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Media Advisory

Anti-evolutionism to be addressed at Darwin Day lectures and exhibits

10 February 2006

ATTENTION: Education, science and general assignment reporters

Contact: Liese Greensfelder, Media Relations
(510) 643-7944 lieseg@berkeley.edu

Darwin Day at the University of California, Berkeley, which coincides with events worldwide celebrating the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin, the British naturalist famous for his theory of natural selection.

Activities will include:

  • Rare, public tours of the Essig Museum of Entomology and a special Darwin collection

  • A seminar on current events and topics in evolution, including a talk by an expert witness at the Dover School District "intelligent design" trial, that is designed to be accessible to non-scientists

Tuesday, Feb. 14. The museum's open house will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. (Tours led by graduate students start at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.) The seminar will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The Essig museum is in Wellman Hall. The seminar will be held in the Valley Life Sciences Building, room 2050. See a campus map at: http://www.berkeley.edu/map/

The seminar will include a talk by Kevin Padian, a UC Berkeley paleontologist who served as an expert witness in the "intelligent design" trial in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania in 2005. He will describe what the trial was about and explain why the concept of evolution is still an issue in America today. Michael Ghiselin, a philosophical biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, will give a talk on how Darwin continues to revolutionize our world view. UC Berkeley evolutionary biologist Patrick O'Grady's talk will discuss the recent revolution in genomics and the importance of an evolutionary perspective in modern biology.

Every year, the Essig Museum, normally closed to the public, holds an open house in honor of Darwin's birthday. This research museum has more than 5 million insect specimens and will display special exhibits pertaining to Charles Darwin's working life, including Galapagos finch and barnacle collections, rare documents, and live carnivorous plants. High school classes are welcome.