Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES – A professor from the University of New Mexico will speak on "The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Attractiveness and Attraction" at Eastern New Mexico University at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29, in Buchanan Hall of the Music Building.
Dr. Jonathan Smith, who holds the Jack Williamson Visiting Endowed Chair in Science and the Humanities at Eastern, is conducting an on-going colloquium on "Darwin and Darwinism Today: Contexts and Controversies."
The seventh and final session of the 2002 Jack Williamson Colloquium on Science and Humanities will feature Dr. Randy Thornhill, Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico, who will speak on "The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Attractiveness and Attraction." Thornhill is one of the world's leading scholars on evolutionary psychology, the application of evolutionary theory to human behavior, as well as one of its most active popularizers.
He is the co-author of the controversial "A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion" (MIT Press, 2000).
Those attending are encouraged to read introductory materials on evolutionary psychology available on the Colloquium's web site:
Smith says that one of the responsibilities of the holder of the Jack Williamson Endowed Chair in Science and the Humanities, which was endowed by Williamson himself, is to conduct a colloquium on a topic that will "facilitate discussion and reflection by students, faculty, and the broader community on the interactions of science and the humanities and their importance in enhancing American culture and society."
Smith, who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, explains that "no scientific theory has
had a wider impact on our understanding of what it means to be human, in both a literal and figurative sense, than Darwinian evolution, and none has generated more controversy in everyday American life.
Jack Williamson, 93, is a retired professor emeritus of English from Eastern New Mexico University and a world-renowned science fiction writer. Winner of several Hugo and Nebula Awards, including a 2001 Hugo in the novella category, Williamson is still an active writer and teaches a science fiction writing course at Eastern. He was first published in 1928 in "Amazing Stories."
In endowing the chair, Williamson wrote: "Our Civilization grew out of the great legacy that comes down to us from the ancient Mediterranean world. Its gifts include the democratic institutions that guard our individual liberties, the freedom of thought that allows us to question received authority, the scientific method that seeks truth from nature rather than tradition, the new technologies of the information age that have spread it around the world.
Now, however, in our era of political correctness, with old value systems swept away and all cultures equalized, it stands in danger from its own success. This endowment is funded as a small reminder of its worth."
All sessions are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Smith at 505-562-2662 (email@example.com).