January 28, 2010

Michael Ruse to deliver Charles Tenney lecture

by Andrea Hahn

Michael Ruse, philosopher, author and professor, is the Charles D. Tenney Distinguished Lecturer for the spring 2010 semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Ruse delivers his lecture, “Can a Darwinian be a Christian? Conversation at the Crossroads of Science and Religion,” beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, in the Student Center Ballroom D.  A reception and book signing immediately follow the lecture.

Ruse, a proponent of evolutionary theory, was a key witness in the 1982 federal court case McLean v. Arkansas, in which creation science was declared a religious belief and not a scientific theory.  His book, titled the same as the lecture, puts forth the position that it is possible to hold Christian beliefs and still accept evolutionary theory.

Ruse is also the author of several other books and essays on evolutionary theory, philosophy and the history of science, and other scientific hot topics, including, “The Evolution-Creation Struggle,” “Monad to Man: The Concept of Progress in Evolutionary Biology,” “The Stem Cell Controversy: Debating the Issues,” and “Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology.”

Ruse is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor and director of the History and Philosophy of Science at Florida State University.  Some of his many honors include the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Isaak Walton Killam Fellowship, and the John Templeton Book Prize.  His distinguished lecturer awards include the Herbert Spencer Lecturer at Oxford University and the Gifford Lecturer at Glasgow University. 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury.  He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Bristol in 1970, and holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Bergen and McMaster University.

The Charles D. Tenney lecture series honor the former University vice president and provost, who served from 1952 to 1971.  This lecture is co-sponsored by the University Honors Program and Saluki First Year.