Events That Examine the Impact of Charles Darwin's Theory

Following is the schedule of lectures and readings held at SMU in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. Questions about events should be directed to Professor Pia Vogel at 214-768-1790 or

Date Past Events
Jan. 26, 2009 David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist, will speak on "Strategies of Human Mating" at 5 p.m. in the Ballroom of Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Buss says the very different ways that men and women pursue each other today stem from thousands of years of human evolution.
Feb. 12, 2009 From 4 to 5 p.m., a birthday cake reception to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday will be held in the Reading Room of Dallas Hall. SMU faculty and graduate students will give testimonies on how Darwin's legacy has affected their particular field or their particular research. Refreshments provided.

At 5 p.m., Dr. Fred Grinnell, professor of cell biology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will give a seminar on "Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet Objectivity and Logic" in McCord Auditorium. It will be followed by a signing of his new book with the same title.

At 5:30 p.m., the Department of Cinema and Television in Meadows School of Arts will show the original 1960 version of "Inherit the Wind" in Room 3531 of Greer Garson Theater. The movie is based on a real-life case in 1925 in which two great lawyers - William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow - argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

Feb. 20, 2009 National Medal of Science winner Francisco Ayala will speak at 5 p.m. in the Ballroom of SMU's Hughes-Trigg Student Center. A former Dominican priest, the University of California at Irvine biologist is the author of Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion.
Feb. 25, 2009 Don L. Anderson, renowned geophysicist and author of New Theory of the Earth, will lecture as SMU’s Hamilton Visiting Scholar in Earth Sciences on "The Subterranean Cycle: The Continental Drip Hypothesis." The lecture is at 7 p.m. in the Crum Auditorium of SMU's Collins Executive Education Building. Read more.
March 5, 2009 Biologist Sean B. Carroll, who uses DNA evidence collected from modern animals to study ancient evolution, will lecture  on "Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species". His latest book, Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species, is scheduled for publication in February 2009. The lecture will be at 5 p.m. in SMU's McCord Auditorium.
March 7, 2009 Theodore Walker Jr., associate professor of Ethics and Society at the SMU Perkins School of Theology, will speak on "Methodist Perspectives on Darwin and Creation Through Evolution" as part of the Perkins Theological School for the Laity.  He will speak at 4 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
April 6, 2009
5 p.m.
William Durham, a professor of anthropology and the Bing Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University, will speak on "What Darwin Found Convincing: A New Look at His Human and Non-Human Data" in McCord Auditorium (306 Dallas Hall).
April 7, 2009
noon - 1 p.m.
William Durham will take part in an open discussion forum from noon to 1 p.m. in Ballroom East of Hughes-Trigg Student Center.
April 13, 2009
5 p.m.
Elliot Sober, the Hans Reichenbach Professor and William F. Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and author of Evidence and Evolution - The Logic Behind the Science, will speak on "Darwin and Intelligent Design" in McCord Auditorium (306 Dallas Hall).
Sept. 12, 2009
9:30 a.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
A faculty symposium on "The Year of Darwin". Participants include:
  • Prof. Larry Ruben, organizer and moderator, Department of Biological Sciences, Dedman College
  • Ronald Wetherington, Department of Anthropology, Dedman College; "Evolution and the Problem of Heritability"
  • Louis Jacobs, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College; "Amber Lizards and Snakes with Legs: Paleontology at SMU"
  • John Wise, Department of Biological Sciences, Dedman College; "Down in the Trenches: Evolution of Gene Families and Effects on Modern Medicine"
  • Rhonda Blair, Division of Theatre, Meadows School of the Arts; "Theatre and Cognitive Neuroscience: Science’s Impact on Ideas of the Actor"
Sept 14 - Dec. 9, 2009 A special display of every edition of On the Origin of Species published during Darwin’s lifetime will be featured in SMU's DeGolyer Library, accompanied by comments from the popular press of the time.
Sept. 18, 2009
4 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Ronald Numbers, an award-winning author and American historian of science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will speak at a Stanton Sharp Lecture on "Anti-Evolutionism in America: From Creation Science to Intelligent Design." The event, sponsored by SMU's Clements Department of History and Dedman College, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 214-768-2967.
