See our planning for 2020–21.

2009 and earlier

SSiMS Lectures 2009 and earlier

"Creationism Goes Global: From American to Islamic Fundamentalism," by Dr. Ronald L. Numbers, October 2, 2009

Despite growing evidence to the contrary, evolutionists in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries clung to the belief that creationism could be geographically contained. In 2000 the usually reliable American paleontologist and anti-creationist Stephen Jay Gould, assured foreign audiences that creationism was not contagious. "As insidious as it may seem, at least it's not a worldwide movement," he said reassuringly. "I hope everyone realizes the extent to which this is a local, indigenous, American bizarrity." Although Gould remained oblivious to it, the worldwide growth of creationism by 2000 had already proven him utterly wrong. Anti-evolutionism had become a global phenomenon, as readily exportable as hip-hop and blue jeans. In the past few decades it has quietly spread from America throughout the world and from evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Orthodox Judaism, and, especially, Islam. This lecture situates the Islamic embrace of creationism in the larger global story. 

Watch the video of the lecture; watch the video of the question and answer period following the lecture.

Dr. Ronald L. Numbers is the Hilldale Professor of History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Science and Christianity in Pulpit and Pew, and Darwinism Comes to America.

"Islam and the Transformation of Greek Science," by George Saliba, March 6, 2008

This illustrated talk examines the often repeated characterization of the role of Islamic science as preserving the Greek scientific legacy. It will demonstrate with concrete examples the extent to which Greek science had to be transformed in order to respond to ritual and cultural requirements of Islam, thus critiquing that science and eventually replacing it with a science that was more scientifically consistent. It was this transformed Islamic science that inspired later on the Renaissance scientists.

Dr. George Saliba is professor of Arabic and Islamic science at Columbia University. He is the author of Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance and A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories during the Golden Age of Islam.

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