Skip to main content
Steven L Peck.jpg

Steven Peck

Associate Professor
Biology

4145 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

Biography

Biography


Grew up in Moab, Utah.

Teaching Interests

  • History and Philosophy of Biology (Bio 470)
  • Bioethics (Bio 370)
  • Simulation and Ecology (Bio 555)

Interested in Mentoring Students interested in these topics

Research Interests

  • Biomathematics
  • Simulation Modeling
  • Philosophy of Simulation
  • Evolution and Philosophy
  • Evolution and Theology
  • Bioethics

Memberships

  • Philosophy of Science Association, 2003-Present
  • Entomological Society of America, 1993-Present

Honors & Awards

  • Association of Mormon Literature : Best Novel Published in 2011
  • Collage of Life Sciences : Collage Teaching Award

Courses Taught

Winter 2019

  • BIO 100: Principles of Biology Section 001
  • BIO 555: Evolutionary & Ecol Modeling Section 001

Fall 2018

  • BIO 470: History&Philosophy of Biology Section 001

Winter 2018

  • BIO 494R: Mentored Research Section 014
  • BIO 560: Population Genetics Section 001

Fall 2017

  • BIO 370: Bioethics Section 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009
  • BIO 470: History&Philosophy of Biology Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Mentored Research Section 14

Research Interests

Biomathematics, Simulation Modeling, Philosophy of Simulation, Evolution and Philosophy, Evolution and Theology, Bioethics.

Teaching Interests

History and Philosophy of Biology (Bio 470)
Bioethics (Bio 370)
Simulation and Ecology (Bio 555)
Interested in Mentoring Students interested in these topics

Honors and Awards

  • Eric Hoffer Award Short List & Montaigne
  • Best Novel Published in 2011
  • Collage Teaching Award

Memberships

  • Philosophy of Science Association : ( - Present)
  • Entomological Society of America: ( - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Board Member, Wild Utah, 2019-01-01 - 2019-01-31 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, PLoS One, 2018-10-01 - 2018-10-31 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Synthase , 2018-02-01 - 2018-02-28 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Ecological Modeling , 2017-03-01 - 2017-03-31 - Present
  • Board Member, Mormon Arts Center of New York, 2017-01-01 - 2017-01-31 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Acta Tropica, 2013-09-01 - 2013-09-30 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Simulation: Transactions of the Society for Modeling and Simulation Internationa, 2011-11-01 - 2011-11-30 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Agriculture and Human Values, 2011-08-01 - 2011-08-31 - Present
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Philosophy & Biology, 2011-08-01 - 2011-08-31 - Present
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - Present
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Dialogue: Journal of Mormon Thought, 2008-05-01 - 2008-05-31 - Present
  • Other, Karl Maser Academy (Magnent School) , 2013-12-01 - 2013-12-31 - 2013-12-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Member, Faculty Center, 2012-01-01 - 2012-01-31 - 2012-12-01 - 2012-12-31
  • Other, Environmental Ethics Initiative , 2012-11-01 - 2012-11-30 - 2012-11-01 - 2012-11-30
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Entomology Society of America , 2012-10-01 - 2012-10-31 - 2012-10-01 - 2012-10-31
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Ecological Modelling , 2012-01-01 - 2012-01-31 - 2012-01-01 - 2012-01-31
  • Other, International Society for the Study of Philosophy of Biology and Social Science, 2011-02-01 - 2011-02-28 - 2011-07-01 - 2011-07-31
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, US-EPA, 2010-12-01 - 2010-12-31 - 2010-12-01 - 2010-12-31
  • Officer, Honors Coordinator, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Various, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Faculty Advisor to Student Journal Borrowed Earth, 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31 - 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Various, 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31 - 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Faculty Advisor to Student Journal Borrowed Earth, 2007-01-01 - 2007-12-31 - 2007-01-01 - 2007-12-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Borrowed Earth: Undergraduate Environmental Journal, 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31 - 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31
  • Committee/Council Member, BRAG USDA Grants Panel, 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31 - 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Current Editorial board for Western North American Naturalist, 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31 - 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31
  • Officer, College Scholarship Committee, 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31 - 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Current Editorial board for Western North American Naturalist, 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31 - 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31
  • Officer, Faculty advisor for student journal "Borrowed Earth", 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31 - 2005-01-01 - 2005-12-31
  • Officer, Borrowed Earth student environmental science journal, 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31 - 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31
  • Officer, EPA-USDA Framework for Managing Inset Resistance to Transgenic Crops, 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31 - 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Board of Directors of Ground Swell an organization for community based nondenominational environment, 2003-01-01 - 2003-12-31 - 2003-01-01 - 2003-12-31

