Darwin Week in Charleston, 2009

The public is invited to
the 9th Annual celebration of
Darwin Week in Charleston!

Arrive early - seats fill up fast!
All events are free.

Evolution Sunday: Circular Congregational Church
For God, it Seems to Me, Is a Verb, not a Noun

Rev. Albert H. "Bert" Keller
Sunday, February 8 at 11:00 a.m.
Circular Congegational Church

Christian faith has both understood and expressed itself in terms of the culture it lives in. Sometimes theology has run ahead of the culture, and at other times the culture has run way ahead of theology — and helped change ways of thinking about God. The most productive interactions occur when they are running together and talking while they run.

That, says Rev. Keller, is what's happening today. In the dynamic stream of biology flowing from the work of Darwin, theologians have drawn ideas about process and emergence — the evolutionary change at the heart of all things. No conversation about God is more exciting today than the mind-expanding idea that God, in the famous words of Buckminster Fuller, is a verb, not a noun. Becoming, moving, changing, that is, rather than a "being," static and omni-everything. A new door opens that may lead to new truth!

Of himself, Rev. Keller says "I recently retired from 34 years on the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina, teaching in the fields of bioethics and the medical humanities. I have been pastor of Circular Church for about that same length of time, weaving together streams of science and healing with threads of meaning, relationship,and transcendence — spirituality, in other words. What an interesting loom to work with."

Collecting Dinosaurs on Four Continents,
or Forty Years of Ceratophilia.

Dr. Peter Dodson website
Monday, February 9 at 4:00 p.m.
Stern Center Ballroom

Join the world’s leading authority on Triceratops and its relatives as he hunts horn-faced dinosaurs in Montana, China, India, Madagascar, Egypt and Argentina. What can we learn about evolutionary pattern and process from the fossil record left behind by these amazing beasts?

Dr. Peter Dodson is Professor of Anatomy in the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Professor of Paleontology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the author of The Horned Dinosaurs (Princeton 1996) and co-editor of The Dinosauria 2e (UC Berkeley 2004).

Sponsored by the CofC Geology Department and the Geology Club. Refreshments to follow.

   EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed
   from Ben Stein

Expelled film promoTuesday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Physicians’ Auditorium

"In this 2008 feature film, host Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) goes on a quest to expose the suppression by science's anti-theist elite, unveiling new scientific facts that may suggest evidence of intelligent design in the universe."

The screening of the movie will be introduced by
a panel of four elite scientists –
     Paleontologist Dr. Peter Dodson (Roman Catholic),
     Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Mary Lang Edwards (Presbyterian),
     Epidemiologist Dr. Aaron S. Adelman (Orthodox Jew), and
     Origins of Life Researcher Dr. Robert M. Hazen.

Discussion to follow.

Sex, Drugs, and Natural Selection:
   Evolutionary Perspectives on
   Antibiotic Resistance

Dr. Marc Lipsitchwebsite
Wednesday, February 11 at 4:00 p.m.
Physicians Auditorium

Antibiotic resistance is a clear, extensively documented, and medically important example of rapid evolution in action. Large data sets on drug resistance, gathered in the interests of public health, reveal much about the ways in which bacteria and other pathogens evolve; the kinds of selection pressures that human activities impose; and the ways in which aspects of human behavior such as self-interest and altruism – themselves the subject of evolutionary study – may drive microbial evolution.

Dr. Marc Lipsitch is a Professor with joint appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health.  His research focuses on the effects of naturally acquired host immunity, vaccine-induced immunity and other public health interventions on the population biology of pathogens.

Sponsored by the CofC School of Science and Math.

Darwin and Christ:
   An Evolution of Cultural Species

Rev. James B. Miller
Wednesday, February 11 at 6:45 p.m.
First (Scots) Presbyterian Church

In this first installment of a four-week workshop in faith, our discussion will center on the historical evolution of western culture that has resulted in three contemporary cultural “species”: classical, modern and emerging.  Future topics include The World that God is Creating, Evolution as Incarnation, and An Evolving Church.

Dr. Jim Miller is General Missioner to the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith.  After a career in campus ministry, in 1996 he accepted a call to Washington as the Senior Program Associate for the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the editor or co-editor of five books, most recently “The Evolution Dialogues” (AAAS, 2006).

Interested parties are welcome to join us for supper at 5:45 in the Molly Weir Hall.  Please call the church office (722-8882) for reservations.  Adults $4.00, children $2.00, family maximum $12.00.

Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins

Dr. Robert M. Hazen website
Thursday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Physicians Auditorium

How did life arise?  The origin of life can be modeled as a sequence of emergent events — the synthesis of biomolecules, the selection and organization of those small molecules into functional macromolecules, the emergence of self-replicating molecular systems, and the initiation of molecular natural selection — which transformed the lifeless geochemical world of oceans, atmosphere and rocks into a living planet. This framework guides origin experiments, which can be designed to focus on each emergent step.

Dr. Bob Hazen senior staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University.  He is the author of more than 300 articles focusing on the role of minerals in the origin of life, as well as 19 books on science, history, and music, including the best selling "Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy" and "The Sciences: An Integrated Approach", now in its fifth edition.

Sponsored by the CofC Biology Club and the Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

Birthday Party for Charles Darwin to follow.
Happy 200th, C.D.!!!

REPEAT PRESENTATION (details above):

Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origins

Dr. Robert M. Hazenwebsite
Thursday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Grimsley Hall Auditorium, Rm 117 – The Citadel

"One Party Is Not Enough
 Birthday Party for Charles Darwin" to follow.
 Happy 200th Again, C.D.!!!

200 Years of Attitude Evolution:
   The Christian Response to Charles Darwin

Dr. Robert T. Dillon, Jr.website
Sunday, February 15 at 10:00 a.m.
Gage Hall

Although often in the headlines today, protestant fundamentalist rejection of evolutionary science is a modern phenomenon, dating only to the first decade of the 20th century. How has Christian thought evolved with regard to Darwinian theory?  And what might drive certain Christian denominations to carry their peculiar doctrines into the public school science curriculum today?

Rob Dillon is Associate Professor of Biology at the College of Charleston and coordinator of Darwin Week.  He serves as President of the South Carolinians for Science Education, Trustee of the St. Andrews Constituent District School Board, and Tenor in the First (Scots) Presbyterian Kirk Choir.

This is a Forum of the Unitarian Church of Charleston.