(Posted December 3, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Randy Bennett, associate professor of biology at Juniata College, will address how the theory of "intelligent design" has become a strong anti-evolution movement in science education in the United States in the talk, "The Intelligent Design Movement: What (Sen.) Santorum Should Know (and probably does)" as part of the Bookend Seminar lecture series at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Bookend Seminar series features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

Bennett, a biologist whose research focuses on evolutionary development, will talk about how the theory of intelligent design -- essentially, that the complexity of the universe and all that is in it is in itself evidence that there is a cosmic intelligence overseeing its design -- and how this movement is replacing the Creationist theory that the Earth was formed by God as described in the Bible. Bennett will talk about how intelligent design advocates have actively challenged Science Education standards in several states (Ohio is the most recent) to include intelligent design in curriculum.

"The talk will try to answer if intelligent design is a new scientific paradigm being suppressed by a conspiracy of mainstream scientists or is it a closeted attempt to bring religion into the science classroom?" Bennett explains.

Bennett earned a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Western Maryland College in 1985 and a doctorate in oncology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993. He joined the faculty at Juniata in 2000 from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he was an assistant professor of zoology. Prior to that position, Dr. Bennett had served as a postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.