Every year the Secular Students and Skeptics Society holds the event Darwin Day, around the time of Charles Darwin’s birthday to commemorate his Theory of Evolution in hopes of educating the public.
Darwin Day is a free event featuring key speakers that come to lecture about different practices in evolutionary theory and a movie, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, at the end of the night. This year, six speakers, from CU and other universities, were invited: Carol Cleland, Vic Stenger, Phillip Gilley, Matt Young, Herbert Covert and Doug Duncan.
The Secular Students and Skeptics Society, or SaSS, is a student run organization that promotes critical thinking among all groups. The goal of SaSS “is to provide a safe haven to the people who don’t fit in with any of the other religious groups,” said Peter Zupan a 23-year-old senior philosophy of law and society major and vice president of SaSS.
“We’re hoping to attract an audience of people who don’t know about [evolutionary theory] or outright reject it,” Zupan said.
For SaSS’s president, Trent Emory, a 25-year-old junior broadcast journalism major, the mission of Darwin Day is “to promote a fundamental understanding of community thinking. We honor all sort of things, but for some reason science takes a back seat.”
The group at Darwin Day was a mixture between students of various disciplines, and members of the Boulder community and surrounding area.
“Things like [Darwin Day] are a way to bring together all kinds of minds, it brings lots of levels of the community together,” Emory said.
In regards to people who might be hesitant to come to a meeting or an event like Darwin day, SaSS encouraged newcomers.
“That’s what we want, is to encourage that kind of thinking. It’s a challenge for people to challenge themselves. It’s not the tearing down of religious thinking, it’s to teach people,” Emory said.
Vic Stenger, professor of philosophy and author of several books, lectured on the topic, “Is the Universe Designed for Us?” and referenced his new book The Fallacy of Fine Tuning: How the Universe is not Designed for Humanity.
“The universe shows no evidence of being designed with humans in mind,” Stenger said.
Dr. Phillip Gilley a professor in the speech, language, and hearing department, spoke about the “Evolution of Language” and what understanding this particular branch of science can do for people as a whole in that it is not a purely academic practice.
“Not only do I think that Charles Darwin would appreciate the studies that are being done today [in regards to evolution of language], but I think he made the connection between [evolution and linguistics],” said Gilley.
The Secular Students and Skeptics Society holds meetings every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Humanities 1B90. Information is also available online at http://www.ssass.org/.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Bethany Morris at Bethany.email@example.com.