Darwin: Origens & Evolução

“In North America, the black bear was seen […] swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the county, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale.”

— Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1859

Darwin’s style is indeed amazing, a realm of powerful ideas lying behind simple questions. Inspired on the theory and the history of the naturalist, the exhibition DARWIN: ORIGENS E EVOLUÇÃO celebrates the slow and relentless journey of questions, hypotheses and evidences that have paved the way for the theory of the evolution of species, which is currently acknowledged worldwide.

The exhibition is the outcome of the readings of Darwin’s work, of the fascination with the text that teaches us to observe, but, most of all, it is the outcome of the exchanges among curators, artists and scientific institutions that preserve and re-signify the biologic, cultural and ancestral history of mankind.

From the encounter with this house that welcomes us to the investigation of the Rio de Janeiro collections and the collaboration with contemporary artists, the exhibition aims at reliving Darwin’s journey based on a current interpretation of our history, in an open and unique way.

The period is one of fascinating discoveries, extinct creatures and fossils that tell the story of a past that escapes our eyes and goes beyond our understanding. Step by step, the evolution of species uncovers the triviality of human existence. It teaches us, humans, that we are the offspring of evolutionary pressures that have been at work for thousands of years, just like any other living creature, from the grasshopper to the giraffe. In this sense, we are not special at all.

The exhibition also tackles the struggle experienced by Darwin before publishing his theory, once he knew that what he had in his hands would change the course of History forever. 

Culture at the heart of science – and vice versa

The publication of the book The Origin of Species in 1845 was a true scientific revolution and inaugurated the study of biology as it is known today. But this impact was not restricted to the laboratories: the implications and ramifications of the Charles Darwin’s discoveries instigated questions in philosophy, psychology, and in the most diverse theories about the functioning of human societies. For this very reason it is important not only to know the postulates of this theory, but also to understand the process by which the scientist arrived at these conclusions, and on what repertoire – scientific and cultural – he built his observations upon.

SESI-SP – as an entity dedicated to education of excellence- is well aware of the importance of promoting scientific knowledge with all its intricacies and processes. In this exhibition, which combines biological and artistic collection with interactive activities and informative texts, audiences of all ages can learn and reflect on the theory of evolution and its author. When art meets science, it is knowledge that gains.