Monday 17 June, 2013

Evolution and Progress: An Uneasy Symbiosis

Prof Michael Ruse, Florida State University

Charles Darwin

Although Charles Darwin is considered the father of the theory of evolution, in fact the idea of organisms evolving began as early as 1700, at the beginning of the enlightenment. Until Darwin, however, evolution was considered a pseudoscience – on par with phrenology – inspired only by wishful thinking for societal improvement. Even after Darwin, evolution was still considered something of a “popular science”, which was more at home in a museum than a university, with “progress” – the concept that life was always progressing to a final perfect species – still being a major theme. Only with the coming of modern genetics, around 1930, did natural selection become a “professional science”.

In this month’s BrisScience talk Prof Michael Ruse, from Florida State University, will describe the history of evolution theory, and what it has gone through to becoming mainstream science including the battles it has had both outside and within the scientific community.

  • Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm, Monday 17 June, 2013.
  • Venue: Long Room, Customs House at Riverside.
  • Arrangements: Doors open at 6pm. No need to book – just show up!
  • Questions? For any further information please contact Andrew.

Michael Ruse 258x300 Michael Ruse is a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University who specializes in the history and philosophy of science with a particular focus on biology (especially Darwinism). Ruse founded the journal Biology and Philosophy, of which he is now Emeritus Editor, and has published numerous articles and books; his most recent – The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought.

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This BrisScience talk was brought to you by the Centre for the History of European Discourses at The University of Queensland.