Evolution and Creationism in Kentucky

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 7:00pm
Jacobs' Science Building Room 121

In the 1920s, many states considered the passage of antievolution laws. Tennessee's famous 1925 Scopes Trial is the best known of these, but such legislation actually first was proposed in Kentucky. However, Kentucky scientists vigorously protested such laws, and the legislature backed down. Antievolutionism in Kentucky did not go away after the Scopes Trial, of course, and has manifested itself in many ways. In 1980-81, the Fayette County Public Schools Board of Education was approached by a citizens group promoting the teaching of creation science; the protracted struggle over what should be taught presaged battles to take place in communities all over the nation regarding state department of education policies, and the recent appearance of recreational facilities promoting creationism. Presentation will be followed by Q&A.

EUGENIE C. SCOTT, National Center for Science Education

Eugenie Carol Scott is an American physical anthropologist, a former university professor, educator, and founding director of the NCSE. She is a nationally recognized expert on evolution and creationism. She has received numerous accolades including 10 honorary degrees and the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal. She even has an asteroid named after her!

The Meaning of Life: Will Gervais

During the 2013 fall semester, University of Kentucky students will have the opportunity to delve into questions that explore some of society's most deeply held beliefs. The ambitiously titled class, "A&S 300: The Meaning of Life - Psychology, Evolution, Religion, and Morality," will be led by Psychology Professor Will Gervais who has focused his research around this very topic.

In the class, students can expect to investigate the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of religious and moral beliefs through studies of cognitive and evolutionary science. Gervais hopes to use this lens to encourage students to not ask questions around whether or not a higher power exists, but instead question why people believe what they do and the implications of that on society.
In this podcast, Gervais touches on these issues and how now more than ever, it's important that we use the tools of science to examine the roles of religion and morality.

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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