Courses Taught

2020

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 017
  • BIO 560 : Section 001
  • BIO 100 : Section 001

2019

  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 100 : Section 023
  • BIO 555 : Section 001
  • BIO 100 : Section 001

2018

  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 014
  • BIO 560 : Section 001

2017

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 14
  • BIO 494R: Section 031
  • BIO 494R: Section 14

2016

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 4
  • IAS 397R: Section 005
  • IAS 397R: Section 2
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • IAS 201R: Section 020
  • BIO 555 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 015

2015

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 494R: Section 015

2014

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 555 : Section 001

2013

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 699R: Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 347 : Section 001

2012

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 699R: Section 006
  • BIO 559R: Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 555 : Section 001
  • BIO 699R: Section 007

2011

  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 003
  • BIO 494R: Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 494R: Section 028
  • BIO 347 : Section 001

2010

  • BIO 559R: Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • PHIL 423 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 001
  • BIO 370 : Section 002
  • BIO 370 : Section 003
  • BIO 370 : Section 004
  • BIO 370 : Section 005
  • BIO 370 : Section 006
  • BIO 370 : Section 007
  • BIO 370 : Section 008
  • BIO 370 : Section 009
  • BIO 494R: Section 019

2009

  • BIO 470 : Section 001
  • BIO 494R: Section 003
  • LFSCI 494R: Section 018
  • BIO 347 : Section 001

2008

  • INBIO 699R: Section 007
  • INBIO 699R: Section 006
  • INBIO 699R: Section 011
  • BIOL 494R: Section 049
  • INBIO 494R: Section 024

2007

  • INBIO 470 : Section 001
  • INBIO 470 : Section 003
  • INBIO 494R: Section 001
  • INBIO 470 : Section 001

2006

  • INBIO 470 : Section 001
  • INBIO 470 : Section 002
  • INBIO 470 : Section 003
  • INBIO 656 : Section 001
  • HONRS 347R: Section 002
  • HUM 490R: Section 001
  • HUM 690R: Section 001

2005

  • BIOL 350 : Section 001
  • INBIO 470 : Section 001
  • INBIO 470: Section 2
  • BIOL 494R: Section 029
  • INBIO 494R: Section 002
  • INBIO 699R: Section 001
  • BIOL 494R: Section 012
  • BIOL 350 : Section 001
  • BIOL 494R: Section 009
  • INBIO 470 : Section 001
  • INBIO 470 : Section 003
  • INBIO 470 : Section 005
  • INBIO 699R: Section 001

2004

  • BIOL 150 : Section 001
  • INBIO 699R: Section 001
  • BIOL 494R: Section 004
  • HON P 344R: Section 400
  • INBIO 656 : Section 001
  • BIOL 494R: Section 010

