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University of Iowa News Release


March 10, 2008

'Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Faith' is topic of free lecture March 25

"Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Faith" is the title of a free, public lecture to be delivered at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in Kollros Auditorium, Room 101 of Biology Building East, Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

The lecturer will be author and evolutionary geneticist H. Allen Orr, Shirley Cox Kearns Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester, who is visiting the UI campus March 25-28 as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor. A reception in the lobby will follow the talk.

Orr's public lecture is aimed at science educators, students and members of the general public interested in the intersection between science and religion.

In addition, Orr will deliver a departmental lecture, "The Genetics of Speciation in Drosophila," at 4 p.m. Friday, March 28 in Kollros Auditorium, Room 101 of Biology Building East. A 3:30 p.m. reception in the lobby will precede the talk.

Orr, whose research involves the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation, has published essays and book reviews in The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, in addition to his numerous technical articles in refereed scientific journals. His research has advanced understanding of the process of cumulative adaptive change within populations by considering the magnitude of the effects of each change. A parallel line of work has demonstrated how accumulated changes in genes cause reproductive isolation among species.

His book "Speciation," co-authored with Jerry Coyne and published in 2004, is a milestone in the field because it provides the most comprehensive synthesis of progress and prospects in speciation research of any text published during the past 50 years. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship (2000-01), a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship (1995-2000), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (1990-1992), and a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar in Residence Fellowship at Bellagio Study Center, Italy.

His UI visit is co-sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Geoscience in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost.

The UI established the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program in 1978-79 based on a bequest from the late Ida Beam of Vinton, Iowa, who willed her family farm to the UI Foundation. The proceeds from the farm's sale enabled the UI to establish a fund that brings top scholars in a variety of fields to the university for lectures and discussions.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. People who require an accommodation in order to participate should contact in advance the Department of Biology at 319-335-1050.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,