Springfield, Ohio — The 2008-09 Witt Series continues with the annual IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences and Lawrence Colloquium on Science and Religion as Wittenberg welcomes evolutionary biologist Kenneth Miller for a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 in Bayley Auditorium of the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.
Considered a leading expert on the controversial debate between science and religion, Miller's presentation is titled "Finding Darwin's God." Author of the most widely used high school and college biology textbook in America, Miller was the lead witness in the Pennsylvania "intelligent design" case that began in September 2005 and continues to make headlines.
The case involves a group of parents who are suing the school district for requiring high school biology teachers to read a four-paragraph statement to students that casts doubt on Darwin's theory of evolution. The paragraphs imply that life could not have arisen without the help of an intelligent hand (i.e. "intelligent design"). On the stand, Miller noted that virtually every prominent scientific organization in the United States has upheld Darwin's theory of evolution as an unshakeable pillar of science and that "intelligent design" is "a form of creationism."
A professor of biology at Brown University, Miller is also author of the critically acclaimed 1999 book Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. Miller, a firm believer in evolution who also believes in God, contends in the book that, properly understood, evolution adds depth and meaning not only to a strictly scientific view of the world, but also to a spiritual one.
Miller has written major articles for numerous scientific journals and magazines, including Nature, Scientific American, Cell and Discover. He has also appeared on PBS as a scientific commentator. Miller, who has also taught at Harvard University, earned his Sc.B. in biology from Brown University and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Colorado. He has received numerous awards for outstanding teaching in his career.
The IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences is funded by a gift to Wittenberg from IBM Corp. The lecture is designed to bring to campus distinguished scholars to enhance the role and image of science on a liberal arts campus and to bring about a larger understanding and appreciation of science as a most crucial contemporary exercise.
The Lawrence Colloquium on Science and Religion was created by Springfield physician David Lawrence to encourage vital dialogue between science and religion. The committee for the Lawrence Colloquium consists of faculty representing the departments of religion, philosophy, chemistry, physics and biology, and the university pastors.
The Witt Series is a selection of cultural activities annually presented by Wittenberg University. All Series events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jeannine Fox, Series coordinator, at (937) 327-7470 or via e-mail.
Written By: Karen Gerboth