Publications

  • Lindsay J, Arok A, Bybee SM, Cho W, Cordero AM, Ferguson DG, Galante LL, Gill RAL, Mann M, Peck SL, et alOctober (4th Quarter/Autumn), 2019. Using a reconciliation model leads to large gains in evolution acceptance. 4th ed.
  • Peck SL. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2019. Trajectories in the Evolution of Mormon Studies on Faith and Science. 1st ed. J. Spencer Fluhman, editor. Champaign, IL : University of Illinois .
  • Bradshaw W, Phillips AJ, Bybee SM, Gill RA, Peck SL, Jensen JL. November 7, 2018. A longitudinal study of attitudes toward evolution among undergraduates who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 11th ed. Joerg Heber, editor. PLEASANT GROVE EAST: PLOS.
  • Peck SL. January (1st Quarter/Winter) 24, 2017. Science the Key to Theology: Preliminaries . Michael Austin, editor. Salt Lake City, UT: BCC Press.
  • Abbott MN, Peck SL. December 9, 2016. Emerging Ethical Issues Related to the Use of Brain-ComputerInterfaces for Patients with Total Locked-in Syndrome. New York: Springer .
  • Schuster H, Peck SL. August 29, 2016. Mars Ain’t the Kind of Place to Raise Your Kid♯: Ethical Implications of Pregnancy on Missions to Colonize other Planets. 10th ed. New York: Springer Nature.
  • Peck SL. August 15, 2014. Perspectives on why digital ecologies matter: Combining population genetics and ecologically informed agent-based models with GIS for managing dipteran livestock pests. Paul Ready, editor. London / New York: Elsevier.
  • Vargas RI, Stark JD, Banks J, Manoukis NC, Leblanc L, Peck SL. September, 2013. Spatial Dynamics of Two Oriental Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Parasitoids, Fopius arisanus (Sonan) and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), in a Guava Orchard in Hawaii, manuscript. 5th ed.
  • Peck SL, Bouyer J. September, 2012. Mathematical modeling, spatial complexity, and critical decisions in tsetse control. 5th ed. Lansing, MI: Entomology Society of America.
  • Peck SL. August, 2012. Networks of habitat patches in tsetse fly control: implications of metapopulation structure on assessing local extinction probability. New York, NY: Elsevier .
  • Peck SL. April (2nd Quarter/Spring), 2012. Agent-based models as fictive instantiations of ecological processes. e303rd ed. Massimo Pigliucci (journal), Joan Roughgarden (Associate editor on paper), editors. Lansing, MI : University of Michigan http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.6959004.0004.003.
  • Froerer KM, Peck SL, McQuate GT. September, 2011. Evaluation Of Readmission Ink As A Marker For Dispersal Studies With Bactrocera Dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) . 125th ed. Tugrul Giray , editor. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.
  • Caprio M, Hellmich R, Onstad D, Peck SL. August, 2011. Framework for Evaluation of IRM Models.
  • Peck SL. July (3rd Quarter/Summer), 2011. Why Nature Matters: A Special Issue of Dialogue on Mormonism and the Environment. 2nd ed. Kristine Haglund, editor. Salt Lake City: Dialogue Foundation.
  • Froerer KM, Peck SL, McQuate GT, Vargas RI, McInnis DO. July (3rd Quarter/Summer), 2010. Long-distance Movement of 'Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Puna, Hawaii: How far 'can' they go?. 2nd ed. Lanham, MD: Entomological Society of America.

Presentations

  • Peck SL. Cancelled due to Covid: Are ecological niches real, just a good idea, or a case theoretical indigestion? The case of audioecology. Philosophy of Science Association Annual Meeting . Ecologists are debating the continued use of the concept and theory of the ecological niche Ecologists have used it since the time of its conception and the early work of G E Hutchinson, who developed the niche as an n-dimensional resource space

    Niches, arguably, as an ecological concept, were at one time considered important enough theoretically to meet Quine's argument for minimal realism In recent decades more instrumentalist views have dominated Currently, there are debates about the usefulness of the concept at all, with some authors arguing that it is time to remove the niche concept from ecological theory altogether In this view, a particular species' resource requirements form a set of measurements about resource use—there is no need to add "niche" as a concept for this activity

    Niches tend to be difficult to define for real species because recognizing all the resource needs of a species requires substantial background knowledge In practice, measuring resource needs, usage, and availability is scientifically nearly impossible in light of ecosystem complexity, ethical considerations, and unresolved methodological challenges

