March 10, 2009
Student societies sponsoring Darwin anniversary events
The Beta Beta Beta biology honor society and the Philosophy Club/Phi Sigma Tau honor society are sponsoring a continuing series of campus events to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist largely responsible for the idea that species evolve through natural selection.
Darwin, who was born on Feb. 12, 1809, published his most famous work, "On the Origin of Species" in 1859.
Remaining Darwin-related events being organized by the two student organizations include:
- A lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Kieft of the University of the Colorado School of Medicine at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in Charles Johnson Theater. Kieft's presentation is titled, "Evolutionary Theory: A Critical Tool to Understand Biology and Improve Human Lives."
- A screening of "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in Charles Johnson Theater. This two-hour NOVA documentary examines the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area (Penn.) School District court case, which focused on the question of whether or not intelligent design could be viewed as science and taught in public schools.
- A panel discussion titled "Darwinian Evolution: Abuses and Misunderstandings" scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9 in Charles Johnson Theater.
Presenters during the panel discussion will include:
- Matt Johnson, instructor of history, humanities, philosophy and political science, will speak about the 1926 Scopes trial, a case that tested the Butler Act, which made it unlawful for instructors in state-funded schools in Tennessee "to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible."
- Dr. Curt Richardson, assistant professor of history, humanities, philosophy and political science, who will discuss the Lysenko affair, a Stalinist episode in the Soviet Union during which an agronomist named Trofim Lysenko initiated a set of repressive political and social campaigns in science and agriculture.
- Dr. Bela Bobo, of Missouri State University, will talk about the eugenics movement of the first half of the 20 th century, when advocates called for the controlled breeding of humans in order to achieve desirable traits and pursued pseudoscientific notions of racial purity.
For more information about these upcoming Charles Darwin anniversary events, e-mail Chris Williams at S271541@nwmisosuri.edu .