UH Biology Prof Among Panelists for Feb. 27 Science Café: "Sex: Why Bother? Evolution Mysteries"


Presented in Partnership with HoustonPBS

One of the greatest mysteries of biology is why humans need a sexual act to reproduce while some organisms such as bacteria do not, and while others, like plant lice, can reproduce with or without a sexual act. Scientific evidence indicates that sexual reproduction is in fact a much less efficient way of producing new individuals and, consequently, of passing on genes to the next generation. Why then are some species, like humans, only able to reproduce with a sexual act? This is one of the greatest intrigues of evolutionary biology. And science aside, what does sex mean to us after all? Do we mate with the only goal of passing genes onto the next generation? Or is there more to it under the sheets? Come and discuss these questions with an outstanding scientist, medical ethicist and religious studies scholar at the next Science Cafe.

WHEN:  Tuesday February 27, 2007, 7:30-9 p.m.

WHERE:  Salento coffee house, 2407 Rice Blvd. in Rice Village

Ricardo Azevedo, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston

Dr. Simon Whitney, M.D. and medical ethicist, Medical Director of Baylor Family Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies,  Rice University. Author of Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion, a book dealing with modern fusions of science, eroticism and mystical experience

Moderator: Patricia Gras, Senior Producer for HoustonPBS and host of TV show;Living Smart; airing Sundays at 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 1:30.p.m. Living Smart; episodes also available on Google Video.

COST:  Free to the public. No registration needed.

The Science Cafe is sponsored by Rice University, the Computer and Information Technology Institute, the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, the Environmental and Energy Systems Institute, the Rice Space Institute, the University of Houston and Turn-Key Enterprises.