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Scientific American Decade 2 Panels

Time: 
12:00am
Date: 
December 8, 2009
Location: 
The Pavilion
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC


Forty years ago Americans were putting people on the moon; now fewer U.S. residents are choosing to become scientists at a time when society's greatest challenges require technological solutions. President Obama promised to "restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders." But developing renewable energy sources, stemming climate change, personalizing medicine, and inventing new energy-efficient vehicles will require a science-savvy workforce. Today, less than half of those earning doctorates in the physical sciences, mathematics, and computing are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The Soviet launch of Sputnik sparked a renewed national conversation regarding the quality of science education in America. Has the next Sputnik moment arrived? How can we retool the science education process in the U.S. to ensure a bumper crop of scientists and innovators?

attendance at Panel Discussions is by invitation only

For more information: 
Email: Diane Schube, at Scientific American

Why all the fuss about evolution?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
3:30am
Date: 
December 2, 2009
Location: 
Satellite Student Union Auditorium
Maple Avenue at San Ramon Avenue
Fresno State University
Fresno, CA


Charles Darwin proposed 150 years ago that living things have descended with modification from common ancestors by the process of natural selection. This is the key to understanding virtually every area in biology from biochemistry, to cell biology, to organismic biology, to population biology, to ecology. Evolution is the glue that holds biology together as a coherent science, making, in the words of a famous scientist, a "meaningful picture as a whole." Nonetheless, the teaching of evolution is a contentious issue in the United States today, for reasons that touch upon religion, science, history, and – inevitably – politics. Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, authority on evolution and the creationism/evolution controversy, will help to clear the air about this publicly, if not scientifically controversial topic of evolution.

For more information: 
Contact: Madhusudan Katti at mkatti@csufresno.edu

Why all the fuss about evolution?

Time: 
7:30pm
Date: 
December 2, 2009
Location: 
Satellite Student Union Auditorium
Maple Avenue at San Ramon Avenue
Fresno State University
Fresno, CA


Charles Darwin proposed 150 years ago that living things have descended with modification from common ancestors by the process of natural selection. This is the key to understanding virtually every area in biology from biochemistry, to cell biology, to organismic biology, to population biology, to ecology. Evolution is the glue that holds biology together as a coherent science, making, in the words of a famous scientist, a "meaningful picture as a whole." Nonetheless, the teaching of evolution is a contentious issue in the United States today, for reasons that touch upon religion, science, history, and – inevitably – politics. Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, authority on evolution and the creationism/evolution controversy, will help to clear the air about this publicly, if not scientifically controversial topic of evolution.

For more information: 
Contact: Madhusudan Katti at mkatti@csufresno.edu

Despite the Evidence: Rejecting Evolution and Darwin

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.


Time: 
10:00pm
Date: 
November 15, 2009
Location: 
Delegates Hall
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria, Egypt


The publication in 1859 of On the Origin of Species was an extraordinary milestone for science, but it also had profound effects on theology, philosophy, literature, and society in general. In On the Origin of Species, Darwin proposed that all living things share common ancestors, and that natural selection was the primary agent of species change. Common ancestry challenges human exceptionalism, and natural selection exacerbates the theodicy problem. Such theological concerns with the implications of evolution weigh especially heavily in North America, where the teaching of evolution has been contentious since the early part of the 20th century. Evolution has also been associated with eugenics, racism, and Social Darwinism, making it anathema to many social and political progressives. The American creationist movement has had a series of distinct emphases over the last century, partly as a function of adapting to constitutional restraint of religious neutrality of governmental institutions. Although creationism grows out of particulars of American culture and history, elements have proven highly exportable, and antievolutionism is becoming more of an international problem.

A presentation in the British Council-sponsored international symposium:
Darwin’s Living Legacy

For more information: 

From the Pillars of Islam to the Pillars of Creation

Featuring: 
Joshua Rosenau
Joshua Rosenau
Time: 
5:00pm
Date: 
November 15, 2009
Location: 
Delegates Hall
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria, Egypt