    One area where its use is more transparent, and which I will use as a case study to decide how useful niche theory is in principle, is Audioecology: the study of how sound is used in the landscape by various species In this discipline, the use of niche theory seems well-suited

    A soundscape is defined as the topological pattern of sound energy waves in motion in a bounded area This is captured by audio recording devices thought to reflect or map the neurological perception of sound The soundscape is used by multiple organisms, which use it as a limited resource that affects their territory, mating opportunities, food location, and other things in which sound and its production and perception is essential Because the soundscape must be shared by multiple users, it is often partitioned by organisms trying to reduce the competition to produce and receive signals and to avoid the sounds of other species or environmental noise Niche theory has been particularly applicable in this field

    The soundscape is a clear example of resource partitioning more accessible than measuring food resources typically explored to assess the realized niche of an organism Because it can be quantified within some bounded set of wave energy measurements and assessments of how far and how effectively it can travel through a particular environment, it provides a clearer partitioning of the available resource It is also highly affected by human activity and can indicate habitat loss and degradation for many species

    In this paper, I will describe the theory of ecological niches and how it has been used to frame ecological research, especially in light of competition theory and the evolution of species vis-a-vis resource use I will examine how audioecology helps clarify positions on the use of niche theory and its place in general ecological theory. 2020.
  • Peck SL. The Sword of Laban, Deleuze, and Climate Change: Slouching Toward Apocalypse in the Book of Mormon . Book of Mormon Study Association Annual Conference. Climate change is considered a wicked problem Meaning it has fuzzy boundaries, is defined by entangled multiplicities, is non-linear, unique, poorly-understood, multivalent, and is not amenable to single or simple solutions (Morton, 2013) Wicked problems generate controversy because humans cannot grasp their temporal pace, dimensions, structure, nor how to influence their trajectories The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze offers terminology and concepts that may be useful in grasping, recognizing, and even taming wicked problems Using techniques from Deleuzian literary analyses (see (Gilles Deleuze, 1986)), I will examine how the Book of Mormon serves as an apocalyptic text, depicting unaddressed wicked problems culminating in the collapse of societies, ecologies, and stabilizing structures of cultural maintenance I will argue that the roots of climate change (eg, poverty, income inequality, greed manifest as unrestrained consumption and war, and ecological inattention) are addressed in the Book of Mormon, arguing further that these roots are growing within wicked problems as described in that text

    I draw on ecological Hebraist Ellen Davis’ (Davis, 2008) work on the pre-exilic writings of Jeremiah to set the stage for the ecological and societal conditions implicated in the collapse of Lehi’s Jerusalem To better understand Lehi’s abandonment of his ‘land of inheritance,’ I will interrogate Deleuze’s notions of ‘deterritorialization,’ ‘reterritorialization, and ‘lines of flight’ (G Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) These terms should not be construed merely as Lehi’s family’s change of location Deleuze means something quite different For example, deterritorialization refers to the way structures change in boundaries, content, and meaning Using the term captures not only Lehi’s physical journey toward the promised land, but also his attempt to escape the economic structures, passions, and the embedded conditions of his cultural heritage that have precipitated a collapse of the spiritual ecology Lehi’s family and associates fleeing the area is only a small part of their ‘line of flight’ and their move to deterritorialize their homeland’s corrupt cultural weight and influence on a covenantal relationship with God and the Land

    What I aim to show is that, rather than escaping those conditions, they carry a wicked problem into the promised land, which becomes the central problem in creating a society that does not recapitulate the embryological rhizome created by the cultural genetics of ‘Jerusalem’ (to use a biological metaphor) Deleuze uses assemblages and machinics (sic) (a group of structures, objects, processes, ideas, etc that instantiate an immanent, connected, and recognizable organismic-like whole) to explore how such deterritorializations and reterritorialization occur For example, in his analysis of Kafka’s work, he shows how Kafka uses assemblages to visit reoccurring themes and concerns through various machines—in this case various literary tropes and devices

