Convocation Speaker Robert T. Pennock

Robert T. Pennock

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006 Robert T. Pennock discussed the "The Ground Rules of Science: Why the Judge Ruled Intelligent Design Creationism Out of Court"

All Sixth College students were strongly encouraged to attend the Convocation, and first-quarter CAT students were required to attend. The 2006-2007 Council of Provosts Convocation Series is also open to the general public.

Dr. Pennock has studied the creationist movement for more than 20 years, focusing especially on intelligent design creationists since the early 1990s. His book "Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism" has been positively reviewed in more than 50 publications, both scientific and religious. "The New York Review of Books" called it "the best book on creationism in all its guises."

Dr. Pennock also edited "Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological and Scientific Perspectives," the most complete source book on the topic. In addition, he has published over a dozen scholarly articles on philosophical issues in the creationism debate and has given well over 100 invited talks on these subjects at universities and professional conferences both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Pennock has testified on the subject of creationism before state Boards of Education, assisted legislators in opposing intelligent design legislation, and given workshops for public school teachers to help them better teach about evolution and the nature of science.

In September 2005, Dr. Pennock was called as an expert witness in "Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School Board." The suit tested the constitutionality of a policy that allowed the teaching of intelligent design creationism in a public school. He is also the founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science, which works to defend and promote sound science education in Michigan.

A philosopher and a scientist, Dr. Pennock graduated with honors in Biology and Philosophy from Earlham College and earned his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Michigan State University's Lyman Briggs School of Science and Professor of Philosophy in the department of Philosophy. He is also a faculty member in MSU's Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Behavior graduate program and is currently doing research on artificial life and evolutionary computation.

The Council of Provosts and Sixth College together with the Helen Edison Lecture Series, the Division of Biological Sciences, Calit2 and the Sixth College Student Council made this event possible.

Reading material:

2006-07