Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA biology department to host Darwin Day lecture

February 6, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
NACOGDOCHES, Texas -The Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Biology will host its second annual Darwin Day program. The program will include a seminar by Dr. Charles Pence, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies at Louisiana State University. Pence's seminar is titled "Evolution and Chance: From Darwin to the Pioneers of Statistics in Biology."

Darwin Day is an annual celebration that takes place on or around Feb. 12 - the anniversary of Charles Darwin's birthday. The day celebrates the contributions Charles Darwin made to the field of biology as well as science, reason, exploration and intellectual bravery in general. The day's goal is to recognize science as a universal language capable of transcending border and culture.

Pence's seminar will focus on the history of chance, probability and statistical tools that modern biologists use when discussing evolution and how Charles Darwin managed to refine his theory without those tools.

"In this talk, I'll begin to focus on these questions by analyzing the history of these two questions," Pence said. "What did Darwin say was going on in cases where we now consider the influence of chance to be essential? And what did the historical biologists who were the first to introduce statistics and probability into evolution say about what they were doing?"

Pence's seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, in the Kennedy Auditorium on SFA's campus. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Mullin, chair of the Department of Biology, at (936) 468-3601 or mullinsj1@sfasu.edu.