    The Sword of Laban, is such a machinic device—and how its acquisition, replication, and persistence becomes a reterritorialization machine for recreating ‘Jerusalem’ throughout the sequence of events portrayed in the Book of Mormon—which ends in the apocalyptic dissolution of the Nephite civilization Moreover, I will examine these finalities in light of current climate change and suggest the Book of Mormon, under a Deleuzian analysis, provides ways to think about the wicked problems confronting the Latter-day Saints during a time of climate change-induced ecological collapse. October, 2020.
  • Peck SL. Back Injury keeps me from doing more presentations. June, 2019.
  • Peck SL, Handley GB, Key Note Address: Canceled because of back injury . Mormon Scholars in the Humanities Annual Meeting. Cancelled do to Back Injury . May, 2019.
  • Peck SL. Bodily Life: The Biology of Agency. Conference on the meaning of Agency. Agency in a biological context . March, 2019.
  • Peck SL. Denver Exploring Faith Group. Denver Exploring Faith Group. Faith and Science are compatible . January, 2019.
  • Peck SL. Selections from Gilda Trillim. English Reading Series. October, 2018.
  • Peck SL. With Tyrrel Givens U of Virginia, Led 6 Weeks of grad students in religious studies. Richard Bushman Summer Seminar in Mormon Culture: Science and Mormonism. August, 2018.
  • Peck SL. Mediating between the world and complex agent-based digital ecologies: How do we assess model adequacy for theory construction?. FROM CASES TO GENERAL PRINCIPLES - THEORY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH AGENT-BASED MODELING State of the art and epistemological perspectives on theory development through agent-based modeling. July, 2018.
  • Peck SL. Response to Four speakers on my creative work. Mormon Scholars in the Humanities & Association of Mormon Letters Annual Meeting. March, 2018.
  • Peck SL. Eugene England Memorial Lecture: Mormonism, Evolution & Science: A Cosmos of Unfolding Beauty and Novelty. UVU Mormon Studies Conference / Heaven & Earth 2018 Mormon Studies Conference Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith. February, 2018.
  • Peck SL. Ideas from ‘Science the Key to Theology’ ( and Gilda Trillim). Miller Eccles Group. October, 2017.
  • Peck SL, Nakagawa S. Individual Based Model Development. Individual Based Modeling workshop. July, 2017.
  • Peck SL. The Evolution of Novelty in an Open Universe: Requiem for Laplace's Demon. Annual Meeting of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. The evolution of novelty demands an open universe in which determinism can be dismissed . April, 2017.
  • Peck SL. Evolving Faith: Putting Evolution in an LDS Context. Religious Education Faculty Form. Is Evolution compatible with Mormonism Yes!. January, 2017.
  • Abbott MN, Peck SL. Emerging Ethical Issues Related to the Use of Brain-Computer Interfaces for Patients with Total Locked-In Syndrome. DMU Research Symposium. December, 2016.
  • Peck SL. Complex Experiments: Using Agent-based Models To Provide Causal Insight Into Ecological Community Structure. The Twenty-Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association . November, 2016.
  • Peck SL. Evolving Faith. Summerhays Lecture. September, 2016.
  • HS, Peck SL. Ethical Implications of Pregnancy on Mars Mission. The 18th Annual Mars Society . August, 2015.
  • Peck SL, Bouyer J. An ecologically complex agent-based model of tsetse fly suppression programs in Senegal. Mathematical Models in Evolution and Ecology. Controlling tsetse fly populations in much of sub-Saharan Africa is one of the great challenges in stopping the spread of trypanosomosis diseases in both humans and domestic livestock Analytic mathematical models are often too simple to capture the complexity of these ecological systems and do not address spatial or multiple ecological interactions Agent-based systems are important for understanding these kinds of complex interactions among organisms and their environment In this talk, we demonstrate a model we have developed that allows emergent behavior to bubble-up from lower-level scales, as is often found in nature Digital organisms provide a representation that can be used at multiple spatial and temporal scales However, these types of models present several challenges to scientific investigations and discourse when we try to interpret how simulation represents the real world Through the use of a spatially structured agentbased stochastic model, we demonstrate how using such models help disclose the implications of metapopulation structure on the outcome of suppression programs Specificallly, using a simulation model we compare programs that use SIT and those that do not, and combinations of these methods, to assess their potential to significantly suppress the tsetse fly population in spatially and ecologically structured environments The model has been used to look at recent efforts to suppress tsetse populations in Senegal In this paper, we examine the results of these suppression efforts in light of this simulation. July, 2015.
