PZ Myers, biologist and critic of creationism, to speak at Bates

Called one of “the fiercest, most public critics of the intelligent design movement” by the Minneapolis newspaper City Pages, biology professor and blogger PZ Myers visits Bates College to give a talk titled “The Importance of Blasphemy” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Room G65, Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Sponsored by the Bates Secular Student Alliance, the lecture is open to the public at no cost.

Myers, an associate professor of biology at University of Minnesota Morris, is the author of the popular blog Pharyngula, which address both his biological research interests and his outspoken views about his atheism, about religion and about “intelligent design,” the belief that a divine being was instrumental in the presence of life on Earth.

At the University of Minnesota, Myers studies developmental biology and neuroscience. His particular interests are in the formation of early neuronal circuits and the development of behavior in the zebrafish, and in genetic variation in motor behavior in different lines of fish. He also studies the cellular mechanisms of responses by embryos to agents that cause birth defects, such as alcohol.

“We’ve never had the good fortune of hosting a personality like Myers before,” says Christopher Ray, president of the Bates Secular Student Alliance. “No one is as qualified as he is to speak to the importance, and dangers, of speaking honestly and openly about even our most cherished superstitions.”

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