Analysis of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ topic of Oct. 23 URI Forensic Science Seminar

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 20, 2009 – “A Forensic Engineering Analysis of The Origin of Species” will be the topic of a talk Friday, Oct. 23 at the University of Rhode Island.

Stephen A. Batzer, director of the Engineering Institute in Farmington, Ark., will speak as part of the URI Forensic Science Seminar Series from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 124 Pastore Hall, 51 Lower College. All seminar lectures are free and open to the public.

An expert in the areas of failure analysis, vehicle crashworthiness materials science and forensic engineering, Batzer will present “aspects of our current knowledge of paleontology and biology that are counterfactual to the newspaper narrative of evolutionary theory.”

In a flyer about his talk, Batzer said that more than 3 million years ago, life emerged on Earth through “processes which still remain obscure, controversial and unreplicated.

“However, the fact of evolution, as demonstrated through the spatial and temporal progression of increasingly complex life forms is scientifically uncontroversial and well documented within the paleontological record,” his flyer says.

He adds that Charles Darwin postulated an early theory of evolution that consists of repetitive micro-mutations that, when guided by natural selection, brings about new species. The slow adaptation of “varieties and races” presumably has resulted in the panoply of complexity that is seen today. In honor of his contributions, the naturalistic framework of evolution is commonly referred to as Darwinism.

“However, Darwin’s most enduring contribution was the introduction of fastidious “methodological naturalism” into biology, shifting the previous paradigm of divine intervention into one of strictly uncaring, unknowing, random processes guiding life’s progression,” Batzer says.

This year is the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth, and the sesquicentennial of his “one long argument,” The Origin of Species.

“Darwin’s hypothesis, contrary to repeated assertion, is not found to be scientifically satisfactory by all educated people of good will,” Batzer says.

Batzer is an expert witness and consulting engineer with licensure in the states of Michigan and Arkansas. He is an adjunct assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. Further, Batzer is a retired U.S. Army Ordnance Corps lieutenant colonel. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering from General Motors Institute.