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The University of Alabama

Historian to Present Lecture at UA on Christianity and Dinosaurs

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Ron Numbers, a historian and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will present a lecture at The University of Alabama on how evidence of dinosaurs has been reconciled with Christian fundamentalism.

The lecture, “Baptizing Dinosaurs: How Once-Suspect Evidence of Evolution Came to Support the Biblical Narrative,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12 in room 125 of ten Hoor Hall as a part of the Alabama Lectures on Life’s Evolution, or ALLELE, lecture series at UA.

Numbers is a well-known historian of science and medicine. He is the author of “The Creationists” and “Darwinism Comes to America” and has edited other works.

In Thursday’s lecture, Numbers will discuss the relationship between dinosaurs and the creationist narrative.

In the early 20th century and well after World War II, many conservative North American Christians took a skeptical view of the existence of dinosaurs, viewing them as satanic tricks or as myths that never existed.

In the years since, some creationists have come to embrace dinosaurs as having co-existed with humans, even including nearly 30 dinosaurs in exhibits at the Creation Museum. Numbers will explore how this change of heart came to be.

The 2015-2016 ALLELE series is supported by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Alabama Museum of Natural History and UA’s departments of anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, communicative disorders, geological sciences, history, philosophy, physics and astronomy, religious studies and telecommunication and film.

For more information about the series, go to www.evolution.as.ua.edu.

The ALLELE lecture series is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships and Goldwater Scholarships.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Stephanie Kirkland, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539, stephanie.kirkland@ua.edu
  • SOURCE: Dr. Erik Peterson, assistant professor, department of history, elpeterson@ua.edu