Academy of Lifelong Learning



Math, Science & Technology


John Ames & Don Munson


Thursdays, September 7 – October 12 (six weeks)

4:15 – 5:30 pm



The publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859 changed scientific thinking. It also profoundly affected politics, religion, and education in Europe and this country. Biologist Don Munson and theologian/historian John Ames will talk about Darwin’s hypotheses and about the effect which they had in this country on both scientific and social life. Don will talk about the fascinating life and career of Darwin and explain, in a way that we can understand, the theory of evolution. John will discuss the impact this had in non-scientific ways from the end of the Civil War, through the Scopes Trial, to the present. 


DONALD A. MUNSON is Professor of Biology and Joseph H. McLain Professor of Environmental Studies, Emeritus, at Washington College where he was chair of the Biology Department from 1984 until 1996, and Director of the Environmental Studies program from 1996 until 2011. He retired in 2013. He is a graduate of Colgate University (BA), Adelphi University (MA), and the University of New Hampshire (PhD). He held a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.


JOHN T. AMES is a graduate of the University of Mississippi (BA), Union Theological Seminary (BD), and Duke University (PhD). He is a Presbyterian minister and served congregations in Bethesda, MD and Louisville, KY, and is Pastor Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton, NY. In retirement he has served as Parish Associate at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown since 2008.