Ken Miller visits Minnesota

He’s going to be St Catherine’s in St Paul on 8 April. I may have to make the trip out there myself, even though these mid-week round-trip drives are killers. Anyway, if you want to go, you need to reserve tickets (which are free) ahead of time — follow the link for more information.


  1. Eric says

    This looks very interesting! Thanks for the heads up. I’ve reserved my seat. I plan on picking up a copy of his book at the event if his lecture is palatable. I’m always interested in what arguments otherwise intelligent people give for belief in any god and the absurd notion of the Abrahamic god.

  2. James F says

    If it’s like his talk on Only a Theory in the Boston area, it will be a takedown of ID, a discussion of some of the “academic freedom” bills and other attempts to get antievolution measures into the public school curricula, and promotion of the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. Always a top-notch lecture, highly recommended.

  3. JScarry says

    PZ, With all of your traveling I think it’s time you got your pilot’s license. It makes the kind of trips you do a breeze.

  4. Kitty'sBitch says

    Great speaker, highly recommended.
    Very pleasant style and throws in just enough humor.
    Of course PZ has a much better beard.

  5. ennui says

    PZ, if you could ask Dr. Miller just one thing during Q&A, would it be about fine-tuning arguments, the insufferable douchenozzle John Kwok, or something else?

  6. rrt says

    If you and Ken do an after-talk pub thing, PZ, I would happily pay for a copy of your table’s conversation. I suppose pub noise would make that tough… :(

  7. Anonymous says

    I am reminded of something Rickard Dawkins once pointed out in a round table interview.

    According to him, in many major fields (specifically including Biology), only a few percent of scientists self-identify as strict rationalists from a religious perspective — as atheists, skeptical agnostics or narrow deists. However, in terms of credentials and renoun, all of the top one percent of the same fields self-idenitfy as strict rationalists.

    This suggests to me that religion and a rational-no-exceptions worldview can coexist — but only through compartmentalization, and perhaps with side effects on science.

    Just a thought.

  8. Anonymous says

    Re 13:

    Whoops, my comment should have been posted under the John Stewart thread. Sorry about that.

  9. Sarah says

    JScarry: PZ, With all of your traveling I think it’s time you got your pilot’s license. It makes the kind of trips you do a breeze.

    I thought the same thing. If PZ is near Morris it would be less than an hour to STP even in my bug-smasher.

  10. AnthonyK says

    I’d like to see Ken Miller too, he obviously has a most entertaining style, and has made the bacterial flagellum and the “human chromosome deficit” argument all his own.Just don’t be too friendly otherwise John Kwok will have nothing left to complain about – apart from all the other things he has to complain about, of course.
    And…I just can’t praise Don Prothero’s Evolution, what the fossils say and why it matters too highly – apart from anything else it’s a very handsome hardback book stuffed with fossil photos. One to savour.

  11. squall25 says

    Just wanted to give everyone a heads up. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast for March 12, in iTunes, has an interview with Ken Miller for your information.

  12. Sophist FCD says

    He’s going to be St Catherine’s in St Paul on 8 April.

    That’s a pretty neat trick.

  13. Faithful Reader says

    The talk he gave at our college last year was great and as described by James in #8.

    The lecture was packed but we actually have a couple semi-closeted creationists “you don’t have to ‘believe’ in evolution” people on our science faculty! People whom I used to respect considerably. There are many students in our semi-rural area who feel the same as those faculty, unfortunately.

    It’s really time to buy that Darwin fish for my car, potential vandals or no.

  14. eddie says

    Armand Marie LeRoi prog on evo devo now on BBC2. I missed 1st half hour but I-Player will save the day.
    Haeckel the hero more than Darwin.

  15. Skyler says

    Ken Miller needs a blog. Or maybe he doesn’t….that may be part of what makes him cool. He gets to ‘guest’ blog on others =)

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every interview/lecture I’ve heard of his, and I wish I could go to this one! He’s extremely smart, articulate, respectful, and expresses the place and need of science better than any other scientist I’ve listened to.

    He had an absolutely wonderful interview on Skeptic’s Guide…

  16. Kitty'sBitch says

    AnthonyK #18
    I’ll second that.
    He’s got a new one coming out too. Don’t know much about it yet.

  17. SphinctOr says

    Dammit Minnesota!
    Why do you get all the cool evolution people?

    No offense people of Florida!

  18. JPS says

    Saw him in Wilmington, NC, in February, 2008. 99% why evolution works and Behe is nuts, with some defense of religion in the Q&A. Funny, articulate, and to the point. I did grill him on the “God of the quanta” stuff from Finding Darwin’s God, and he was pretty forthright in his response that he has to put God somewhere, after all, or he couldn’t be a Christian. As much as I admire his talent as a speaker and writer, I wondered how it hasn’t occurred to him that it might just be easier to put God nowhere.

  19. SimonH says

    As someone who has only an armchair understanding of Science I really appreciate the clear and informative way Ken Miller explains the more complex aspects of Evolution. He is both humorous and gracious in his responses to questions, but simultaneously forthright in his conviction that creationism and ID are wrong. As a clergyman I ask the same questions that he does, and I am grateful that he provides the answers (or most of the answers). I would love him to come over to Ireland as we have more than our fair share of creationists here – around 25% according to a recent poll

  20. PeterKarim says

    “St Catherine in St Paul” does not make much sense, St Paul in St Catherine on the other hand, conjures funny images of interlocked halos.

  21. Rick Schauer says

    What? A chance for a beer with PZ after he trounces another believer? I’d chew my right arm off for that honor.

    I suggest Plums, on the corner of Snelling and Randolf (east of St. Kate’s) as the site of the after-glow.

  22. says

    Does anyone have a link to an answer he has given, or has personally heard him explain, how he can be a rational scientist and still believe in a god? The two just don’t reconcile to me.

    I thought that would be something he gets asked constantly, and I can’t find a thing via Google.

  23. says

    @Squall25 – thanks for the PDF!

    So he basically says that for many Christians within Humanities lack of understanding lies a god, but to Ken, he believes that for the fact that there are so many amazing things, then there is a god. It seems like the argument of his everyday Christian, and his argument that a god is evident in the amazing things we see, are both an argument from incredulity – i.e., “because I can’t see it, or I can’t imagine otherwise, it must be God.”

    That’s kind of disappointing to me that he can’t see that for himself. Either that, or I’m the idiot, which is all too possible.

  24. John Kwok says

    @ Skyler –

    Ken is too busy to have a blog. He’s teaching introductory biology at Brown now. But he does have a lot of material, including videos from his talks posted here:

    @ PZ –

    Instead of “visiting” with Ken on April 8th, maybe you ought to head to the Twin Cities to see this:

    Anyway, I think I’ll be hearing the Minnesota Orchestra in May when they visit New York City. Did I ever tell you that I regard them as one of America’s best orchestras? Am not surprised that their ongoing series of Beethoven symphony cycle recordings with Music Director Osmo Vanska conducting has received much critical and popular praise.

  25. says

    Unfortunately, it looks like I wont be able to make it…my transportation is now in a junk yard, so I’m going to be moping around Morris instead. Too bad, I would have liked to meet Ken Miller.