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


Program Expands with Two Keynote Speakers Including York Daily Record Columnist and Human Evolution Expert

Allentown, PA (January 29, 2007) -  The Cedar Crest College Biology Department and Cultural Programs are presenting the College's second annual Darwin Day event on Monday, February 5, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. in the Samuels Theatre at Cedar Crest College.  The program will feature Dr. Leslie Aiello, president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation of Anthropological Research, who will address the topic of Human Evolution and Human Adaptation, and Mike Argento, noted columnist at the York Daily Record, who will present "Intelligent Design: Who knew this stuff could be funny?," a look at his experience writing during a town's court battle about evolution in their schools.  

"This year we are excited to have two speakers from different academic and career backgrounds," says Dr. Richard Kliman, associate professor of biology at Cedar Crest College.  "The combination of their points of view will offer insight into the field of evolution and the ways it is impacting those outside of the scientific community as well."

In 2005, media headlines spoke of a court case in which eleven parents in Dover, PA challenged their school district for presenting intelligent design as an alternative to evolution when explaining the origin of life.  During the Kitzmiller v. Dover proceedings, Mike Argento wrote numerous columns about the topic that were not only informative, but infused with his particular brand of humor. 

Argento, a York native and graduate of Penn State, started reporting for the York Daily Record in 1983 and has been writing three columns a week for them since 1989, winning numerous awards along the way.  He also serves as president of the board of directors for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Dr. Leslie Aiello is president of the Wenner-Gren Foundation of Anthropological Research, which is the largest private foundation devoted to the support of international anthropological research.  Her own academic interests focus on the evolution of human adaptation as well as on the broader issues of evolutionary theory, life history and the evolution of the brain and cognition.

She received her B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California (Los Angeles) and her Ph.D. in human evolution and anatomy from the University of London. She spent the majority of her 30-year academic career at University College London where she was professor of biological anthropology. She was also head of the UCL Anthropology Department from 1996-2002 and head of the UCL Graduate School from 2002 to 2005 when she returned to the United States to take up her current position at Wenner-Gren. Aiello has also served as the co-managing editor of the leading international journal in human evolution (Journal of Human Evolution), has published books and a number of articles in academic journals and has been active with the media in the public dissemination of science and particularly human evolution.

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. 

The event is free and open to the public but registration is recommended.  To register, 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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