For Immediate Release
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February 5, 2001
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Religion and Evolution
“Clarence Darrow” Helps Celebrate Darwin’s Birthday

An hour with “Clarence Darrow” and his reflections on the controversial 1926 John Scopes trial will highlight a Charles Darwin Birthday Celebration at Indiana University Northwest on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. in the Library Conference Center. Roger Brewin, a Unitarian Universalist minister, will portray the legendary attorney who represented Scopes after he was brought up on charges in the mid-1920s for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a public school. 
Brewin, who serves the Unitarian Universalist congregations in Hobart and St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, Michigan, began portraying Darrow 15 years ago when he discovered the “defender of the dammed” used to sit in the front row of his former Chicago Unitarian congregation during the 1890s listening to speakers such as reformer, John Altgelt; suffragist, Susan B. Anthony; and agnostic, Robert Ingersoll. A 1977 seminary graduate, and a Chicago Theological Ph.D with a theatre and characterization background, Brewin performs as Darrow at least 12 times a year. 

 “The trial caused one of the most incendiary public debates of the 20th Century,” says Brewin. “It set the forces of modernism against fundamentalism, and ignited a controversy that still rages in our society today.”

Also during the afternoon-long birthday celebration, several other presentations concerning religion and evolution will take place including: What is Religion, What is Science? by IU Northwest philosophy professor Mark Sheldon at 1 p.m.; Science and the Bible, by IU Northwest sociology professor Jack Bloom at 3 p.m.; Spirituality in Science by University of Chicago professor Christine Malcom at 3:30 p.m.; and Baptists and Science by IU Northwest buildings supervisor Dwight Gardner at 4 p.m. A round-table discussion will follow at 4:30 p.m. Birthday cake will also be served.

For more information on Religion and Evolution: Celebrating Charles Darwin’s Birthday, contact the IU Northwest department anthropology by telephone at 219-980-7107 or 219-980-6607, or by email at or

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