  • Peck SL. Evolution, Niche Theory, and LDS Scriptures: Reframing LDS Creation Narratives. Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization. In this paper I explore how viewing LDS creation scriptures through the lens of evolutionary and ecological science creates a coherent narrative theology which allows for deeper engagement with issues of ecological sustainability and responsibility I focus on the idea of creativity and novelty being inherent in God’s creative purpose I draw on French philosopher Henri Bergson to frame a non-teleological unfolding for creation that engages fully with modern science and LDS thought. June, 2015.
  • Peck SL. Using agent-based models to explore the effect of ecological complexity on tsetse suppression programs. Pacific Branch Meeting of the ESA. Controlling tsetse fly populations in much of sub-Saharan Africa is one of the great challenges in stopping the spread of trypanosomosis diseases in both humans and domestic livestock Mathematical models have been used for informing control efforts against this fly However, often these models are too simple and do not address spatial or ecological complexity Agent-based systems have become very important to understanding these kinds of complex interactions among organisms and their environment These models allow complexity to bubble-up from lower-level scales as is often found in nature Digital organisms provide a representation that can be used at multiple spatial and temporal scales However, these types of models present several challenges to scientific investigations and discourse as we try to interpret how simulation represents the real world Through the use of a spatially structured agent-based stochastic model, I demonstrate how using such models can help disclose the implications of metapopulation structure on the outcomes of suppression programs Specifically I compare programs that use SIT and those that do not in terms of their potential to significantly supress the tsetse fly population in a spatially and ecologically complex environment. April, 2014.
  • Peck SL. Evolution in a Nutshell. What is the Life, the Universe, & Everything Symposium: 30th Annual Meeting. February, 2014.
  • Peck SL. Evolution and LDS Thought are Fully Compatible: Overcoming our Suspicions of Science. 2013 Interpreter Symposium on Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth & Man. November, 2013.
  • Peck SL. American Perspectives Environmental Ethics . Advanced Ethics at King's School, Worcester. April, 2013.
  • Peck SL. The effect of ecological complexity on tsetse suppression programs. Applying GIS and Population Genetics for Managing Livestock Insect Pest. Controlling tsetse fly populations in much of sub-Saharan Africa is one of the great challenges in stopping the spread of trypanosomosis diseases in both humans and domestic livestock Mathematical models have been used for informing control efforts against this fly However, often these models are too simple and do not address spatial complexity In this paper I explore the implications of metapopulation structure on the outcomes of suppression programs through the use of a spatially structured agent-based stochastic model Specifically I compare programs that use SIT and those that do not in terms of their potential to significantly suppress the tsetse fly population in spatially and ecologically complex environments . April, 2013.
  • Peck SL, Handley GB. What is Our Responsibility to the Environment? . Honors Dinner Keynote Speaker. We were the keynote co-speakers for an Honors banquet We lectured in tandem on the topic of environmental stewardship. April, 2013.
  • Peck SL. Conjuring  the natural world out of digital fictions: the role of narrative in complex ecological computer simulation. Humanities Center Winter Symposium. March, 2013.
  • Peck SL. Evolution in Science Fiction and Fantasy . What is the Life, the Universe, & Everything Symposium: 30th Annual Meeting. February, 2013.