Antievolution creationist movements are major barriers to evolution education, and understanding the nature of these movements and their rhetoric is essential to defending and improving science education in the Muslim world, as it has been in the United States of America. American Christian creationist movements have three major pillars that have persisted for over a century: (1) evolution is a failed science, soon to be replaced by creationism; (2) evolution cannot be reconciled with morality or religion; and (3) voters or students in the classroom are entitled to pick and choose between the two. Without changing those three basic false claims, American creationists have altered their rhetoric substantially in response to a changing legal landscape. Islamic creationism borrows heavily from American creationist arguments, adapting them to local conditions and needs. Comparing American creationist writings to those of the pseudonymous Harun Yahya for shared characteristics and derived traits reveals how readily creationism adapts to a new cultural, political, and legal context. Both creationist lineages rely on a zero-sum worldview where any evidence against evolution strengthens the case for creation, and vice versa. The first and second pillars abound in both lineages, while the classically liberal ideals of the third pillar are absent from Harun Yahya's work. These differences suggest pedagogical strategies for deepening public understanding of evolution in Muslim communities, and illuminates cultural, political, and religious differences between American and Turkish cultural perceptions of evolution.

A presentation in the British Council-sponsored international symposium:
Darwin’s Living Legacy
For more information: 

Despite the Evidence: Rejecting Evolution and Darwin

Time: 
2:00pm
Date: 
November 15, 2009
Location: 
Delegates Hall
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria, Egypt


The publication in 1859 of On the Origin of Species was an extraordinary milestone for science, but it also had profound effects on theology, philosophy, literature, and society in general. In On the Origin of Species, Darwin proposed that all living things share common ancestors, and that natural selection was the primary agent of species change. Common ancestry challenges human exceptionalism, and natural selection exacerbates the theodicy problem. Such theological concerns with the implications of evolution weigh especially heavily in North America, where the teaching of evolution has been contentious since the early part of the 20th century. Evolution has also been associated with eugenics, racism, and Social Darwinism, making it anathema to many social and political progressives. The American creationist movement has had a series of distinct emphases over the last century, partly as a function of adapting to constitutional restraint of religious neutrality of governmental institutions. Although creationism grows out of particulars of American culture and history, elements have proven highly exportable, and antievolutionism is becoming more of an international problem.

A presentation in the British Council-sponsored international symposium:
Darwin’s Living Legacy

For more information: 

From the Pillars of Islam to the Pillars of Creation

Joshua Rosenau
Time: 
9:00am to 11:00am
Date: 
November 15, 2009
Location: 
Delegates Hall
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria, Egypt

Antievolution creationist movements are major barriers to evolution education, and understanding the nature of these movements and their rhetoric is essential to defending and improving science education in the Muslim world, as it has been in the United States of America. American Christian creationist movements have three major pillars that have persisted for over a century: (1) evolution is a failed science, soon to be replaced by creationism; (2) evolution cannot be reconciled with morality or religion; and (3) voters or students in the classroom are entitled to pick and choose between the two. Without changing those three basic false claims, American creationists have altered their rhetoric substantially in response to a changing legal landscape. Islamic creationism borrows heavily from American creationist arguments, adapting them to local conditions and needs. Comparing American creationist writings to those of the pseudonymous Harun Yahya for shared characteristics and derived traits reveals how readily creationism adapts to a new cultural, political, and legal context. Both creationist lineages rely on a zero-sum worldview where any evidence against evolution strengthens the case for creation, and vice versa. The first and second pillars abound in both lineages, while the classically liberal ideals of the third pillar are absent from Harun Yahya's work. These differences suggest pedagogical strategies for deepening public understanding of evolution in Muslim communities, and illuminates cultural, political, and religious differences between American and Turkish cultural perceptions of evolution.

A presentation in the British Council-sponsored international symposium:
Darwin’s Living Legacy
For more information: 

The Darwin Project: A Dialogue Between Faith and Science

Featuring: 
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D. et al.


Time: 
8:00am
Date: 
November 12, 2009
Location: 
Syufy Theatre
2222 Broadway
San Francisco


In celebration of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, Convent of the Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall High Schools have invited prominent scientists and theologians for a conference centering on the relationship between God and the truths of evolution. "The Darwin Project: A Dialogue Between Faith and Science" will be an all-day program featuring workshops and panel discussions from virtually every department in both schools. The purpose of this interdisciplinary curriculum is to honor the serious practices and discoveries within the worlds of faith and science.

Students will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of professional scientists and theologians including Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Nobel Prize winner; George Coyne, S.J., former Vatican Observatory Director; Dr. Peter Hess, Director, Religious Community Outreach at the National Center for Science Education; Dr. Leslea Hlusko, Associate Professor of Integrated Biology at U.C. Berkeley; and Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, eminent Spanish American biologist and philosopher at U.C. Irvine.

