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The University of Southampton

New understanding of evolution explored at Southampton Science Café

Published: 15 July 2008

Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection comes under the spotlight this week, when the University of Southampton’s next Science Café event explores the field of ‘artificial life’, where artificial creatures evolve in worlds simulated on computers - with some extraordinary results.

Dr Richard Watson from the University of Southampton will explain that these simulations show that our current understanding of evolution is incomplete and there are some important questions that remain open. His talk ‘What we still don’t know about evolution’ will be followed by a question and answer session and an informal discussion about the issues. The event takes place from 7pm to 8.45pm on Thursday 17 July at the Soul Cellar, 78 West Marlands Road, Southampton ( ).

Richard comments: “I will show some examples of artificial evolution simulations and artificial life creatures, and also illustrate current shortcomings in our understanding of how evolution works.

“I will also talk about the kind of mechanisms that my team at Southampton has been working on to develop a more complete theory of evolution.”

The University’s Science Café aims to show how science influences our modern world. The monthly events consist of short half-hour talks by world-leading scientists on their cutting-edge scientific research, followed by a question and answer session and a discussion of the science presented and its impact, in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

The Science Café is free and no booking is necessary. Contact Dr Christian Kaiser on 023 8059 2073, email

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