You are here

Coming Soon to a Community Near You: Creationism Du Jour

Time: 
1:30pm to 2:45pm
Date: 
November 6, 2009
Location: 
Murrow/White/Lisagor Rooms
13th Floor
National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington DC

Dr. Scott will talk about the latest manifestations of creationism, such as proposed “Academic Freedom” bills claiming teachers need “protection” teaching “alternative theories to evolution” – which even a brief exposure to the history of the creationism controversy reveals is a euphemism for creationism.

A panel on science policy organized by
The American Humanist Association

Other panelists:
Dr. Barbara Forrest: The Louisiana Science Education Act
Dr. Ken Miller: The Evolution Wars. Are they Really about Science, or Is Something Else Involved?

Free > > > public invited

For more information: 

Darwin’s Impact on Science and Society

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
9:00pm
Date: 
November 4, 2009
Location: 
Alexander Fine Arts Auditorium
Concord University
Athens, West Virginia



Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 was an extraordinary milestone for science, but it also had profound effects on theology, philosophy, literature, and society in general. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States, where the teaching of evolution has been contentious since the early part of the 20th century. Why have Darwin's ideas been so valuable -- and yet so controversial? Reasons for the controversy lie not in science, but in history and culture.

A presentation of the
CONCORD UNIVERSITY ARTIST-LECTURE SERIES

For more information: 

Faith, Fact, and Meaning in an Ancient, Dynamic, and Evolving Universe

Featuring: 
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.

Time: 
2:30am
Date: 
November 4, 2009
Location: 
Columbia College
Ferguson Auditorium
600 S. Michigan Avenue, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL


How might we think about fact and faith, science and religion, evolution and creation? As a living dialogue between scripture, tradition, and the cultures in which it is embedded, theology is always a hermeneutic enterprise. The evolutionary paradigm permeates most dimensions of postmodern thought, and ancient faith traditions have everything to gain from a bold and incisive engagement with it. Christian doctrine hammered out during the formative years of the early Church reflects the assumptions of a young, static, and geocentric cosmos. As this worldview is no longer serviceable in light of modern science, the paper will propose an “evolutionary hermeneutics” as the best framework within which to engage in theological discourse. How can we rethink theology to reflect not only an ancient, dynamic and evolving universe, but also an Earth that is only temporarily hospitable to complex and intelligent life? This talk will sketch some of the many and varied theological issues at stake in such a fully evolutionary understanding of the world.

For more information: 
Click here.

Faith, Fact, and Meaning in an Ancient, Dynamic, and Evolving Universe

Time: 
6:30pm to 8:00pm
Date: 
November 4, 2009
Location: 
Columbia College
Ferguson Auditorium
600 S. Michigan Avenue, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL


How might we think about fact and faith, science and religion, evolution and creation? As a living dialogue between scripture, tradition, and the cultures in which it is embedded, theology is always a hermeneutic enterprise. The evolutionary paradigm permeates most dimensions of postmodern thought, and ancient faith traditions have everything to gain from a bold and incisive engagement with it. Christian doctrine hammered out during the formative years of the early Church reflects the assumptions of a young, static, and geocentric cosmos. As this worldview is no longer serviceable in light of modern science, the paper will propose an “evolutionary hermeneutics” as the best framework within which to engage in theological discourse. How can we rethink theology to reflect not only an ancient, dynamic and evolving universe, but also an Earth that is only temporarily hospitable to complex and intelligent life? This talk will sketch some of the many and varied theological issues at stake in such a fully evolutionary understanding of the world.

For more information: 
Click here.

Darwin’s Impact on Science and Society

Time: 
1:00pm
Date: 
November 4, 2009
Location: 
Alexander Fine Arts Auditorium
Concord University
Athens, West Virginia



Charles Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 was an extraordinary milestone for science, but it also had profound effects on theology, philosophy, literature, and society in general. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States, where the teaching of evolution has been contentious since the early part of the 20th century. Why have Darwin's ideas been so valuable -- and yet so controversial? Reasons for the controversy lie not in science, but in history and culture.

A presentation of the
CONCORD UNIVERSITY ARTIST-LECTURE SERIES

For more information: 

Theology as Evolutionary Hermeneutics

Featuring: 
Peter M. J. Hess, Ph.D.


Time: 
11:00pm
Date: 
November 3, 2009
Location: 
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana



The evolutionary paradigm permeates most dimensions of postmodern thought, and ancient faith traditions have everything to gain from a bold and incisive engagement with it. How can we rethink theology to reflect not only an ancient, dynamic and evolving universe, but also an Earth that is only temporarily hospitable to complex and intelligent life? (Ward and Brownlee, The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of our World. New York: Henry Holt, 2002.) The theological issues at stake in such a fully evolutionary understanding of the world are many and varied.

As a living dialogue between scripture, tradition, and the cultures in which it is embedded, theology is always a hermeneutical enterprise. Christian doctrine hammered out during the formative years of the Apostolic and Patristic eras reflects the assumptions of a young, static, and geocentric cosmos. As this worldview is no longer serviceable in light of modern science, the paper will propose an “evolutionary hermeneutic” as the best framework within which to engage in theological discourse.