Workshop sessions for students will feature such subjects as Western images of creation, the possibility of God as a mathematician, an analysis of the belief system in the play Inherit the Wind as it relates to 9/11, a student debate on whether intelligent design should be taught in public schools, and sacred stories from around the world.

As a diverse community of culture, religion and scholarship, Convent & Stuart Hall, through this creative event, are seeking to better understand their Catholic identity, which maintains that “scientific truth, which is itself a participation in divine truth, can help philosophy and theology to understand more fully the human person and God’s revelation.” (Pope John Paul ll’s “Address to the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences,” November 2003).

Following the conference, Convent & Stuart Hall will present Inherit the Wind, a theatrical imagining of the famous 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial” in which the teachings of creationism came up against the teaching of Darwin’s evolutionary theory. The play, by Jerome Lawrence & Robert Edwin Lee, will take place in the Syufy Theatre on Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 21 at 2 p.m.

For more information: 
Contact: Karen Randall
Chair, Convent English Dept.
randall@sacredsf.org
415.563.2900, ext 3122

The Darwin Project: A Dialogue Between Faith and Science

Time: 
12:00am
Date: 
November 12, 2009
Location: 
Syufy Theatre
2222 Broadway
San Francisco


In celebration of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, Convent of the Sacred Heart and Stuart Hall High Schools have invited prominent scientists and theologians for a conference centering on the relationship between God and the truths of evolution. "The Darwin Project: A Dialogue Between Faith and Science" will be an all-day program featuring workshops and panel discussions from virtually every department in both schools. The purpose of this interdisciplinary curriculum is to honor the serious practices and discoveries within the worlds of faith and science.

Students will have the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of professional scientists and theologians including Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Nobel Prize winner; George Coyne, S.J., former Vatican Observatory Director; Dr. Peter Hess, Director, Religious Community Outreach at the National Center for Science Education; Dr. Leslea Hlusko, Associate Professor of Integrated Biology at U.C. Berkeley; and Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, eminent Spanish American biologist and philosopher at U.C. Irvine.

Workshop sessions for students will feature such subjects as Western images of creation, the possibility of God as a mathematician, an analysis of the belief system in the play Inherit the Wind as it relates to 9/11, a student debate on whether intelligent design should be taught in public schools, and sacred stories from around the world.

As a diverse community of culture, religion and scholarship, Convent & Stuart Hall, through this creative event, are seeking to better understand their Catholic identity, which maintains that “scientific truth, which is itself a participation in divine truth, can help philosophy and theology to understand more fully the human person and God’s revelation.” (Pope John Paul ll’s “Address to the Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences,” November 2003).

Following the conference, Convent & Stuart Hall will present Inherit the Wind, a theatrical imagining of the famous 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial” in which the teachings of creationism came up against the teaching of Darwin’s evolutionary theory. The play, by Jerome Lawrence & Robert Edwin Lee, will take place in the Syufy Theatre on Thursday and Friday, November 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 21 at 2 p.m.

For more information: 
Contact: Karen Randall
Chair, Convent English Dept.
randall@sacredsf.org
415.563.2900, ext 3122

Creation, Design and Evolution: Much Ado about Nothing?

Featuring: 
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.

Time: 
6:45pm
Date: 
November 10, 2009
Location: 
Frey Moot Court Room
University of St. Thomas School of Law
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN


Every culture has its views about the universe, about the human person, and about the great metaphysical questions. How do cosmology, anthropology and theology relate to each other? The proper relationship between science and religion, between natural philosophy and religious belief, has preoccupied humans since before the Psalmist rhapsodized that “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows forth his handiwork.” It has been a perennial question in American culture since Cotton Mather penned The Christian Philosopher: a Collection of the Best Discoveries in Nature, with Religious Improvements (1721).

In America this debate has taken some fascinating turns since the proposal of Darwin’s theory of evolution. In the last two decades much energy has gone into the public discussion of evolution, creation, and whether the universe exhibits signs of intelligent design. Dr. Hess will suggest that much of this discussion has been at cross purposes because of linguistic confusion. He will argue both that it is philosophically improper to confuse the proper integrity of scientific and metaphysical discourse, and that both should be taught in public schools. He will further argue that the evolutionary model provides a far richer resource for theology than do the scientific models it replaces.

For more information: 
Click here or email John Sandy at St. Thomas University

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