could it also be an aesthetic sense that has guided their variation? In the bird world, most often it is the females who choose their mates and their choices have had some pretty wonderful results. And why do their aestheric choices so often match our own sense of beauty?


Roger is a retired instructor of anthropology, history and environmental studies. The guiding concept for him has been the unfolding of evolution, in all its marvelous forms. Additionally, Roger has had a hobbyist’s interest in birds and bird-watching for many years and has traveled widely in search of these gems of nature.