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Veteran of Evolution vs. Creationism Battle to Speak at Ithaca College

 ITHACA, NY — The executive director of the National Center for Science Education, who has been involved in the creationism/evolution controversy for over 25 years as both a researcher and an activist, will give a free public talk at Ithaca College on Wednesday, March 28.

Eugenie Scott will present “In the Beginning: Science and Religion” at 7 p.m. in Textor 102. Her talk is part of the college’s C. P. Snow Lecture Series.

An anthropologist, Scott is a leading critic of efforts to teach creationism and intelligent design in the public schools. She was named executive director of the National Center for Science Education in 1987, the same year that the Supreme Court ruled such teaching to be an unconstitutional advancement of religion. She is the author of the book “Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction” and coeditor of “Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.”

“The subject of origins — of where we, Earth, and the universe come from — is one that has been considered by many religions since time immemorial,” said Scott. “Science, as a relatively recent actor on the intellectual stage, also considers these topics, coming up with answers at variance with those of most religions, including Christianity. How do these two approaches differ? Are there similarities? And is there an uncrossable divide between the two? The answer is not just philosophically interesting, but directly relevant to decisions being made about what to teach in public school science courses.”

A past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Scott was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on the National Advisory Councils of both Americans for Religious Liberty and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Her honors include the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award and the Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution.

The C. P. Snow Lecture Series began in the School of Humanities and Sciences more than 40 years ago as a means of bridging the gap between the sciences and the humanities. It was named for the British physicist and novelist Sir Charles Percy Snow, a man who truly embodied the mission of the series for his work as an internationally renowned scientist, author and lecturer. Speakers over the years have included “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling, Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, “Future Shock” author Alvin Toffler and physician Patch Adams.

For more information on the series, visit or contact Janet Hunting, assistant professor of chemistry and cochair of the C. P. Snow Committee, at (607) 274-1475 or