  • Peck SL. “Death, the Fall, and Darwin: A More harmonious reading. Ninth Annual Meeting, 20–22 September 2012. One of the key challenges in defining a post-Darwinian LDS theology is that of the Fall The Fall is considered one of the foundational pillars of Mormon doctrine (as Bruce R McConkie argued) This because the Fall is what provides the backdrop for the necessity of the Atonement, another foundational LDS doctrinal pillar I will begin by exploring the use of the word death in Paul’s letter to the Romans, this will give context to the ways that the word 'death' can be used in the scriptures I set the stage for reading Book of Mormon Scriptures in 2 Nephi and Alma 12 which explicitly explore the fall, by considering Badiou’s concept of an 'event,' here the Fall itself, seen as his construction of the void I will then argue with Meillassoux that there are no absolutes, including the absolute of sufficient reason and therefore, the common Plotinian readings of God as the One, or as the Uncaused Cause are inappropriate (Or the placeholder God which envisions God as a position filled by persons who have acquired necessary attributes to instantiate what is essentially a structure that plays the role of a Neo-Platonic conception of the one, except with holes that have to plugged in with persons) Good Mormon Doctrine seems to be based more on a God that is much more contingent, much more temporal, and as I'll argue much more emergent than the NeoPlotinic God we keep trying to slip back into our theology I will propose a conception of ontology that not only allows for an evolutionary history, but requires it, and which sees the Fall as the entry of the possibility for human agency into the universe and its attendant accidents and opportunities This suggests a new understanding of the atonement as an unfolding of an ecological niche construction of grace and agential behavior This is pure Adam Milleresqe Goldberging I do not offer this as a suggestion of what I believe, but as speculation on directions that might prove fruitful in Mormon Theology that more fully engage with what we've discovered about the world I have divided this into chapters, based on an imagined book . September, 2012.
  • Peck SL. Evolution in Science Fiction and Fantasy . What is the Life, the Universe, & Everything Symposium: 30th Annual Meeting. February, 2012.
  • Peck SL. Use of the metapopulation theory and individual-based models to improve pest control. Quels outils pour un changement d'échelle dans la gestion des insectes d’intérêt économique? (New tools for a change of scale in pest management). http://ur-scaciradfr/actualites/atelier-gestion-des-insectes. October, 2011.
  • Plutynski A, Peck SL, Adler F. Microbial Evolution and Public Health: A Multilevel Perspective. he International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology Annual Meeting. July, 2011.
  • Peck SL. Mormonism's Current Experience with Creationism: Responses and challenges. The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology Annual Meeting. The LDS Church, while maintaining that the universe is ultimately the result of a creative act by God, maintains no official doctrine on how this was brought about, thus making an evolutionary explanation possible However, influences from Christian fundamentalism have held sway during much of the Church's short history Recent polls suggest that only 22% of Mormons are comfortable with the idea that humans have evolved through Earth's natural processes However, Mormonism continues to produce mainstream evolutionary biologists, geologists, and other evolutionary scientists In addition, the LDS Church's accredited academic institution, Brigham Young University, has an active NSF funded evolutionary biology program In this paper I explore these tensions, focusing on Mormon theological perspectives that may make it more amenable to evolutionary explanations for life on Earth, and provide an example of how religious and scientific discourse can be structured in ways that avoid the antagonisms that have emerged in much of the discourse between religion and science Still, there are deep divisions within the membership of the LDS community about evolution, and continued efforts are needed to bring better science education to its members . July, 2011.
