Thursday, April 03, 2008

Kenneth Miller tomorrow night at UT

Kenneth Miller is both a staunch defender of evolutionary science (he was a lead witness in the Dover trial), and a theist. This event on Friday night ought to be interesting coming on the heels of Dawkins' appearance. Maybe I'll see some of you locals there. Here's the skinny direct from CFI-Austin. If you're not local, or you are but cannot attend, note the webcast information in the following.

Hot Science - Cool Talks Outreach Lecture Series

"God, Darwin, and Design: Lessons from the Dover Monkey Trial"
by Dr. Kenneth Miller, Professor of Biology, Brown University
Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:00 pm (Central Time)
Reception and activities 5:45 pm, come early and see the exhibits!
Welch Hall (WEL) Rm. 2.224

DESCRIPTION: It has been 80 years since the Scopes Monkey Trial, but the debate between science and religion has never been as heated as it is now. Recent efforts to introduce "intelligent design" into science classes will likely lead to a major Supreme Court ruling on the issue. Kenneth R. Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, is a preeminent evolutionary scientist and the author of the most widely used high school biology textbook in America. He is perfectly suited to address this controversial topic on many fronts. More details can be found here.

SCHEDULE: Friday, April 4, 2008
5:45-6:45 pm: Interactive exhibits and refreshments, outside Welch 2.224
6:00-6:45 pm: Evolution Workshop, Welch 2.246
7:00-8:15 pm: "God, Darwin, and Design: Lessons from the Dover Monkey Trial", Welch 2.224

PARKING: Due to construction projects on campus, parking has become limited. Two ways to find parking on the evening of the lecture are:
1. Look for spots close to Welch Hall along 24th St. Check signs posted at each spot to be sure the days/times listed for needing a permit are expired. Do not park in handicapped or loading zones.
2. Reserved spots in the San Jacinto Parking Garage on San Jacinto and 24th St are at a discounted rate. Lecture attendees will be charged $1 for parking, upon exiting the garage, but must have a parking coupon that can be picked up at the lecture. Do not park on the ground floor of the parking garage or you will be ticketed. Go up the ramp and pull a ticket to enter the garage.

For more parking info, please use the map at:

WEBCAST: For those that cannot attend, the lecture will be broadcast live over the Internet at 7:00 pm. We recommend logging into the site 15 minutes before to get set up. For more information about the webcast, see:

The lecture series is presented by The University of Texas at Austin's Environmental Science Institute. This event is sponsored by the Texas Natural Science Center.

I'm given to wonder if, given Miller's theism, campus Christian groups and local creationists might make themselves a more visible presence than they did at Dawkins' lecture. In any event, this will be a most interesting evening, and it's early enough that it still leaves plenty of time for other Friday night plans afterward.


  1. I'm probably going to miss this, but I'm hoping that I can figure out a way to attend. Kenneth Miller is on my "Top 5 Theists"...and pretty close to the top.

    And, even if he was advocating YEC, it'd still be worth going just to report on it.

  2. The lecture was well attended. The overflow was directed to another room to watch a live webcast. Ken's presentation slides looked like they were done by a professional. Much better that RD's slides. The presentation had a lot of evolutionary science. He talked about a "gap" between fish and reptiles that was mentioned in the ID book Of Pandas and People. The "gap" had actually been created by the IDers who left out the transitional forms. He also talked about the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and the 24 pairs of chimpanzee chromosomes, and showed how the human chromosome, number 2, was a fusion of two chromosomes, indicating common ancestry.

    During the Q&A, an audience member indicated that Expelled may have been withdrawn from distribution. I wasn't going to see it anyway. Ken also didn't shy away from holding some religious people responsible for their anti-intellectual behavior.

    He's also coming out with a new book: Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul coming out in June and available for pre-order at Amazon .


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