No monkey business at Darwin symposium

Charles Darwin (left), the controversial Father of the Theory of Evolution, is back in the news.

A York University symposium today brings together leading scholars and 270 Toronto-area high-school students to examine the current relevance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection in the context of SARS and cloning.

The symposium, Darwin in the 21st Century: Evolution and its Cultural Implications, on Thursday, May 8, 9:30am-2:30pm, rekindles the debate about evolution versus creationism. It will examine how Darwin’s theories apply to contemporary discussions on gene therapy and cloning, and what they reveal about new diseases such as SARS and the West Nile Virus.

“Darwin, like Copernicus and Galileo before him, forever changed science and how humans view themselves in relation to the natural world,” said York Physics and Astronomy Prof. Paul Delaney (right). The purpose of this symposium is not only to demonstrate the importance of Darwin’s ideas, but also to give high-school students, interested in pursuing future degree studies in science, a taste of the intellectual exhilaration that awaits them.

Among keynote speakers are York biology Professor Peter Moens (left), Faculty of Pure & Applied Science, on “The Death of Adam” and Prof. Betty Smocovitis, University of Florida, on “Deconstructing Darwin: The Man and the Myth”.

The symposium will convene in the Vanier College Lecture Hall, room 135. For more information visit the Media Relations Web site at