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Lecture: A New Darwinian Humanism

April 5, 2018 @ 5:00 PM

The Departments of Biology and Religion are sponsoring a lecture by Dr Ken Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University. Thurs April 5th at 5:00 PM in Hindle Auditorium, Science Center, Wheaton College.

A New Darwinian Humanism: How Evolution Fashioned the Earth’s Most Extraordinary Creature

Evolution has long been a controversial topic in the United States, primarily because Darwin’s account of the origin of species contradicts the Biblical narrative given in the Book of Genesis. But there are other reasons why “Darwinism,” as some describe a set of all encompassing scientific, social, and ethical beliefs, continues to be resisted among broad segments of the American public. The Darwinism they fear is more an ideology than science, and is perceived as a set of doctrines that minimize, dehumanize, and even trivialize the significance of human life. As I will argue, this view is based upon a profound misunderstanding of the actual nature of evolution. An authentic review of the actual science does quite the opposite, confirming human exceptionalism, and validating the idea that the human experiment matters for ourselves, the planet, and even for the Cosmos.

Kenneth R. Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University. He did his undergraduate work at Brown, and earned a Ph D in 1974 at the University of Colorado. He spent six years as Assistant Professor at Harvard University before returning to Brown University in 1980. His research work on cell membrane structure and function has produced more than 60 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals, including CELL, Nature, and Scientific American. Miller is coauthor, with Joseph S. Levine, of four different high school and college biology textbooks which are used by millions of students nationwide. He has received 6 major teaching awards at Brown, the Presidential Citation of the American Institute for Biological Science (2005), and the Public Service Award of the American Society for Cell Biology (2006).

In 2009 he was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for Advancing the Public Understanding of Science, and also received the Gregor Mendel Medal from Villanova University. In 2011 he was presented with the Stephen Jay Gould Prize by the Society for the Study of Evolution, and in 2014 he received the Laetare Medal from Notre Dame University. He is the author of the popular books Finding Darwin’s God (A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution), and Only a Theory (Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul). On April 17, 2018 his latest book, The Human Instinct (How we Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will) will be published by Simon and Schuster.


April 5, 2018
5:00 PM
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Discovery Center – Hindle Auditorium
Norton, MA 02766 United States
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Scott Shumway