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Internationally-Known Scholar James Moore to Speak on Darwin at W&L

Internationally noted scholar James Moore, professor of the History of Science at The Open University, will give a lecture on “Darwin’s ‘Sacred Cause’ ” at Washington and Lee University on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 4:30 p.m. in Leyburn Library’s Northen Auditorium.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

In a radical reassessment of Darwin’s achievement, Moore argues that “underpinning the Darwinian theory of human evolution was a belief in radial brotherhood rooted in the greatest moral movement of Darwin’s age, the abolition of slavery.”

Moore goes on to say that “for abolitionists, the human races were members of one family, with a common ancestry. Darwin extended the common descent image to the rest of life, making not just the races, but all races kin.”

Moore is the co-author of the best-selling biography “Darwin” (1991), and “Darwin’s Sacred Cause: Race, Slavery and the Quest for Human Origins” (2009), hailed by the London Review of Books as the 2009 Darwin anniversary year’s “most substantial historical contribution.” Moore’s other books include “The Darwin Legend” (1994) and “The Post-Darwinian Controversies” (1979).

With degrees in science, divinity and history, and a Ph.D. from Manchester University, Moore has taught history of science at Cambridge University and the Open University in England. He has held visiting professorships at Harvard, Notre Dame and McMaster University in Canada and visiting fellowships at England’s Durham University and the Australian National University in Canberra.

Moore is a frequent contributor to the mass media, with numerous BBC television and radio documentaries and many interviews to his credit.

He has appeared in specials for The Learning Channel, the Arts and Entertainment Network, the All Japan Network, the U.S. Public Broadcasting System and Home Box Office.

In 2009, Moore participated in several international television documentaries about Darwin, including China Central Television’s seven-part series “Charles Darwin, Nature’s Son,” the first full-scale documentary treatment of a Western scientist by state television in the People’s Republic of China.

Moore is currently researching Darwin’s colleague, Alfred Russel Wallace.