For Immediate Release

Contact: David Jwanier, media relations associate, 610-740-3790.

Da Vinci Science Center, Cedar Crest College to Mark Family Darwin Day Feb. 7

January 27, 2009

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Da Vinci Science Center and Cedar Crest College will commemorate the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth Feb. 7 with special Family Darwin Day presentations on evolution and guided exhibit tours for visitors.

Family Darwin Day activities at the Da Vinci Science Center will be included with paid Center admission. Programs and tours will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There also will be a short presentation for parents on the importance of teaching evolution in ways consistent with current-day science.

Also sponsored by Cultural Programs at Cedar Crest College and the Society for the Study of Evolution, Family Darwin Day will be part of the local Darwin Day and international Darwin Day celebrations. Local Darwin Day activities, organized by Dr. Richard Kliman of Cedar Crest College, will commemorate Charles Darwin’s accomplishments and the future of evolutionary biology. This year’s Darwin Day also marks and the 150th anniversary of his most significant publication, “The Origin of Species.”

Additional information on local Darwin Day activities can be found on the web at www.cedarcrest.edu/darwinday. Family Darwin Day presentations will be given by: Dr. John Cigliano, associate professor, Biology, Cedar Crest College; Dr. Kate Goodrich, postdoctoral fellow, Muhlenberg College; Dr. Erika Iyengar, assistant professor, Biology, Muhlenberg College; Dr. Kliman, an associate professor, Biology, Cedar Crest College; and Dr. Sean Mullen, assistant professor, Biology, Lehigh University.

Darwin Day in the Lehigh Valley also will include a free Keynote Address on digital evolution by Dr. Robert Pennock at 7 p.m. in Cedar Crest College’s Samuels Theatre in the Tompkins College Center.

Dr. Pennock is a professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University and is a leading authority on issues related to creationism. The author of several books and an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the famous 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover case, Dr. Pennock’s ongoing scientific research on “digital organisms” uses sophisticated computer simulations to test and generate hypotheses related to evolution. Dr. Pennock has had his work
published in several leading scientific journals. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science.


Located on a suburban 80-acre park-like setting in Allentown, PA, Cedar Crest College is a liberal arts college for women dedicated to the education of the next generation of leaders. Cedar Crest currently enrolls more than 1,900 students - full-time, part-time and graduate - in more than 30 fields of study ranging from cutting-edge fields in the sciences and health to traditional programs in the liberal arts.


The Da Vinci Science Center is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring the exploration, understanding, and appreciation of science through curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Its vision is to become a distinct resource for hands-on science learning and an integral part of the educational infrastructure of the region. For more information, visit www.davinci-center.org.



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