It’s almost Darwin Day!
I just learned that Cornell is going all out: 5 days of events celebrating Darwin’s birthday, on February 9-13. That’s darned good.
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is doing something slightly smaller in scale on Friday, 10 February, in an afternoon event sponsored by the Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists. I don’t have all the details yet, other than the rather important fact (to me, at least) that I’m one of the speakers. I’m planning to talk on “What Darwin Didn’t Know,” giving a brief overview of some examples of the kind of evidence uncovered in the last 25 years that has greatly strengthened evolutionary theory. I’ll put up a schedule here as I learn more.
We aren’t having a specific Darwin Day event here at UMM…well, other than the traditional cake and ice cream I’m planning to have with the family on that Sunday. However, the Cafe Scientifique Morris for February is going to be me, talking about evolution and creationism. That’s also imprecisely scheduled at this point—we’re going to try out a new venue, I hope, and one of the things I have to do this week is run around and work that out.
I know, I know—Darwin Day is over a week away, and you just can’t wait. If you’re in the Twin Cities, here’s something to whet your whistle: a talk tonight on creationism.
7:00 pm – James Curtsinger – Ten things to know about creationism
James Curtsinger will give a presentation on “Ten Things to Know about Creationism”.
From the presentation: Creationists fall into young-earth and old-earth camps. The former include biblical literalists who believe that the geologic column was formed by a Noachian Flood. Their “scientific creationism” suffered major setbacks in the 1980’s. “Intelligent design”, conceived as a movement in the 1990’s, is smarter, better educated, old-earth creationism. I.D. has popular support, but is soundly rejected by professionals, and was embarrassed in the recent Dover trial. The important battleground for these issues is the public high school science classroom. Surveys show that 20% of MN public high school science teachers teach creationism. Evangelical atheists worsen the general problem. Universities house technical and scientific expertise, but do not generally cultivate the kind of outreach needed to address this issue.
Coffman Student Union Room 323
I’d love to attend myself, but I’m feeling that exhausted sensation that comes from the first few frantic weeks of classes, and I don’t think I can push another long drive to Minneapolis on my workload right now. If any of my readers go—send me a report! It sounds fun!