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Professor Larson Speaks on Why Darwin Still Matters

LarsonPepperdine's Ed Larson, University Professor and the Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law recently spoke at the conference "Why Darwin Still Matters," at Pepperdine University on Nov. 20 and 21. A renowned Darwin scholar, Larson received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History for his book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997).

The Darwin conference marked the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Larson spoke on "Darwin and the Victorian Soul," specifically, "the initial response to Darwinism in late Victorian England focusing on the paired reaction of widespread acceptance of the biological concept of common descent and the persistent resistance to the notion that human morality and mentality had a purely naturalistic origin," said Larson.

The Pepperdine event was one of more 30 speaking engagements Larson had this fall. Larson spoke at Darwin University and Natural History Museum, in Darwin, Australia; the New Hampshire Humanities Council, in Concord, New Hampshire; University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Washington University, in St. Louis, Missouri, among others.

On the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, Larson reflects on his influence. "Most people are largely forgotten soon after they die. Not Darwin," says Larson. "In books, magazine, movies, and blogs, people throughout the world are still debating Darwin and his theories."

Larson is the author of seven books and over sixty published articles. He writes on issues of science, medicine, and law from an historical perspective.

For more information on the conference, visit the Web site.