Sept. 20, 2009
7:15 p.m.
Collins Executive Education Center
Robert K. Moyzis, a biochemist at the University of California at Irvine, former director of the Center for Human Genome Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will speak on "Are Humans Still Evolving?" The event, sponsored by Dedman College and the Collegium da Vinci Lecture Series, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 214-768-1177.
Sept. 24, 2009
Reception 10 a.m.
Lecture 10:30 a.m.
DeGolyer Library
The Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and The Friends of KERA Invite the public to a special event in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th birthday of its author, Charles Darwin. Featured speakers will be Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, and Melanie Wallace, senior series producer of NOVA. Please RSVP to 214-768-3225 or, Complimentary Valet Parking.
Sept. 24, 2009
4-6 p.m.
O'Donnell Hall
Owen Art Center
Screening of "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," a NOVA documentary. Introduction by Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, who received an honorary degree from SMU in 2008.
Sept. 24, 2009
Reception 6-7 p.m.
Panel 7-8:30 p.m.
Caruth Auditorium
Owen Art Center
A panel discussion on the legal, ethical and journalistic issues surrounding the making of NOVA’s documentary film, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Participants include John E. Jones, the federal judge who barred a Dover, Pa., public school district in 2005 from teaching "intelligent design"; Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace, NOVA producers of the documentary; plaintiff's council Eric Rothschild; and Laurie Lebo, author of The Devil in Dover.
Sept. 25, 2009
10:30 a.m. - noon
Karcher Auditorium
Storey Hall
"Intelligent Design in the Classroom," a panel discussion on First Amendment issues featuring Judge John E. Jones III, Eric Rothschild (Pepper Hamilton, LLP), Hiram Sasser (Liberty Legal Institute) and Lackland Bloom, SMU's Dedman School of Law.
Sept. 25, 2009
10-11:30 a.m.
3531 Garson
Owens Art Center
Master class on Documentary Film Making, taught by Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace of NOVA. Strictly by RSVP (to Teri Trevino,
Sept. 25, 2009
2-3 p.m.
Hughes-Trigg Forum
Lauri Lebo will speak on "From Dover to Texas: Reporting on Extremist Views in a Fair and Balanced World" followed by a book signing of her book, The Devil in Dover.
Oct. 7, 2009
5 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Philip D. Gingerich, the E. C. Case Professor of Paleontology and Professor of Geological Sciences, Biology, and Anthropology at the University of Michigan, will speak on "Darwinian Pursuit in Paleontology: Origin and Early Evolution of Whales." Gingerich is the Darwin Year Visiting Scholar for SMU's Institute for the Study of Earth and Man.
Oct. 9-19, 2009 Field trip to the Galapagos Islands led by Professor Louis Jacobs. More information.
Oct. 20, 2009
5:30 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Scott Appleby is professor of history and director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Appleby is well known for his work on American Catholicism and world fundamentalism. He will speak on "From Apocalypse to Accommodation: Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish Responses to Darwin in America, 1865-1910."
Nov. 9, 2009
5 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Patricia Adair Gowaty is a distinguished professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, where her research interests include evolutionary ecology and the evolution of behavior. She will speak on "Darwin, Evolution, and the Ecology of Sex Roles."
Nov. 13, 2009
4 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Michael Weisberg, associate professor of philosophy at the
University of Pennsylvania, will speak on "Three-Sex Mating (and other biological models without targets)."
Nov. 19, 2009
5 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
Jane Buikstra, professor of bioarchaeology and director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University, will give the Wendorf Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology. She will speak on "Tuberculosis: a Deep Time Perspective."
Jan. 29, 2010
3 p.m.
McCord Auditorium
(306 Dallas Hall)
"Darwin's Compass: Why the evolution of humans is inevitable" will be the title of a lecture by Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He is renowned for his insights into early evolution and his studies of paleobiology. Read more.
Feb. 1-3, 2010 The Perkins School of Theology will extend the celebration of the Darwin anniversary to 2010, focusing on the relationship between religion and science at the school’s annual "Minister’s Week" conference of lectures and presentations.
Feb. 25, 2010
8 p.m.
DBR (Daniel Bernard Roumain) In Concert (Dallas Debut):
'Darwin’s Meditation for The People of Lincoln.'
Performance at 8 p.m. More.