Mazel Tov to our own Professor Mufwene!

James A. Landau <> JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Fri Nov 20 13:37:18 UTC 2009

and will feature leading University of Chicago experts on evolution

Four of the University of Chicago’s top scholars of evolution will debate which is truly the natural selection — latkes or hamantaschen — in the latest generation of the annual Latke-Hamantash Debate

The 63rd evolution of the University of Chicago’s famous Latke-Hamantash Debate is expected to pack Mandel Hall (5706 S. University Avenue) with over 1,000 students, faculty, alumni, and other Chicagoans. The debate is sponsored by the Newberger Hillel Center, the center for Jewish life at the University of Chicago.

The Latke-Hamantash Debate, a University of Chicago tradition since 1946, pits four professors against one another in an effort to establish which Jewish holiday food is the most superior. Some of the university’s most esteemed faculty—past debaters include Nobel Prize Winners Milton Friedman and Leon Lederman, as well as former University of Chicago president Hannah Gray—apply the tools of their disciplines to this age-old question.

In recognition of the fact that this year’s debate (November 24, 2009) takes place exactly 150 years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (November 24, 1859), the debaters will address whether Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection can shed light on the controversy…or perhaps it is simply intelligent design. The debaters are:

Robert Richards, Morris Fishbein Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, Professor of History, Philosophy and Psychology, Director of the Fishbein Center for the History of Science—one of the university’s leading experts in the history and philosophy of natural selection.

Salikoko Mufwene, Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College, Committee on Evolutionary Biology—his current work focuses on natural selection as applied to language.

Peggy Mason, Professor of Neurobiology & Chair, Committee on Neurobiology

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, Associate Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and Co-Director of the Program on Political Institutions—an expert on game theory.

Professor Ted Cohen of the philosophy department will be the moderator once again—as he has done for over twenty years—and Hillel’s executive director will give opening remarks attempting to solve the problem from the perspective of Jewish thought.

The Latke-Hamantash Debate, now a mainstay of the University of Chicago cultural calendar, emerged from the primordial soup sixty-three years ago as a light-hearted response to Jewish students’ feelings of isolation during the Christmas season. Since the first debate, which took place in the Hillel building, the event has evolved in to a campus-wide extravaganza complete with academic processional and costumes.
University campuses and other communities across the country have started their own traditions based on the original Hyde Park debate. This year marks the 63rd time that some of the University of Chicago’s brightest minds have attempted to resolve the issue.

Past debates have been recorded for posterity in The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate, a book edited by Ruth Fredman Cernea and published in 2006 by the University of Chicago Press.

In addition to this [r]evolutionary gastronomic symposium, the Debate opens with an artistic introduction by University of Chicago students and artists-in-residence, including: Chicago Rhythm & Jews (a student a cappella group); Stereo Sinai, featuring artist-in-residence Alan Sufrin (winner of the 2008 Tiberia Battle of the Bands); and renowned hip-hop poet Kevin Coval.

Both latkes and hamantaschen will be available for audience taste testing at a reception following the debate.

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list