The New York State Museum is an internationally recognized research and education institution. Our research legacy can be traced to our founding as the New York State Geological and Natural History Survey in 1836. The primary focus of the research mission of the New York State Museum has been the investigation of the diversity and history of life on earth. The central concept guiding this effort since 1859 has been the scientific theory of evolution. A scientific theory unifies explanations of observed phenomena and provides a framework for the formulation and evaluation of hypotheses that ask questions related to those explanations. The theory of evolution is central to the scientific understanding of how life originated on earth and how it continually changes and diversifies.
Under predator-driven selection some populations
of Banded Purple butterflies mimic the toxic Pine-vine
swallowtail butterfly. The entire range of Banded Purple
morphs, pictured here, is part of the Museum’s
For more information about the New York State Museum, its mission, vision, and plans, contact the State Museum Office of Communication, 3099, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY 12230