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Author Michael Shermer Returns to CGU, as a Teacher This Time

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michael Shermer, who earned a PhD in history of science from CGU in 1991, is returning to campus this spring to teach a new transdisciplinary course entitled Evolution and Society.

Shermer, a writer and historian of science, is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the executive director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the author of several books on the practical implications and importance of evolutionary science. His latest, the soon-to-be-published, The Mind of the Market, is on evolutionary economics.

“It’s basically a case for capitalism based on evolutionary theory,” Shermer said.

His course at CGU is an overview of how evolutionary theory enhances our understanding of several disciplines, including economics, psychology, and even religion.

“There’s a common misconception that evolution and religious belief are incompatible, and I’m looking forward to engaging the students in that discussion,” Shermer said. “But our scope in this class is much larger. Evolution touches upon so many facets of our culture, and our syllabus reflects that breadth.”

Though Shermer has over twenty years of collegiate teaching experience, his writing and publishing duties have kept him out of the classroom since 1998. When he remarked to his friend, School of Politics and Economics Professor Paul Zak, that he was itching to return to teaching, the idea of a return to CGU was born.

“Paul told me about the transdisciplinary studies program here, and since my work trespasses across so many disciplines, this seemed like a natural fit,” Shermer said.

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