The challenges of anthropology and the origin of art, on the 2016 Bilbao Darwin Day

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On 12th February, the birth of Charles Darwin, the author of the theory of evolution by natural selection, will be commemorated in Bilbao. The Bidebarrieta library will hold conferences by Carmen Manzano, professor of Anthropology of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, and Diego Gárate, archaeologist of the Bizkaia Archaeological Museum. A questions and answers session will take place after the conferences, where the attendees may ask the speakers. Access to the event is free and will begin at 19 hours.

Manzano will offer a conference under the title “The Homo genus: what we know and what we think we know”, which will analyse the main questions anthropology must answer in years to come: What was the species prior to the Homo genus like? When did the main attributes of the Homo sapiens, such as bipedalism or brain growth appear?

Meanwhile, Gárate’s conference is titled “The first artists: tracing the origins of symbolic expression”. He will address the human ability to create for aesthetic purposes and to share ideas: when it began to develop, if the Homo sapiens shares it with other species or not, and how and when the first art expressions began… The scientist will expound on the small revolution that has taken place in research on the origin of art in the past years.


Carmen Manzano is an anthropology professor and researcher. She has participated in over 40 research projects that have resulted in over 30 publications in high-impact journals, multiple appearances in conferences, a patent and seven research contracts.

Diego Gárate is an archaeological technician at the Bizkaia Archaeological Museum. His research has focused on the origin and development of Palaeolithic art in the Cantabrian region and the artistic connections between this area and the decorated caves in the Pyrenees.

Darwin Day

Darwin Day has been celebrated in Bilbao since 2007. Leading figures from science and dissemination, such as Francisco J. Ayala, Pilar Carbonero, Juan Luis Arsuaga and Manuel Toharia, among others, have participated in it, turning this event into a must for fans of science and culture in general in Bizkaia’s capital.

This event is organised by the Chair of Scientific Culture of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, the Círculo Escéptico and Bilbao City Council. El Correo newspaper, CIC bioGUNE, Bizkaia Biophysics Foundation and the Aula Espazio Gela of the UPV/EHU are backing the event.


Start date:
February 12th, 2016
End date:
February 12th, 2016
from 19:00 to 21:00


Biblioteca de Bidebarrieta
Bidebarrieta, 4

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