Montana State University

Next Café Scientifique to look at evolution, intelligent design

October 13, 2005 -- From MSU News Service

Keith Benson and his dog, Carter Green Bengtsson (Photo courtesy of Keith Benson).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Evolution and intelligent design will be the focus of the next Café Scientifique to be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at Ferraro's Fine Italian Restaurant, 726 N. 7th Ave., in Bozeman.

Keith Benson, a biology historian, will speak on "Charles Darwin, Flounder Eyes and Intelligent Design" and lead the discussion afterward. Benson is a history professor at the University of British Columbia and principal of the university's Green College. He is also a consultant in the Montana State University Department of History and Philosophy.

Benson will review the history of Darwin's theory and related controversies. Although Darwin wrote about the origins of species, the major disagreements have focused on the issue of carefully designed structures like eyes, Benson said. He added that Darwin's orientation was generally accepted until 1925 when the Scopes trial set into place the debates that continue today.

A more accurate understanding of Darwin's theory and its historical context will help evaluate contemporary issues like intelligent design, Benson said.

Café Scientifique is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, however, and the event is popular, so attendees are encouraged to arrive before 6 p.m. They can park in Ferraro's parking lot, along the street, in the A & D Auto Body lot east of Ferraro's or in Mixer's and Pub Hippo lots north across the street from Ferraro's.

Café Scientifique is co-sponsored by MSU's College of Letters and Science and Montana's INBRE program. It provides an opportunity for community members to come together in a friendly locale to hear a short talk on a current scientific topic and discuss the issues.

For more information, contact Laurie Howell at (406) 994-7531 or

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or