Ulrich Kutschera

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Ulrich Kutschera
U.Kutschera.jpg
Ulrich Kutschera
Born 2 February 1955.
Freiburg, Germany
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Fields Physiology and evolution of bacteria, plants and animals; History and philosophy of biology

Ulrich Kutschera (born 2 February 1955) is a Professor of plant physiology and evolutionary biology who works at the University of Kassel, Germany, and as a Visiting Scientist in Stanford, California, USA.[1] He is the founder and head of Evolutionbiologie, the Association of Evolutionary Biologists of Germany.[2] Kutschera is critical of creationism and intelligent design.[3][4]

Education and Career[edit]

Kutschera completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Freiburg, Germany, receiving a MS in zoology and evolutionary biology. In 1985, he received a doctorate degree in plant physiology. His thesis (summa cum laude) was awarded the Pfizer Research Award (Germany) in 1986.

Between 1985 and 1988, Kutschera was the recipient of a Humboldt-fellowship (Feodor Lynen Program). He carried out his post-doctoral work at Stanford University at the Carnegie Institution for Science and at Michigan State University at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory. Kutschera was then employed at the University of Bonn as a research associate and then as a lecturer. He began his professional career in 1993 at the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry (University of Kassel) as Full Professor and Head of a Department. In 2007, he joined the Research Group of Z.-Y. Wang in Stanford California (USA) as a Visiting Professor.

Kutschera is an elected member of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany and the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). In 2002, he became head of the Division of Evolutionary Biology, at the Association of German Biologists (VBiO) and from 2004 to 2007 was vice president.[3] In 2013, Kutschera was elected corresponding member of the Botanical Society of America (BSA).[5]

Scientific work[edit]

Kutschera has studied the mechanism of phytohormone-mediated cell expansion (epidermal growth-control theory of stem elongation; protein secretion hypothesis of auxin action; epiphytic methylobacteria as phytosymbionts in living-fossil plants). His contributions to the taxonomy and molecular phylogeny of aquatic annelids (and methylobacteria) includes, for example, the discovery/description of the Golden Gate leech; he also revised the systematics of medicinal leeches and published a theory on the evolution of parental care in the Hirudinea. [6]

Kutschera has written about evolution and creationism from historical and philosophical perspectives and the modern theory of biological evolution as an expanded synthesis, as well as the Synade-model of macroevolution. In 2008, Kutschera described the strict separation of scientific facts and theories from religious dogma in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species (1859) as Darwin's philosophical imperative.[7]

Evolution versus intelligent design[edit]

In 2003, Kutschera said,

"Anti-evolutionism in German-speaking countries has already infiltrated some academic circles." [8]

In 2007, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in San Francisco, US, when speaking about the spread of creationism in Europe, Kutschera said,

"The more one argues against this creationist propaganda...the less you can convince people who are not scientists...[we should] no longer talk about Darwinism, but use the term Evolutionary Biology, which is a scientific discipline, like Physiology." [9]

In 2015, at the AAAS-meeting in San Jose, US,[10] Kutschera argued that

"The topic of evolution in Germany is in the hands of a small but powerful religious sect. But they are full of creationist nonsense." [11]

As a member of the Giordano Bruno Foundation (gbs) [12] and the German branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation (RDF-D) [13] Kutschera has defended evolution and humanistic naturalism.[14][15]

Publications[edit]

Kutschera has published ca. 250 scientific papers,[6] many with co-authors from the US, such as Karl J. Niklas and Winslow R. Briggs; ten books (in German); and a series of science videos for biology students.

His academic textbook, Evolutionsbiologie [16] has been translated into Russian and Portuguese. Kutschera's book Tatsache Evolution[17] was a best-seller during the Year of Darwin 2009 (in Germany) and the subject of controversial reports and discussions.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Curriculum vitae." University of Kassel. Accessed 24 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Wang lab: people." Carnegie Institution for Science. Accessed 24 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b "About us" Association of German biologists (VBiO) Accessed 8 April 2014.
  4. ^ Luskin C. "New plant evolution paper misfires while debating the controversy that doesn't exist." Evolution News. 6 March 2008.
  5. ^ "Corresponding members" Botanical Society of America.
  6. ^ a b Publications: U. Kutschera on NCBI/PubMed
  7. ^ On Darwin's Philosophical Imperativ - Blog by David Tyler
  8. ^ Numbers R. L. "The Creationists: from scientific creationism to intelligent design." Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2006.
  9. ^ "Down with Darwinism." Cosmic Log, NBC News 16 February 2007.
  10. ^ AAAS-meeting 2015 - Creationism in Germany American Association for the Advancement of Science, website.
  11. ^ Science Communication Program - Interview 2015 by Nala Rogers.
  12. ^ "Giordano Bruno Foundation - Kutschera." Bruno Giordano Foundation, website.
  13. ^ Richard Dawkins Foundation, website.
  14. ^ "Intelligent design debate arrives in Germany." DW.de.
  15. ^ "German scientists concerned about rise in creationist belief." DW.de.
  16. ^ Kutschera U. "Evolutionsbiologie", 4rd edition, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2015.
  17. ^ Kutschera U. "Tatsache Evolution", 3rd edition DTV, München 2010 ISBN 978-3-423-24707-8.
  18. ^ Knoll A. "Tatsache Evolution. Was Darvin nicht wissen konnte." ScienceBlogs 8 May 2009 (German).