The essay sketches one dimension of a theology of creation ― theological anthropology ― that is intricately bound up with other aspects of doctrine: the “Fall,” sin, and moral consciousness; suffering and theodicy; and eschatology and the far future of the cosmos. Considering the evolutionary trajectory of /Homo sapiens/, how can we rethink the theology of the “soul” and of human personhood in a way that is both faithful to scriptural revelation and doctrine, and responsive to what science progressively reveals about the universe and our place in it?

A presentation in the conference
Darwin in the Twenty-First Century:
Nature, Humanity and God

For more information: 
Contact: Peter Hess

Theology as Evolutionary Hermeneutics

Time: 
3:00pm
Date: 
November 3, 2009
Location: 
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana



The evolutionary paradigm permeates most dimensions of postmodern thought, and ancient faith traditions have everything to gain from a bold and incisive engagement with it. How can we rethink theology to reflect not only an ancient, dynamic and evolving universe, but also an Earth that is only temporarily hospitable to complex and intelligent life? (Ward and Brownlee, The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of our World. New York: Henry Holt, 2002.) The theological issues at stake in such a fully evolutionary understanding of the world are many and varied.

As a living dialogue between scripture, tradition, and the cultures in which it is embedded, theology is always a hermeneutical enterprise. Christian doctrine hammered out during the formative years of the Apostolic and Patristic eras reflects the assumptions of a young, static, and geocentric cosmos. As this worldview is no longer serviceable in light of modern science, the paper will propose an “evolutionary hermeneutic” as the best framework within which to engage in theological discourse.

The essay sketches one dimension of a theology of creation ― theological anthropology ― that is intricately bound up with other aspects of doctrine: the “Fall,” sin, and moral consciousness; suffering and theodicy; and eschatology and the far future of the cosmos. Considering the evolutionary trajectory of /Homo sapiens/, how can we rethink the theology of the “soul” and of human personhood in a way that is both faithful to scriptural revelation and doctrine, and responsive to what science progressively reveals about the universe and our place in it?

A presentation in the conference
Darwin in the Twenty-First Century:
Nature, Humanity and God

For more information: 
Contact: Peter Hess

Why Evolution is Fact and Intelligent Design is Fiction

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
3:00am
Date: 
November 2, 2009
Location: 
Science Building Lecture Hall (SC118)
Southern Oregon University Campus
Ashland, Oregon


Proponents of intelligent design (ID) claim it is possible to identify phenomena in the biological world that are the products of an intelligent designer. ID proponents profess agnosticism on the identity of the intelligent agent, which could be material (such as highly intelligent terrestrials) or transcendental (God). Intelligent design is supposedly detectable through the application of two criteria: M. Behe's "irreducible complexity" and/or W. Dembski's "complex specified information". ID's claims amount to (1) "Darwinism" (vaguely defined) is incapable of providing an adequate mechanism for evolution, and (2) -- by implication, rarely expressed explicitly -- that evolution did not occur.

It is doubtful that any empirical research can be done under ID, as the essence of ID is the assumption that there are phenomena that categorically cannot be explained through natural causes. Evolution, on the other hand, is a well-established science with evidence supporting it coming from a large number of independent sources. Efforts to include ID in the curricula of high schools while denigrating evolution are wrong-headed in both respects.

Presented by
The Jefferson Center
as part of the
THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES

For more information: 

Why Evolution is Fact and Intelligent Design is Fiction

Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
November 2, 2009
Location: 
Science Building Lecture Hall (SC118)
Southern Oregon University Campus
Ashland, Oregon


Proponents of intelligent design (ID) claim it is possible to identify phenomena in the biological world that are the products of an intelligent designer. ID proponents profess agnosticism on the identity of the intelligent agent, which could be material (such as highly intelligent terrestrials) or transcendental (God). Intelligent design is supposedly detectable through the application of two criteria: M. Behe's "irreducible complexity" and/or W. Dembski's "complex specified information". ID's claims amount to (1) "Darwinism" (vaguely defined) is incapable of providing an adequate mechanism for evolution, and (2) -- by implication, rarely expressed explicitly -- that evolution did not occur.

It is doubtful that any empirical research can be done under ID, as the essence of ID is the assumption that there are phenomena that categorically cannot be explained through natural causes. Evolution, on the other hand, is a well-established science with evidence supporting it coming from a large number of independent sources. Efforts to include ID in the curricula of high schools while denigrating evolution are wrong-headed in both respects.

Presented by
The Jefferson Center
as part of the
THOMAS JEFFERSON MEMORIAL LECTURE SERIES

For more information: 

What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists?

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Time: 
10:14pm
Date: 
October 30, 2009
Location: 
Third Floor Theater
Ida Noyes Hall
University of Chicago
1212 East 59th Street
Chicago, Illinois

Many elements of the modern American creationist movement would be familiar to Darwin, especially the argument from design, which of course was very well known (and well-regarded) by educated people of his time. Young-Earth creationism, on the other hand, would be puzzling to him; Bishop Ussher's 4004 BC age of the Earth was not considered mainstream Christian theology in the late 19th century, though certainly the view had its adherents among clergy. Darwin might have heard of the “scriptural geologists” who promoted a young-Earth view during the 19th century, but like other scientists of his time, he would have ignored them. The current creationist strategy of disclaiming evolution as weak science would have seemed more familiar to him, given the criticisms of evolution he encountered during his own time.

A presentation in the
University of Chicago Darwin Celebration

For more information: 

Pages