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Media Advisory

Public lectures on Darwin Day, Feb. 8, to address anti-evolutionism

04 February 2005

ATTENTION: Education, science and general assignment reporters

Contact: By Sarah Yang, Media Relations
(510) 643-7741 scyang@berkeley.edu

"Setting the Record Straight: Vignettes on Modern Darwinism and Anti-Evolutionism," a series of public lectures held by the University of California, Berkeley's Essig Museum of Entomology. Topics of discussion will include recent battles over the teaching of evolution in public schools in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and the misinterpretation of scientific findings by proponents of creationism.

The talks coincide with events worldwide celebrating the 196th birthday of Charles Darwin, the British naturalist famous for his theory of natural selection. Other co-sponsors of the lecture are the Bay Area Biosystematists and the Entomology Students Organization at UC Berkeley.

7-9 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 8

145 Dwinelle Hall, on the south side of the UC Berkeley campus

In addition to experts from UC Berkeley, speakers will include Eric Meikle, outreach coordinator at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), who will discuss efforts to have intelligent design taught as an alternative to evolution in public schools. The NCSE is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping evolution in the science classroom.

Jack Dumbacher, chairman and associate curator at the California Academy of Science, will discuss how anti-evolutionists misuse examples of vertebrate animals to support their case.

A full list of speakers is available online at http://essig.berkeley.edu/pages/darwin.htm.

Every year, the Essig Museum, normally closed to the public, holds an open house in honor of Darwin's birthday. From 1-5 p.m. on Feb. 8, members of the public can tour the research museum, which holds more than 5 million insect specimens and is in Wellman Hall. Visitors will also see collections of birds, barnacles and carnivorous plants on loan from other museums for the event. The sponsors are also presenting free screenings from 12-1 p.m., Feb. 7-11, of the NOVA/WGBH series, "Evolution," at 306 Wellman Hall.