Darwin Week in Charleston, 2008

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

Science vs. Politics:
   How the 2006 South Carolina
   Science Standards Were Approved

Ms. Inez Tenenbaum
Monday, February 11 at 4:00 p.m.
Wachovia Auditorium

Controversy swirled around high school standard B-5, biological evolution, throughout the 2005-06 legislative season. Ms. Tenenbaum will review the process by which our science standards were developed, publicly debated, and ultimately approved.

Originally a teacher, Inez Tenenbaum has her BS and MEd. from the University of Georgia and her JD from the USC Law School. From 1998 – 2006 she served as South Carolina State Superintendent of Education.

Do Animals Lie?
   The Evolution of Honesty and
   Deception in Animal Communication

Dr. Stephen Nowicki
Tuesday, February 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Physicians’ Auditorium

Gull chicks beg for food from their parents. Peacocks spread their tails to attract potential mates. Meerkats alert family members of the approach of predators. But are these – and other animals – sometimes dishonest? Dr. Nowicki’s work on the evolution of animal communication explores reliability and deception in signaling behavior, providing examples that illustrate how the honesty of animal signals is maintained in spite of potential advantages and persistent use of deception.

Dr. Stephen Nowicki is Dean of Undergraduate Education at Duke University, holding professorships in the Duke departments of Biology, Psychology, and Neurobiology. He is the coauthor (with W.A. Searcy) of The Evolution of Animal Communication and scores of professional papers on the evolution of behavior in birds and a variety of other model animals, as well as a new textbook in high school biology.

Sponsored by the CofC School of Science and Math.

Birthday Party for Charles Darwin to follow.
Happy 199th, C.D.!!!

Darwin’s Place in the 21st Century

Dr. Robert T. Dillon, Jr.
Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Addlestone Library Room 227

The Addlestone Library has recently acquired a first edition of Charles
Darwin's (1859) Origin of Species through its "Friends of the
" program. What makes this particular 150-year-old monograph
valuable, when modern textbooks of evolutionary biology become obsolete
and worthless every three years? Dr. Dillon will place Charles Darwin’s
contributions in both their scientific and cultural contexts for the
world of today.

Dr. Robert T. Dillon, Jr. is Associate Professor of Biology and
coordinator of Darwin Week in Charleston.

Fossils, Furs and Mammalian Ancestors

Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo
Wednesday, February 13 at 4:00 p.m.
Hollings Science Center Room 123

The origin of mammals from reptilian ancestors is one of the more visible and important areas of evolutionary inquiry. Dr. Luo will describe several recently-discovered fossil mammals of the Jurassic Period (205 - 145 million years ago), their importance for our understanding of the timing and sequence of mammalian evolution, and how they shed new light on the origins of mammalian adaptation.

Dr. Zhi-Xi Luo is Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Associate Director of Science at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. From 1991-96 he was a member of the Biology Department at the College of Charleston, which warmly welcomes him back!

Sponsored by the CofC departments of Geology and Biology.

Stars, the Universe, Intelligent Design
and the Anthropic Principle

Terry R. Richardson
Thursday, February 14 at 4:00 p.m.
Hollings Science Center Room 123

The Weak Anthropic Principle asks "Given the physical constants of the universe, what can we deduce from the fact that life exists in our universe?" This lecture will examine physics and chemistry of astronomy showing what makes life and evolution inevitable in our particular universe. 

Terry Richardson is Senior Instructor and Mebane Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Charleston. He has been interested in the academic aspects of life in the universe since childhood, teaching his first course on Intelligent Life in the Universe when he was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University. He has appeared in a network television special on extraterrestrial life and reviewed a number of college texts on the subject. He does not believe in UFOs.

Sponsored by the CofC Department of Physics and Astronomy.

A Debate —
   Evolution and the Christian Faith:
   Conflict, Compatibility, or Independence?

Drs. Robert T. Dillon, Jr. and Donald S. Clark
Thursday, February 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Charleston County Public Library Auditorium

Many Christians understand scientific data to reveal that life has evolved naturally, while others believe that the complexity found in life could only have been created by design. Are evolution and creation compatible? Dr. Rob Dillon and Dr. Don Clark will explore this question in a debate format. Moderated by Colin Kerr of Second Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Robert T. Dillon, Jr. is an evolutionary biologist at the College of Charleston. He is President of the South Carolinians for Science Education, a Trustee on the District 10 Constituent School Board, and sings tenor in the First (Scots) Presbyterian Kirk Choir.

Dr. Donald S. Clark has a Ph.D. in physical biochemistry and has held positions as Vice President for two start-up biotechnology companies. He is on the Board of Directors for Creation Moments, which produces a two minute radio program proclaiming scientific evidence for the Bible.