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June 15, 2004

Evolution, Darwinism, and "Intelligent Design" Topic of June 18 Friday Evening Lecture at the MBL

WOODS HOLE, MA— Kenneth R. Miller, a Professor of Biology at Brown University and the author of the book Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution will present the first lecture in the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) 2004 Friday Evening Lecture Series this Friday, June 18.   Miller's lecture, titled, Time to Abandon Darwin? The Challenge from "Intelligent Design” will be held at 8:00 PM in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole.   The presentation is free and open to the public. Kerry Bloom, a Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will introduce Miller.   

The concept known as "intelligent design" states that living organisms must be the product of careful and conscious design, so perfectly formed that they cannot be explained by the random workings of evolution alone. Modern “intelligent design” theorists contend that this is a new and novel scientific alternative to evolution.   The concept has been rejected, however, by the modern scientific community.    Advocates of "intelligent design" scored one of their first victories this year in the State of Ohio when a lesson plan critical of evolution was approved for use in the public schools. Arguing that "design" theory is a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution, critics of Darwin have tried to insert their ideas into biology textbooks and science curricula in as many as 15 states. Cellular and molecular biology form the core of the "design" arguments now advanced against evolution.   Miller will discuss what's behind this movement and if it present s a genuine scientific challenge to evolution.
Miller, a cell biologist, earned his Sc. B. from Brown and his Ph. D. from the University of Colorado. From 1974 to 1976 he was a Lecturer at Harvard University and was an Assistant Professor from 1976 to 1980. He became an Assistant Professor at Brown in 1980, Associate Professor in 1982, and has been Professor since 1986. Miller served as Editor of The Journal of Cell Biology and The Journal of Cell Science , and, from 1986 to 1991, was the General Editor of Advances in Cell Biology Volumes I through III.   Miller has also co-authored, with Joseph S. Levine, several high school and college biology textbooks.   In addition, he has served as a Scientific Advisor for a WGBH/ NOVA television series on evolution. Miller has received several teaching awards at Brown, including the Elizabeth H. Leduc Award for Teaching Excellence in the Life Sciences in 1993. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Cell Biology, where he currently serves as Chair of the Education Committee.

The Friday Evening Lecture Series will continue throughout the summer at the MBL.  A complete listing of lectures can be found at http://www.mbl.edu/inside/what/news/events/events_friday.html


The Marine Biological Laboratory is an internationally known, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.