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Tuesday, Sept. 02, 2014

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'Rare Earth' author to deliver lectures, Jan 9-11

Peter Ward, co-author of the bestselling book "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe," will deliver a series of lectures at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 9-11, in McCosh 50.

The talks, rescheduled from Nov. 28-30, are titled "The Undesigned Universe." Ward is expected to argue that while bacterial life may be widespread in the universe, conditions for complex forms of life are actually hostile.

Ward, a paleontologist and professor of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington-Seattle, published "Rare Earth" in 2000 with Donald Brownlee. He has appeared in public debates with proponents of intelligent design. In his Princeton address, he will explain how scientific evidence points to a finite age for life in the cosmos and why this evidence is incompatible with the theory of intelligent design.

The three individual lectures are titled: "Designs on Life," Tuesday; "Designing a Habitable Solar System," Wednesday; and "The Construction of the Cosmos," Thursday.

The series, designated as the Stafford Little Lectures, is sponsored by the University Public Lecture Series and Princeton University Press.

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