Note: This is an archival page!
For Darwin Week 2008, see: Darwin Week VIII

Darwin Week in Charleston February 12 - 18, 2007


The public is invited to the Seventh Annual celebration of Darwin Week in Charleston!  All events are free. But arrive early - seats fill up fast!

Four Venues This Year

The College of Charleston Science Center, recently named in honor of Rita Liddy Hollings, is located on the NE corner of Coming and George Streets. The Stern Student Center is located on the SE corner of the same intersection. (The Ballroom is on the fourth floor of the recently-renovated Center.)  Parking for events at both of these buildings is available in the city garage on the corner of St. Philip and Wentworth, two blocks south. The Jewish Community Center is located West of the Ashley, at 1645 Wallenberg Blvd, with plenty of free parking. Circular Congregational Church is located at 150 Meeting Street.

Download a PDF flier!

Monday, February 12 - Dr. John H. McMasters
Reflections of a Paleoaerodynamacist
4:00 p.m., Stern Student Center Ballroom

Aeronautics is traditionally presumed to have emerged as a formal discipline with the dreams of Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance. Dr. McMasters points out, however, that flight has a history extending over a period of about 300 million years, beginning with the insects. Work on several recent "airplane" design programs, including two robotic pterosaur replicas, will be used to demonstrate some of the numerous sources of inspiration available to both the engineer and the educator.

Dr. John H. McMasters is a technical fellow with The Boeing Company in Seattle. He is currently program manager for the Ed Wells Partnership, a joint program between Boeing and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Washington. Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecture.

Birthday Party for Charles Darwin to follow
Happy 198th, C.D.!!!

Tuesday, February 13 - Dr. Margaret Ptacek
The Evolution of Mating Signals and their Importance in Speciation in Molly Fishes
4:00 p.m., Room 123 Science Center

The males of many livebearing fishes, such as the guppies, swordtails, and mollies familiar to aquarium hobbyists, entice females into mating with bright coloration, elaborate courtship displays, and exaggerated dorsal and caudal fins.  Sexual selection, the evolutionary force favoring adaptations that increase a male's opportunity for mating, has likely played an important role in the speciation of these fishes.  Dr. Margaret Ptacek is Associate Professor of Biology at Clemson University.  Her research has focused on the origin of mating behaviors, and how evolution in these behaviors has promoted the diversification of the many species we see today.

Dr. Margaret Ptacek is Associate Professor of Biology at Clemson University.  Her research has focused on the origin of mating behaviors, and how evolution in these behaviors has promoted the diversification of the many species we see today.  Sponsored by South Carolinians for Science Education.

Tuesday, February 13 - Panel Discussion
Faith vs Science in the Classroom
7:00 p.m., Jewish Community Center on Wallenberg Blvd.

A panel of experts will explore this highly controversial topic from many perspectives: the science of evolution, the South Carolina state curriculum on evolution, and the legal and constitutional perspectives.  Refreshments to follow.

The presenters will be Dr. Robert T. Dillon of the College of Charleston, Attorney Constance Anastopoulo of the law firm Anastopoulo & Clore, and Ms. Tamara Kirshtein, Science Coordinator for Charleston County Public Schools. This program is sponsored by the Charleston Chapter of Hadassah.

Wednesday, February 14 - Dr. James L. Carew
Creationism and Intelligent Design: Lies and Fantasy, Not Science.
4:00 p.m., Room 123 Science Center

What role do Creationism and Intelligent Design have in the scientific endeavor? Using their own materials, as well as scientific information, Dr. Carew shows that the Creationist and Intelligent Design movements are primarily political efforts that are based on falsehoods. They generate no new scientific information, and are mostly purveyors of misinformation and disinformation about real science.

Dr. Jim Carew is Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston. He specializes in Paleobiology and Geology of Carbonate Islands. His talk is sponsored by the C of C Geology Department.

Thursday, February 15 - Rev. Robert M. Knight, D. Min.
The Science and Faith Sermon
4:00 p.m., Room 123 Science Center

The scripture lesson for this, the first sermon ever preached in the CofC Science Center, will be Genesis 1:1 - 2:4. Rev. Knight suggests six guides to understanding the creation saga and the relationship between faith and science in our daily lives, with application to controversies in the public school curriculum.

Dr. "Monty" Knight is pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Orange Grove Road, and president of the Charleston Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

Sunday, February 18
Evolution Sunday at Circular Congegational Church, 11:00 AM
Rev. Albert H. "Bert" Keller preaching 

"Transfiguring Light, Emerging Humanity."

This page brought to you by:
Dr. Rob Dillon
Secretary, Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi

page & banner designed by Steve Bleezarde bleezardes[at]