An evolutionary explanation of love and the challenges of epigenetics, on Darwin Day 2017 in Bilbao

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On 13 February Bidebarrieta Library is hosting the 11th Darwin Day, a day that commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the author of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. This event, which will start at 7pm, includes two talks by the Dean of the UNED’s Faculty of Philosophy, Jesús Zamora Bonilla, and Professor of Genetics at the UPV/EHU Ana Aguirre.

After these talks there will be a discussion in which the audience will be able to take part. Admission is free but attendees need to pick up an invite at the library.

Zamora will talk about “The survival of the loveliest: the Darwinian view of love” and the different types of reproduction that exist in nature, and about the appearance of emotional bonds like love and friendship in humans. He will also give an explanation, from the point of view of evolution, of the psychological phenomenon of falling in love, and sex as a biological phenomenon.

Aguirre will give a talk called “One thousand and one sides of epigenetics”. She will explain how, after determining the genome sequences of a good number of species, science is working hard to discover how these genomes work. For example, epigenetic changes are being researched. These are an essential mechanism to ensure the correct functioning of organisms and enable them to adapt to the environment. In the field of human health, it has been discovered that epigenetics play a key role in processes such as ageing and cancer.


Jesús Zamora Bonilla is Professor of Logic and Science Philosophy, and is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the National Distance Education University (UNED). His research has been focused mainly on the problem of rationality in science, especially from the point of view of the rationality of scientists seen as social agents. He also has wide experience in scientific dissemination.

Ana Aguirre is Professor of Genetics in the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). She has taken part in research into the genetic characterisation of human groups, the detection of genotoxic products and the identification of genetic factors in Huntington’s disease, amongst other fields. She has also worked to disseminate the breakthroughs achieved in the field of genetics.

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.


February 13th, 2017
from 19:00 to 20:30


Bidebarrieta Liburutegia
Bidebarrieta kalea, 4

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