Darwin Day 2008 in Iowa City

Darwin Day is fast approaching, and we'll be celebrating with 2 and a half days' worth of festivities here in Iowa next month.

We'll kick off Thursday night, February 14th, with Dr. Massimo Pigliucci reading from his latest book at Live from Prairie Lights, with drinks and snacks following at a location TBA.

Friday February 15th will consist of academic talks by Dr. Pigliucci and Dr. Martha McClintock. Friday evening we're hosting a dinner for the speakers and the general public at the Linn Street Cafe. Tickets are limited in number, and $40 a person (which includes an appetizer, salad, main course, dessert and soda or coffee, plus tax and tip--a bargain for those of you who are familiar with the Linn Street Cafe). Drop me an email if you're interested in attending--this is the only part of the weekend that will need to be reserved in advance (and we expect tickets to go quickly!).

Saturday then will be a series of talks followed by an informal reception. University of Iowa paleontologist Dr. Christopher Brochu will kick off the afternoon, whose topic will be "The Dead Speak: What we learned from the Tyrannosaurus." Dr. Brochu was the lead researcher on the analysis of "Sue" the tyrannosaurus at Chicago's Field Museum.

Dr. McClintock will follow, discussing "Social Isolation and Breast Cancer: Psychosocial Regulation of Gene Expression".

Dr. Pigliucci will be the last of the afternoon's talks, speaking on "What's science got to do with it? When scientists misspeak about religion"--a topic sure to bring about some interesting discussion. A panel discussion and Q&A session with all of the speakers will wrap up the afternoon, and a reception will follow.

Hope some of you can join us! It promises to be an exciting and stimulating few days--and we're also looking for ideas (and manpower!) for Darwin Day 2009.

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I don't think there's any Darwin Day festivities going on here in Dubuque. We'll have to make the trip.

Churches don't get burned in Iowa City. God just hits them with tornadoes.

By dannyness (not verified) on 14 Jan 2008 #permalink

we'll be celebrating with 2 and a half days' worth of festivities here in Iowa next month.

Sounds like a great festival! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Dave Briggs :~)

I checked out Tara's link to Darwin Day (darwinday.org). Quite interesting. They have a list of international celebrations from previous years and a list of those planned for this coming year. (Btw, I didn't notice U of Iowa on their list.)
Unfortunately, I did notice on their list a ummm, "celebration", being held at none other than the Discovery Institute, with the usual nonsense (e.g., darwinists now pushing religion in our schools, etc.). Perhaps the Disco Institute is advertising on this list because they hope some REAL scientists might show up?? Nahh.

By Richard Ray (not verified) on 15 Jan 2008 #permalink

Maybe I am a traditionalist, but the concept of the six-day creation as an alegory goes back at least as far as St. Augustine (both in "Confessions" and in a treatise on Genesis). A trait I like in Augustine, however, is not just his concept of "time" (which is much analogous to the lines of reasoning found in Paul Davies' "About Time"--and about the relativity of time measurement, the meaninglessness of time before creation or before creation of a means of measurement, the meaninglessness of the concept of "day" outside of the context of earth/sun rotations, etc.), but also his concept that he could draw his conclusions from his reading of Genesis, and others might disagree; but this disagreement should not permit either he or his opponents to state the other had to be mistaken. In the realm of cosmological speculation, as sure as you might be in your own conclusions, where truth is unknowable, error lies in the assertion that your opponent is wrong.

By Thomas Babcock (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink