By Gavin Aronsen
The renowned evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins visited Stephens Auditorium Monday night, musing about the wonders of science and reading a passage from his new memoir, “An Appetite for Wonder.”
With the Iowa State University men’s basketball team playing next door at Hilton Coliseum, Dawkins still managed to attract more than 1,100 people to the discussion, most of them university-aged.
Dawkins was joined on stage by ISU Bioethics Program Director Clark Wolf, who guided a 50-minute discussion, focused largely on the scientist’s life experiences in his field, before Dawkins took questions from the audience.
“The beauty of biology, really, is the illusion of design,” Dawkins said.
He chose as an example the eye, recalling an essay from his 1996 book “Climbing Mount Improbable” that explored the organ’s complexities and explaining the “gradual ramp of improvement” of eyes of species evolving independently of one another.
Charles Darwin also pointed to the eye as evidence for evolution, although creationists often quote him out of context to suggest he found the concept impossibly “absurd,” Dawkins noted.
Wolf asked Dawkins about a controversial bill introduced in the Iowa Legislature in 2009 by state Rep. Rod Roberts, R-Carroll, that would have allowed for the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public classrooms.
Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below and watch the entire Iowa State University talk here.