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Charles Darwin; A Retrospective and Perspective View (Grand Rapids)

February 8, 2017
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


Charles Darwin remains one of the most identifiable icons of science that the world has ever known and his science and writings continue to have a profound influence upon our approach to science, theology, sociology, philosophy and even politics. While Darwin wrote 25 books during his career, it was his fourteenth book on the origin of species that changed the world, dragging a Victorian view of the world into a modern age of a logical, deductive and secular approach to scientific investigation.

The Origin of Species is universally considered to be one of the most important books written in any language at any time based upon its social, theological, philosophical and scientific impact. Darwin; love him, hate him or don’t seem to understand him; you cannot contest his tremendous impact upon the world.

This presentation will explore Darwin’s life including his unlikely development into a scientist, his struggles to have his ideas taken seriously and his impact upon our present society including how Darwin’s view of life has allowed us to understand relationships in science that otherwise would have been obscured had they not been viewed through the clarity provided by the lens of evolution.

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Sports Bar, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

Learn about Parking, Accessibility, and more.

About Gregory Forbes, PhD

Professor of Biological Sciences, Grand Rapids Community College

Dr. Gregory Forbes has a broad education in the biological sciences earning a B.S. in Wildlife and Natural Resources Management, and a M.S. in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic University, and a PhD from the Department of Zoology and also the Department of Tropical Environmental Studies at James Cook University in Australia. Dr. Forbes also holds professional certification as a Certified Wildlife Biologist. Dr. Forbes is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Grand Rapids Community College where he also served as the Director of its Science Education Center and currently serves as the course coordinator for the majors human anatomy and physiology program. Dr. Forbes served as the Education Director for the Michigan Evolution Education Initiative, a state-wide initiative designed to help teachers to effectively teach evolution. He also served as the Director of the Institute for Evolution Education, an initiative that expands the Michigan project nationally. Dr. Forbes served as the National Course Director for the National Science Foundation’s Chautauqua course on evolution and evolution education for college and university professors and he is the Evolution Education Specialist for the 4,000 member Michigan Science Teachers Association. Dr. Forbes has 30 years of university and college instructional experience. His instructional and curricular development work has included the development of 24 college and university courses in both the biological and physical sciences at four institutions as well as instruction of wide diversity of courses such as zoology, natural resources management, geology, majors biology, tropical ecology, marine biology and human anatomy and physiology. In 2004 Dr. Forbes was awarded the Michigan Science Teachers Association highest award, College & University Science Teacher of the Year. In 2005, Greg was selected as the Civil Libertarian of the Year by the Michigan ACLU for his work in defending the integrity of science education against attempts to introduce non-scientific ideologies into the public classroom. He was also selected as the 2006 Freethinker of the Year by the Freethought Association (now CFI–Michigan) in recognition of his efforts to promote freethought and in consideration of his work in the legislative arena to safeguard the teaching of science in public classrooms. Dr. Forbes has instructed field courses in or studied the natural history and geology of many locales such as Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, the Galapagos Islands and the Society Islands. His research interests focused upon the evolution of the diet and feeding ecology in vertebrates with his most recent research focused upon the evolution of diet selection in endangered green sea turtles. Since 1993, Dr. Forbes has served as an Editorial Board member for Skeptic Magazine, an international publication promoting a scientific approach to addressing social, philosophical, and scientific issues with a significant emphasis upon evolutionary thought, education, and inquiry. He once authored a regular column in the Michigan Science Teachers Association’s Journal entitled “Natural Selections; Essays on Evolution and the Nature of Science”. Dr. Forbes has been a featured or keynote speaker at many dozens of scientific and educational conferences. He is also a founding member and current Board member of the Michigan Citizens for Science, a citizens group that works to ensure quality science education in the public classroom. Dr. Forbes works with local conservation organizations including serving as past Executive Board Member of the West Michigan Sierra Club. During his spare time, Dr. Forbes also operates Natural Selections Natural History Expeditions, an expedition company that takes groups of adventurers to study the natural history of Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, the Galapagos and the Amazon. For recreation, Greg enjoys flying his plane, flying search and rescue for the Civil Air Patrol and whitewater paddling.