Don’t Miss — Piccolo Darwin Week

2015 Event Venues

The School of Science and Math Auditorium,
College of Charleston

Located at the intersection of Coming and Calhoun Streets, across from the College Library. The NSCB (New Science Center Building) Auditorium is Room 129.

Grimsley Hall, The Citadel
The Citadel’s Grimsley Hall is located at the north end of Summerall Field, on Jenkins Avenue.

Maps of the CofC Campus, and The Citadel are available online.

Congregational Church

Circular Congregational Church is located at 150 Meeting Street.

First (Scots) Presbyterian Church
First (Scots) Presbyterian Church is located at 53 Meeting Street. Enter the parking lot from King Street. The fellowship hall is on the King Street side.

Darwin Week In Charleston, Since 2001

2001 Darwin Week

2002 Darwin Week

2003 Darwin Week

2004 Darwin Week

2005 Darwin Week

2006 Darwin Week

2007 Darwin Week

2008 Darwin Week

2009 Darwin Week

2010 Darwin Week

2011 Darwin Week

2012 Darwin Week

2013 Darwin Week

2014 Darwin Week
The International Darwn Day Foundation, celebrating Science and Humanity.

Evolution Weekend
An opening for serious discussion on the relationship between religion and science, from The Clergy Letter Project.

Consider the Lilies... and the Finches

Sunday, February 8

Two services - 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Jeremy Rutledge

Circular Congregational Church (150 Meeting St) is a progressive Christian church that affirms science and religion as partners in the search for truth and meaning. As we begin Darwin Week, Rev. Rutledge will reflect on how Darwin’s discoveries have opened up new ways of thinking about ourselves, our lives, our ethics and spirituality. Our understanding of cosmic and natural evolution may help us move beyond the narrow confines of anthropocentrism to a richer, fuller view of life.

The Rev. Dr. Jeremy Rutledge is senior minister at Circular Congregational Church (UCC) downtown.  He studied at Baylor University, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where his doctoral work focused on religious naturalism.  Rev. Rutledge is a longtime member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.  Before coming to Charleston, he was senior minister at Covenant Church in Houston for ten years.

Panel Discussion  –
Teaching the Controversy?
A Conversation on Science Education and Religious Conviction

Sunday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m.
First (Scots) Presbyterian Church
Moderated by Rev. Dr. James B. Miller

From the fall of 2013 through most of 2014, the agencies responsible for developing the science curriculum of South Carolina were deadlocked over High School Standard H.B.5, Biological Evolution. Do controversies of this sort originate from a legitimate scientific challenge to modern evolutionary theory? Or do they arise from political ideologies or competing religious convictions? And what place should “teaching the controversy” have in the public school science curriculum? Join representatives of the religious and educational communities for a public conversation exploring these questions.
Reception to follow.
    ››Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Mick Zais has just stepped down from his position as State Superintendent of Education.
Dr. Wes McCoy has recently retired as chairman the science department at North Cobb High School, Georgia.
Rev. Dr. Anna Case-Winters is Professor of Theology at McCormick Seminary in Chicago..

The Evolution of Goodness

Monday, February 9 at 4:00 p.m.
CofC School of Sciences and Math Auditorium
Dr. Lee A. Dugatkin

In a world supposedly governed by ruthless survival of the fittest, why do we see acts of goodness in both animals and humans? This problem plagued Charles Darwin in the 1850s as he developed his theory of evolution through natural selection. Indeed, Darwin worried that the goodness he observed in nature could be the Achilles heel of his theory. Ever since then, scientists and other thinkers have engaged in a fierce debate about the origins of goodness that has dragged politics, philosophy, and religion into what remains a major question for evolutionary biology.
Reception to follow.
    ››Sponsored by the CofC Department of Biology

Dr. Lee Dugatkin is Professor of Biology at The University of Louisville.  He is the author of over 150 scientific articles and four books on the evolution of cooperation, including Cooperation Among Animals (Oxford) and The Altruism Equation (Princeton).

The Largest Structure in the Universe: How big is too big?

Tuesday, February 10 at 4:00 p.m.
CofC School of Sciences and Math Auditorium
Dr. Jon E. Hakkila

The evidence in support of the Big Bang is rich and diverse, but many questions remain unanswered. Modern cosmology (the study of the nature, origin, and evolution of the universe) assumes that matter is distributed uniformly on large scales; this is called the ‘cosmological principle.’ Few astronomical structures have been large enough to challenge the cosmological principle until recent discoveries of the Sloan Great Wall, the Huge Large Quasar Group, and the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall. All these objects border on being too big to be easily explained by cosmological models, leading to the question, ‘How big is too big?’ Dr. Hakkila will present his research team’s evidence for the largest structure in the universe (the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall) and discuss the potential questions it raises regarding modern cosmology, statistics, and semantics.
Reception to follow.
   ›› Sponsored by the CofC Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Jon Hakkila is a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the College of Charleston. He specializes in the studies of cosmic gamma-ray bursts (the most luminous sources in the universe) and astrostatistics/astroinformatics (the characterization of astronomical data). He is part of a research team that recently discovered the largest structure in the universe.

Learning From Insect Brains

Tuesday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m.
117 Grimsley Hall, The Citadel
Dr. John G. Hildebrand

The insects are remarkably speciose, diverse, and successful animals from which we can learn much about the evolution, mechanisms, and disorders of neural systems and behavior. Explorations of the diminutive brains of insects reveal principles and mechanisms of neural development and function and at the same time help us understand both beneficial and harmful insect behaviors. This presentation will introduce the power, beauty, and importance of insect neurobiology and outline the importance of this kind of research for human health and welfare.
Reception preceding in Room 204.
   ›› Sponsored by the Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi

Dr. John Hildebrand is Regents Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Entomology, and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  He has authored over 215 papers and edited five books on insect nervous systems, mainly the neurobiology of the olfactory system.

Repeat presentation  –
Learning From Insect Brains  

Wednesday, February 11 at 4:00 p.m.
CofC School of Sciences and Math Auditorium
Dr. John G. Hildebrand

See above for the abstract and a brief biography of the speaker.
Reception to follow.
    ››Sponsored by the Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi 

God, Human Reason, and the Origin of Birds

Thursday, February 12 at 4:00 PM
CofC School of Sciences and Math Auditorium
Ms. Emily Willoughby

Young-earth creationism continues to thrive in the U.S., despite ever-increasing research and public outreach. What are we doing wrong? This discussion with writer and illustrator Emily Willoughby will argue that creationists are more likely to accept the reality of evolutionary science when shown that it is compatible with Christian theology. The beauty and elegance of evolution stands not only on solid scientific ground, but accepting it is a natural application of Christian ideals as well. Nothing demonstrates this better than the transition of dinosaurs into birds, for which we have a tremendous wealth of data.
Birthday Party for Charles Darwin to follow.
   ›› Sponsored by the CofC Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences

Emily Willoughby is a writer and scientific illustrator who specializes in restorations of birds and extinct animals. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from Thomas Edison State College before working full-time in freelance scientific illustration. Her work has been featured in a variety of media and institutions, including the Shanghai Natural History Museum, the journal Nature, and publications by National Geographic and Scholastic.