Archive for Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Dodos’ to flock to campus for Darwin Day

February 7, 2007


The Jayhawk mascot will have some competition Monday at Kansas University: A person dressed as a giant dodo bird will be roaming campus for part of the day.

It's part of the festivities planned on campus for Darwin Day, a celebration of the Feb. 12, 1809, birthday of the man known as the father of evolution, Charles Darwin. Other KU events include a brown-bag discussion, a series of evolution-themed research displays and a screening of the film "Flock of Dodos," which documents controversies in Kansas and Dover, Pa., about the teaching of evolution in public schools.

KU assistant research professor Steven Case, one of the event's organizers, said the purpose isn't to "deify" Darwin, but to do a better job of explaining science to the public in an accessible way. He's grown tired of hearing statements by evolution's critics that it's a dying, irrelevant science.

"We're kind of stepping up to the plate and illustrating that there are a lot of really interesting things going on. : We just need to do a better job talking to the public about what we know," he said.

The following morning, a KU contingent will go to Topeka to speak before the Kansas State Board of Education, which will be considering reinstating science-teaching standards that support evolution.

Here are the events, all scheduled for Monday:

¢ Noon: Brown-Bag Seminar in the Pine Room of the Kansas Union by KU chemistry professor emeritus Richard Schowen: "Forms Most Beautiful: Ideas of Evolution at the Molecular Level."

¢ 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.: "Evolution and the Arts" exhibit on view in the Print Study Room on the third floor of the Spencer Museum of Art.

¢ 6 p.m.: A series of events begin at the Natural History Museum, including tours by docents and displays and presentations by 10 KU researchers.

¢ 7:30 p.m.: Costume contest at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union with a $100 prize for first place and $50 prize for second place in each of three categories: Darwin (at any age), "Muffy Moose" (a character in the "Flock of Dodos" film) and Dodos (authentic or animated).

¢ 7:45 p.m.: Screening of "Flock of Dodos" in Woodruff Auditorium. Tickets are $2 and are available at the Natural History Museum gift shop. The film, by former KU student Randy Olson, will be premiering Monday night in more than 30 cities across the country.


harryk 11 years, 1 month ago

Charles Darwin was born on Feb. 12. Why is "Darwin Day" being celebrated on the 7th?

sourpuss 11 years, 1 month ago

That's right. I'm the last of the dodos! WoooooOOOOOOooooo!

Genius Warner Bros.

Harryk: Probably because that is Lincoln's brithday? I don't know... good question.

devobrun 11 years, 1 month ago

Steve Case: "We're kind of stepping up to the plate and illustrating that there are a lot of really interesting things going on. : We just need to do a better job talking to the public about what we know," he said.

Kind of stepping to the plate? No batter ever hit a home run after kind-of stepping to the plate.

The public isn't interested in what you know, Mr. Case. They want to learn about what you can do.

Interesting, yes. Entertaining, yes. Fruitless, yes. Such is the story evolution.

trinity 11 years, 1 month ago

dodo, dada...let's call the whole thing off. :)

SettingTheRecordStraight 11 years, 1 month ago

"Other KU events include... a screening of the film 'Flock of Dodos,' which documents controversies in Kansas and Dover, Pa., about the teaching of evolution in public schools."

Why do I have a feeling this will be an insult to anyone who doesn't agree with the film creator's point of view?

Kodiac 11 years, 1 month ago

Don't worry scenebooster. Devo is not a troll. He will usually make some cryptic taunting messages and then disappear. Evolution is not something he really knows anything about. It does make me wonder though why he doesn't actually do anything about his convictions and take on actual evolutionists. I mean come on, showing up on a hometown newspaper blog whenever there is an article about evolution to ridicule it doesn't require a whole lot of effort.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 1 month ago

I think the dodos have been flocking to campus for many years now.

jcantspell 11 years, 1 month ago

From all this witty banter I can see we have not evolved!

warthog 11 years, 1 month ago

The is no scientific evidence to support creationism, intelligent design, or whatever other name you choose to cloak your religion in. Evolution is science, based on facts, not on supersitiious belief in an almighty creator.

That being said, have you noticed the similarity between the dodo bird and the jayhawk? Maybe there's some evolution at work there too.

gr 11 years, 1 month ago

"Wait, what? Now that's just crazy talk right there. What about the whole Genesis thing? I mean like, all of it."

Have you found creation to be false?

werekoala 11 years, 1 month ago

"For nearly 150 years, the so-called "science" of evolution has been riddled with frauds, hoaxes, greedy manipulations of data and reports, gross errors, misleading statements, broad "revisions", and fanciful flights of imagination taking wing over a mininterpreted old piece of bone."

Ri-i-i-ight. You could also say that physics, chemistry, or astronomy have also been "riddled" with these problems, because they too, have suffered false reports, and have updated their theories (which are closer to jury verdicts than wild-ass-guesses), based on new information.

Demonizing the scientific process for not claiming the infalibility of revelatory religion doesn't make science look weaker, not to anyone who understands it. It just makes you look like you don't know what you're talking about.

The basic problem with creationism, as a scientific theory, is that it fails to do anything a scientific theory does. A scientific theory should be: 1) falsifiable 2) able to be repeated in subsequent experiments 3) rigorously define the actions it presupposes 4) subjected to intense peer scrutiny 5) help in predicting future events, based on the data

Creationism does none of these. Thus, it's not a scientific theory, and barely, if at all, a scientific hypothesis. Hence, while it's a nice ideology to teach in sunday school, it is not science, and does not belong in a science classroom.

The basic tenant of creationism is "I can't understand how this occurred, so it must have been magic" -- imagine if that had been the mindset of Maxwell when he tried to explain electricity, or Einstien when he tried to explain quantum physics!!! We'd still be huddled in huts, afraid of the demons that lurk within galvanic jars.

====== "For the last 4 millenia, no falsehood, error, or misleading statement has ever been truthfully attributed to the Holy Bible and its account of creation. I would submit that this comparison gives schoolchildren a valid basis for seeing scientific evidence and hearing reasoned debate critical of the unproven theory of evolution."

Uh, howsabout the fact that every single field of hard science, from physics to astronomy to chemistry to geology has demonsrated that the universe gives every apprearance of being between 16-20 billion years old?

Or he evidence of human existence and agriculture prior to 6,000 years BC? See, for instance, the cave paintings in France from ~40,000 ya.

Or how about the fact that Mitochondrial Eve lived approximately 2 million years ago?

The Bible is an excellent account of the life and history of itnerrant herdsmen and settlers of Palestine in the second and first milleniums BC. It also provides spritual guidance for about 1/3 the world's population. Isn't that enough? The Bible never claims to be a science tetbook -- claiming that it should be taken as one demeans the larger message within it.

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