Recently, the Department hosted two special events:
Is God a Delusion? A Reply to Religion’s Cultured Despisers
[Watch Dr. Reitan's Talk]
Eric Reitan, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Assembly Hall, 3rd Floor, Campbell Student Union
Buffalo State College
FREE and OPEN TO PUBLIC
Book Signing Following Lecture
Abstract: A common criticism of Richard Dawkins’ bestselling book, The God Delusion (Bantam Press, 2006), is that Dawkins, a biologist, displays little knowledge of relevant theology or philosophy of religion. Reitan and others have argued that this ignorance fatally undermines his case against theism and religious faith. But in the preface to the paperback edition of The God Delusion Dawkins denies this. He maintains that his scientific expertise is sufficient, and to require that he study theology before debunking religion is like requiring fairy skeptics to first examine "fairyologist" treatises on the properties of fairy wings. In his public lecture, Reitan will address what he takes to be the serious inadequacies of this response.
Bio: Eric Reitan, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University, received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo in 1993. Dr. Reitan specializes in Ethical Theory, Applied Ethics, Nonviolence Theory and Philosophy of Religion, and has published numerous articles, book reviews, and book chapters in all of these areas. Dr. Reitan won OSU’s Arts & Sciences Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence in 2004, and his fiction has garnered several awards including the 2008 Oklahoma Writers’ Federation Crème de la Crème award for his short story “Malaguena.” In addition to BSC, Dr Reitan will be signing books at Talking Leaves, 3158 Main Street, on 13th March at 7:30 PM. His new book, Is God a Delusion? A Reply to Religion’s Cultured Despisers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), is available for purchase at the Buffalo State College Bookstore.
For more information about Dr. Reitan and his visit to Buffalo State College, please contact Kimberly Blessing, Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 716.878.5136.
Charles Darwin - Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow?
Michael Ruse, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy, Florida State University
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Buffalo State College
FREE and OPEN TO PUBLIC
Abstract: Can a Christian also be a Darwinian? Is it possible to hold religious beliefs and side with evolutionary theory? In the Evolutionary wars, few thinkers are as important, as original, or as controversial as Michael Ruse. An ardent evolutionist, Ruse, for decades, has fought the Creationist agenda in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in the political and public arenas. He's also unafraid to boldly criticize some fellow evolutionists, such as Richard Dawkins: Ruse believes that by challenging the validity of religious beliefs, these evolutionists actually harm the public image of Darwinism. He argues, deftly, that science and religion can be harmonized.
Now approaching his fifth decade of teaching, Michael Ruse is a popular professor at Florida State University, where he helped build their History and Philosophy of Science programs. He started the journal Biology and Philosophy, has edited Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, and has been profiled in many publications. His books include The Evolution-Creation Struggle (a New York Magazine Academic Book of the Year), and Can a Darwinian Be a Christian?
The Evolution-Creation Struggle
More than a mere argument over science, the war of evolution vs. Creationism is really a battle between two competing worldviews. Michael Ruse traces this battle back to the Enlightenment -- to the loss of faith in the Western world -- and reveals how these two diametrically opposed (yet, in many ways, similar) ideologies have fought for the privilege of defining human origins, moral values, and the nature of reality.
Though siding with the evolutionists, Ruse is unafraid to liken some of the more extreme proponents, such as Dawkins, to intemperate religious figures of the worst kind. With an ability to clearly explain scientific and philosophical concepts, Ruse engages the audiences in a necessary conversation, situated at the crossroads of science and religion. If Intelligent Design is a scientific dead-end, why do so many people believe in it? Why does the battle of evolution vs. Creationism loom largest in America? Ruse offers nothing less than a new and productive way of understanding this often heated discussion.
For more information about Dr. Ruse and his visit to Buffalo State, please contact Amy McMillan (email@example.com; x3756).