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Waterbury Lecture - "Darwinism and Creationism: Sibling Rivals?"

Professor Michael Ruse of Florida State University is hosting a Waterbury Lecture at Penn State on the debate between Darwinism and Creationism.

When: Oct 18, 2012 from 05:30 PM to 08:30 PM

Where: Krause Innovation Studio, Chambers Bldg.

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Michael RuseIn this talk I want to address the question of why there is such a controversy in the USA over evolution. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins and other New Atheists, Creationists are neither stupid nor immoral; yet they persist in denying one of the best confirmed theories in science. The obvious answer is that it is simply religion which is forcing the divide; but while there is obviously truth in this, I want to ask whether there is more to the story. I shall argue that what we have at stake are fundamentally different views about human beings--views that predate evolutionary thinking and go back to the Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century.

Michael Ruse, (1970 Ph.D., University of Bristol) is a Professor of Philosophy and Zoology at Florida State University. Ruse taught at the University of Guelph Canada for 35 years. In 1986 he was elected as Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the 1981 McLean v. Arkansas trial, testing the state law permitting the teaching of ‘creation science’ in the Arkansas school system; “Public schools within this State shall give balanced treatment to creation-science and to evolution-science.” The federal judge ruled that the state law was unconstitutional.

Since then Ruse has sustained a high profile as a scholar examining many issues about the schooling debate that continues even to this day. The most recent high profile ‘creation science’ legal case based on intelligent design arguments took place in Dover, PA. Ruse takes the position that it is possible to reconcile the Christian religion with Evolutionary Theory. His many books include Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction?, But is it Science?, Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology, Taking Darwin Seriously, Can a Darwinian be a Christian?, The Relationship Between Science and Religion, and The Evolution Wars. Professor Ruse is also the founder and editor of the journal, Biology & Philosophy, and editor of the “Cambridge University Press Series in the Philosophy of Biology” (8 volumes published and 10 more volumes contracted).

A reception will follow the lecture.

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Jennifer Glasgow, 814-865-1807, jsg17@psu.edu, in advance of your participation or visit.