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    13 February 2006

    Darwin Week - Charleston, SC

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    I have trouble believing this given the level of wingnutia in my part of the country:
    On the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin, ministers at several hundred churches around the country preached yesterday against recent efforts to undermine the theory of evolution, asserting that the opposition many Christians say exists between science and faith is false.

    At St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, a small contemporary structure among the pricey homes of north Atlanta, the Rev. Patricia Templeton told the 85 worshipers gathered yesterday, "A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all."

    In the basement of an apartment building in Evanston, Ill., the Rev. Mitchell Brown said to the 21 people who came to services at the Evanston Mennonite Church that Darwin's theories in fact had compelled people to have faith rather than look for "special effects" to confirm the existence of God.

    "He forced religion to grow up, to become, really, faith for the first time," Mr. Brown said. "The life of community, that is where we know God today."

    But anyway, the College of Charleston is hosting its 6th anual celebration of Darwin Week in Charleston.

    Today:
    Monday, February 13 - Dr. Michael Ruse
    Molecules to Men: Progress in Biology from Diderot to Dawkins.

    What is the nature of progress and what is its relationship to evolution? Dr. Ruse considers this question from the 18th century perspective of Diderot to the 21st century perspective of Dawkins. Why did Darwin and Mendel not destroy the idea of progress and why does it flourish now?
    4:00 PM, Stern Center Ballroom. Sponsored by the Biology Club.

    The Evolution-Creation Struggle
    There is a major dispute today in America over the truth about origins -- did organisms including humans come as the end process of a long evolution, as described by Charles Darwin, or are we somehow miraculously produced as described in Genesis (or by Intelligent Design)? Dr. Ruse will trace the dispute back to the Enlightenment, show why it is an American dispute, and offer reasons for its long persistence.
    7:00 PM, Second Presbyterian Church sanctuary. Reception and book signing to follow in the fellowship hall.

    Dr. Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. He is the author of over twenty books, including Darwin and Design (Harvard), The Evolution Wars (Rutgers), and Can a Darwinian be a Christian (Cambridge). His visit is sponsored by the congregations of First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, Second Presbyterian Church, the Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery, Circular Congregational Church, and the College of Charleston School of Science and Math.



    Tomorrow:

    Tuesday, February 14 - Dr. Jeffrey Camper, Dr. Wade Worthen, and Dr. Michael Svec
    Teaching Evolution in Turbulent Times.
    Critics of evolutionary theory are mounting assaults on public school curricula across the USA. South Carolina's 2005 high school evolution standards have not been spared from the controversy. In this three-part presentation, Drs Camper, Worthen and Svec will describe the philosophy of science, the scientific merits of evolutionary theory, and the pedagogical issues surrounding the latest debates. This presentation will be particularly useful for school teachers.
    4:00 PM
    , CofC Science Center Room 121.

    Dr. Jeffrey D. Camper is associate professor of biology at Francis Marion University, Dr. Wade B. Worthen is Professor of Biology at Furman University, and Dr. Michael Svec is Professor of Education at Furman University. Their visit is sponsored by the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math.



    Posted by Geoff

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