Go to New York State Writers InstituteJournalism Program
Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist & Atheist
Natalie Angier
Natalie Angier

April 12, 2007

4:15 p.m. Seminar with Natalie Angier
Assembly Hall, Campus Center

8:00 p.m. Debate/Conversation
Moderated by Thomas Bass
Assembly Hall, Campus Center

UAlbany Uptown Campus

Evolutionary Biologist
David Sloan Wilson
David Sloan Wilson

"God vs. Science" will be the subject of a conversation featuring Natalie Angier, an outspoken atheist and Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for the "New York Times," and David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist who views religion as a successful and beneficial evolutionary phenomenon.

Natalie Angier

A bestselling nonfiction author, Natalie Angier is widely regarded as one of the wittiest science writers presently at work. Angier's enthusiastic and occasionally combative endorsements of atheism--including "My God Problem," a widely republished essay from the Spring 2004 issue of "The American Scholar"--are widely credited with helping to rally the non-religious scientific community in its ongoing confrontation with creationists and other members of the religious right. The Cannon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

"Angier has that rare dual talent: a true passion for science combined with a poet's linguistic flair." - "People" Magazine

Angier's newest book is "The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science" (2007), an entertaining and informative primer for nonscientists. The book has been described as "a joyride through the major scientific disciplines: physics, chemistry, biology, geology and astronomy."

"How dare she write so artfully, explain so brilliantly, rendering us scientists simultaneously proud and inarticulate!" - Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman

Angier's previous books include the bestselling guide to female anatomy, "Woman: An Intimate Geography" (1999); "The Beauty of the Beastly" (1995), a celebration of scorpions, parasites, worms and other animals that people find repugnant; and "Natural Obsessions: Striving to Unlock the Deepest Secrets of the Cancer Cell" (1988).

David Sloan Wilson

David Sloan Wilson, evolutionary biologist, is Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. The journal "Science" has called him, "one of the most interesting evolutionists active today." Wilson is an influential proponent of the theory of "group selection," the notion that evolution favors the qualities and behaviors of groups, more so than individuals.

Darwin's Cathedral

Wilson gained widespread international attention with the publication of "Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society" (2002), a "Times Literary Supplement" Book of the Year. The book argues that religion is a successful adaptation that confers major advantages on societies that espouse it.

"A distinctive and admirable feature of the book is that Wilson does not (as so many evolutionary biologists are wont to do) prejudge the worth of religion before he starts. He finds it a notable feature of human societies and, as such, demanding respect if not agreement or support." - Michael Ruse, "Science" Journal

Wilson's newest book is "Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives" (2007). Niles Eldredge from the American Museum of Natural History said the book, "fills a gap in understanding evolution, and will help in the much-needed bridge building across the divide that has threatened educational values in recent years."

"The discussion is as entertaining as it is easy to follow.... Readers who've grown weary of the usual treatment of evolution as a deadly foe to religion will find Wilson's book a cheerful antidote, breaking new ground in its sweeping breadth and offering much to think about." - "Publishers Weekly"