Los Alamos Faith And Science Forum June 27: Beyond The Neo-Darwinian Evolution Synthesis

Crowd at a Los Alamos Faith and Science talk at the Unitarian Church. Courtesy/LAFASF

Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum News:

Glenn Magelssen presents the fourth talk in the Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum summer series Wednesday, June 27. The title of Magelssen’s talk is “Beyond the Neo-Darwinian Evolution Synthesis”. The theme of the 2018 Summer Series is “Purposeful Evolution”.

Most people are familiar with Darwin’s ideas about evolution. For example, natural selection and, more recently, the role that genetics and small random mutations play in the evolutionary process (Neo-Darwinian synthesis). In addition to the Neo-Darwinian synthesis, Magelssen’s talk suggests additional methods of evolution.

Discussion topics:

  • “Epigenetics”: inheritance as a result of environmental change which does not involve changes in the DNA;
  • “Symbiogenesis”: changes due to symbiotic relationships and horizontal gene transfer not based on accumulation of mutations, leading to new species; and
  • “Niche Construction”: how humans and other organisms change their environment, leading to a feedback of environmental changes onto the organism, changing them and their evolutionary direction.

The main goal in this summer’s Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum lectures is to bring the community up to date on the latest views about evolution. The meetings will follow the usual format: light supper at 6 p.m., talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by questions for the speaker and then table discussions. These talks will be in the Fellowship Hall of the Unitarian Church at 1738 N Sage Loop in Los Alamos.

Glenn Magelssen received his PhD from the University of Colorado in AstroGeophysics and spent 30 years working in the area of Nuclear Fusion and stockpile stewardship at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He designed experiments on all the largest lasers in the world. In 2003, he completed the 4-year course called “Education for Ministry” from the University of the South School of Theology. He has many interests including studying, collecting and enjoying wine for almost 50 years and he has a keen interest in theology, art, music and genetics.

The Los Alamos Faith and Science Forum (LAF&SF) is an incorporated 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization seeking to understand faith and science and how they fit together. The website is www.lafsf.org.

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