February 07, 2007

'Darwin's Birthday Lecture' set for Feb. 15

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A professor who combines science and philosophy in the area of evolution will speak at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month in honor of Charles Darwin's birthday.

Massimo Pigliucci, a professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the State University of New York-Stony Brook, will give the annual Darwin's Birthday Lecture at SIUC. The event is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in the SIU Law School Auditorium.

Sponsored by the departments of zoology, geology and microbiology in the SIUC College of Science, the event is free and open to the public. A reception and book-signing will follow the lecture.

Pigliucci's talk posses the question, "Is Evolution a Logical Fallacy?" His interests involve both science and philosophy and he argues that keeping an open mind and skepticism — as opposed to cynicism —is a healthy, positive approach to developing theory.

Pigliucci is the author of several books, including "Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science."