The Center for Inquiry has posted a list of its many Darwin Day events scheduled for locations across the country. For science enthusiasts, these events serve as an important ritual for building community and social identity.
Darwin Day events also provide a news peg for generating local media attention. In this case, a positive message would be framed around the value of Darwin's original idea as the building block for medical and social progress. For example, without evolutionary science we would be hard pressed to understand problems such as bird flu.
This message should be paired with a strong emphasis on inclusion, noting the fact that so many different religious traditions support the teaching of evolution in schools and do not see evolution as inconsistent with their faith. In other words, Darwin Day is for everyone, religious and non-religious alike.
The recent press release by the National Academies announcing its report on teaching evolution in schools is a leading model for this type of positive framing.
Of course, these events should also be talked about as a lot of fun!
CFI Community of Tallahassee
Saturday, February 9th, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m.
FSU College of Medicine, Atrium & Auditorium, Call Street and Stadium Drive, Tallahassee, FL
Sir Harry Kroto, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Chemistry at FSU
Eugenie Scott, Exec. Director of the National Center for Science Education
Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy at FSU
PLUS - a Bucky Ball workshop for children with Sir Harry Kroto, hands-on activities tables, and art displays.
Center for Inquiry | Austin
Sunday, February 10th, 1:00 p.m.
Bookpeople, 603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX
"Teaching Evolution" with
Dr. David Hillis, professor of Integrative Biology, UT Austin
Dr. Abigail Lustig, assistant professor of History, UT Austin
And a panel discussion with science educators discussing the teaching of evolution in Texas in the 21st century.
PLUS - Special programs for kids of all ages including Darwin story time, educational activity tables, and birthday cake!
Center for Inquiry | Chicago
Sunday, February 10th, 10:30 a.m.
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), University Center East Building, 750 S. Halsted, Room 613
Dr. Ron Pine, research associate at the Field Museum of Chicago
"Current Knowledge of Life's Prehistory and What Darwin Knew and Didn't Know About It," followed by a guided tour of the Field Museum.
Admission is FREE, but donations are appreciated.
Center for Inquiry | Los Angeles
Sunday, February 10th, 4:00 p.m.
4773 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA
A staged reading by professional actors of one of Steve Allen's Meeting of the Minds teleplays featuring the historical characters of Darwin, Galileo, Emily Dickinson, and Attila the Hun.
Reception with cake and champagne at 4:00 p.m.
Show begins at 5:00 p.m.
Admission is $6.00 - FREE for Friends of the Center for Inquiry
Reservations are required.
For details, visit CFI Los Angeles.
CFI Community of Miami
Tuesday, February 12th, 5:00 p.m.
Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104th St. Miami, FL
Dr. Douglas Broadfield, Biological Anthropologist, Florida Atlantic University
Center for Inquiry | New York City
Tuesday, February 12th, 7:30 p.m.
Stony Brook University Student Activities Center, Stonybrook, NY
David Sloan Wilson, evolutionary biologist and author
"Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives"
PLUS - Exhibit and Information Table
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 11:30AM-7:30PM, SAC Lobby
Visit the exhibit, pick up literature, and ask questions about evolution.
Wednesday, February 12th, 6:30 p.m.
General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 W. 44th Street, NYC
Voices of Reason/Darwin Day Lecture with Susan Jacoby
"The Age of American Unreason"
Admission is $10 - Friends of the Center FREE
Special book-signing and reception following the lecture - $30
Center for Inquiry | Michigan
Wednesday, February 13th, 7:00 p.m.
Women's City Club, 254 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI
Barbara Oakley, associate professor of engineering at Oakland University
"Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend"
CFI Community of NE Ohio
Wednesday, February 13th, 7:00 p.m.
Maple Heights Library, 5225 Library Lane, Maple Heights, OH
A dramatic presentation about the life of Darwin by members of the Pittsburgh CFI Community highlighting Darwin's life and the events leading to the discovery of the theory of evolution.
Center for Inquiry | Amherst
Saturday, February 16, 3:00 p.m.
CFI Amherst, 1310 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, NY
Dr. H. James Birx, professor of anthropology, Canisius College
Buffalo Zoo Kids Corner
Charles Darwin Himself!
Fish Fry Dinner
PLUS - readings from On the Origin of Species with Center for Inquiry's Director of Libraries, Tim Binga.
Admission is $10 - FREE for Friends of the Center
Center for Inquiry | Indiana
Saturday, March 8, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd., Indianapolis, IN
3rd Annual Darwin Day Conference
Richard Carrier, historian and philosopher, presenting, "Ancient Roman Creationism: Scientific Pagans vs. Armchair Christians"
Dr. John Langdon, Assoc. Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, University of Indianapolis
Dr. Irwin Tessman, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Purdue University.
PLUS - an afternoon panel discussion with the three speakers answering questions and responding to ideas proposed by Creationist/Intelligent Design proponents.
Admission is $20 - Teachers and Friends of the Center $10 - Students FREE
There was also the Darwin Day at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. I went w/my two daughters (aged 7 & 3) and we had a blast. They will be showing an exhibit on Human Evolution [http://www.museum.upenn.edu/new/news/fullrelease.php?which=289] soon, and we can't wait to go.
Anyway, keep up the great work!