Event honors life of evolutionist:

Wells-Pigliucci Debate

As part of a growing trend worldwide and nationally, the event known as Darwin Days was celebrated across campus Feb. 12-14.
Darwin Days is dedicated to the renowned scientists Charles Darwin, famous for his research and his theories on evolution, on his birthday Feb. 12th and the two following days. Several programs were held for students and faculty in which the scientific proposals of Darwin were taught and argued.

I think that it is a very much-needed outlet for the science education for the public. I think that scientists don’t pay enough attention to science education, said Massimo Pigliucci, associate professor of ecology and botany.

This week’s events included a workshop for local teachers, a keynote lecture by Barry Palevitz on Creationism and Intelligent Design and an information booth available in the University Center. There was also a documentary series, in which films were shown and followed by discussions given by either students or faculty members. The festivities concluded Wednesday night with a debate.

This year was the first year that Darwin Days became an international event. There are 23 Darwin-related events in 16 states and British Columbia. UT has been participating in this program for the past five years, and the event typically lasts for 2-3 days. The debate held Wednesday night proved to be quite successful with a packed audience.

The Clarence Brown Theatre presented “What is the Evidence for and against the Modern Theory of Evolution”. This topic was debated between Pigliucci and Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute. There were mixed feelings about the debate as to who presented the better argument.

“Dr. Wells was actually proving things to be wrong with scientific theory. However, Pigliucci was just bashing the other guy’s book,” said Jessica Bowling, one of the viewers of the debate.