CORVALLIS, Ore. – Piers Hale will deliver a lecture titled “The Post-Darwinian Natural Theologies of Asa Gray and Charles Kingsley” on Friday, Feb. 20, at Oregon State University. The free public lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 208.

This is the second lecture in the Horning Endowment–sponsored “Darwin 1809–2009” series celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.

Darwin’s “Origin of Species” (1859) provoked both enthusiasm and opposition. Among those who were the most enthusiastic about Darwin’s work were two men who attempted to reconcile selection with their faith, seeing it as God’s chosen method of creation. Harvard botanist Asa Gray debated his post-origin natural theology with Darwin in a lengthy correspondence. However, theologian Charles Kingsley — chaplain to Queen Victoria and author of the children’s fairy tale, “The Water-Babies” – argued that a Darwinian world view made room for the agency and free will which were central to his faith.

Hale is assistant professor of the history of science at the University of Oklahoma. He teaches classes on the social history of the life sciences, and is particularly interested in the impact of evolutionary thought.

The Thomas Hart and Mary Jones Horning Endowment in the Humanities is housed in the Department of History and its activities are organized and coordinated through the department. For more information, contact the History Department at 541-737-8560 or visit:

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Elissa Curcio,