Contact: Allison Goodin, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790

Showing of Humorous Darwin v. Intelligent Design Documentary, “Flock of Dodos,”
will Precede Keynote Event

Allentown, PA (January 23, 2008) – The Cedar Crest College Biology Department is pleased to announce the schedule of events for its third annual celebration of Darwin Day, to be held on Monday, February 11, 2008 in the Alumnae Auditorium.  The first event, a showing of the film “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus,” will begin at 4:00 p.m.  At 7:00 p.m., Dr. Richard Lutz, one of the foremost authorities in the world on the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, will give a keynote presentation that includes a showing of the award-winning, controversial, IMAX film “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea,” for which Lutz served as science director.  These events are free and open to the public and are co-sponsored by the College’s Cultural Programs committee and Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Program.

Dr. Richard Lutz, director of the Center for Deep Sea Ecology and Biotechnology at Rutgers University, is one of the foremost authorities in the world on the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents.  Since the first biological expedition to these unique ecosystems in 1979, Dr. Lutz has spent countless hours on the bottom exploring thermal vents throughout the world's oceans in a variety of deep-diving submersibles.

In April 1991, Dr. Lutz joined a number of his geological colleagues on an oceanographic expedition, during which they used the deep-submergence vehicle Alvin to dive, for the first time, into the caldera of an actively erupting volcanic ridge along the East Pacific Rise at a depth of a mile and a half.  Dr. Lutz has returned to the site at approximately annual intervals.

His keynote address and accompanying short, award-winning film will elucidate spectacular biological and geological changes that occurred  since the April 1991 eruption.  The exciting results of Dr. Lutz’s ongoing studies in this unique "natural deep-sea laboratory" are dramatically altering views of the rates at which many biological and geological processes are occurring on the face of the planet and have been featured in three separate issues of National Geographic Magazine as well as numerous scientific publications.

Dr. Lutz served as Science Director for the IMAX film “Volcanoes of the Deep Sea”, a dvd version of which will be shown during his presentation.  The film is currently being shown at numerous museums and science centers throughout the world and has been the center of considerable recent controversy concerning ongoing debates on evolution vs. creationism.  Numerous museums and science centers in the South refused to show the film because of references to evolution, origin of life and origin of solar system.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1975 and subsequently spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.  In 1979, he joined the faculty of Rutgers University, where he currently is a Professor in the Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences.  He has been Chief Scientist on numerous oceanographic cruises, has over 170 publications, and was awarded the Rutgers' Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research

In the 2006 feature-length documentary “Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus,” filmmaker and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Randy Olson pokes fun at both sides of of the Darwin v. intelligent design debate with interviews of scientists and others that offer a humorous yet thoughtful perspective of the great Darwin debate.

About Darwin Day

The theory of evolution, as described by Charles Darwin in 1859 in "The Origin of Species," fundamentally changed the way natural historians viewed the history of life on Earth and has become the foundation of modern biological and biomedical science.  The objective of Darwin Day Celebration is to encourage existing institutions worldwide, such as municipalities, public and private schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums, churches, private organizations and individuals to celebrate Science and Humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin's birthday. 

Both events are free and open to the public.  For more information, please call the Cedar Crest Special Events Hotline at 610-740-3791. 

Media inquiries can be directed to the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.


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