  • Peck SL. Life as Emergent Agential Systems: Tendencies Without Teleology. What is Life: Theology, Science & Philosophy . Life is a relationship among various kinds of agents interacting at different scales in ways that are multifarious, complex, and emergent Life is always a part of an ecological embedding in communities of interaction, which in turn structure and influence how life evolves Evolution is essential for understanding life and biodiversity Henri Bergson's early work Creative Evolution suggests a way of examining 'tendencies' without 'teleology' In this paper I re-examine that work in light of recent concepts in evolutionary ecology, and explore how agential aspects of life are essential for understanding how emergence provides a basis for a process-based metaphysics of life In support of this project, I will explore how the major transitions of life on Earth have proceeded through increasing levels of cooperation among agents (eg, mitochondria in animals cells forming a mutualistic relationship), which have allowed further emergences and complexity to evolve This complexity always, however, emerges in the context of ecological relationships and non-teleological evolutionary process Yet, while non-teleological, the progression of life thus far on this planet seems to hold the promise of certain tendencies that seems inherent in life itself . June, 2011.
  • Peck SL. 'After the manner of their language:' The epistemological implications of complexity theory on the hermeneutics of prophetic discourse. SMPT seventh Annual Meeting. It has been clear over the last few decades that new interpretive frameworks are necessary in both science and religion Especially in light of our new understanding of how complex systems can create emergent properties that are not easily put into simple explanatory models and formal theoretical systems Complexity can epistemologally overwhelm the reductive approaches that have proven so useful in establishing much of our understanding of processes studied by the physical sciences and in literalistic readings of the scriptures I will explore the perspective taken in studies of emergent phenomenon, as relevant to theology, and especially the revelatory aspects of God's relation to humans In this paper, I examine approaches to scriptures and other prophetic discourse I look at how science has handled new information by using 'adaptive management' Is that approach useful in informing how we approach revelation? I suggest here that it may be a productive approach for both science and religion . April, 2011.
  • Peck SL. Evolution and Ecology in Science Fiction. Life, the Universe and Everything: The Marion H "Doc" Smith Symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy. February, 2011.
  • Peck SL. New Wine in Old Bottles? Novel Philosophical Problems in Representing Ecological Systems with Agent-Based Models. Models and Simulations 4. May, 2010.
  • Peck SL. The Implications of Evolution and Consciousness for Key LDS Doctrines. SMPT sixth annual meeting. March, 2010.
  • Peck SL. Understanding Tsetse Fly Complexity using Simulation Models. Applying GIS and Population Genetics for Managing Livestock Insect Pests. February, 2010.
  • Peck SL. Networks of habitat patches in tsetse fly control: implications of metapopulation structure on assessing local extinction probability. Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. esaconfexcom/esa/2009/webprogram/Session10520html. December, 2009.
  • Peck SL. Conjuring Ecologies: Hermeneutics, Representation, Construction and Modeling. Department of Integrated Studies. 2009.
  • Peck SL. The Ethics of Tsetse Fly Eradication. Environmental Ethics. 2009.
  • Peck SL. Mormons and Evolution. Mormon Blog Symposium (By Common Consent). 2009.
  • Peck SL. The Hermeneutics of Ecological Simulation. Philosophy Department. 2009.
  • Peck SL. Healing the Mormon Environmental Image. Sunstone Fireside. 2009.
  • Peck SL, Odenbaugh J. Ecological Boundaries: Whose?. Edges & Boundaries of Biological Objects Workshop: Ecosystems. wwwphylosophyorg/eb. 2008.
  • Belk MC, Rasmussen JE, Peck SL. Effects of source and size on survival in June sucker. Annual Meeting of the Bonneville Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. 2007.
  • Froerer K, Peck SL. Long Distance Movement Study of Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae): A Mark Recapture Study. Sixth Annual Fruit Fly Areawide Pest Management (AWPM) Meeting. 2007.
  • Peck SL. The Hermeneutics of Ecological Simulation. UFZ Centre for Environmental Research AND Max-Planck-Gesellschaf zur Forderung der Wissenschaften. 2007.
  • Peck SL. Reverence and Ecology. UVSC Mormon Studies Conference: Mormonism and Environment. 2007.
  • Guse CA, Peck SL, Onstad D. Using analytical models of evolutionary theory to extend the application of simulation models for IRM. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. esaconfexcom/esa/2006/techprogram/programshtm. 2006.
  • Bell AV, Rader RB, Peck SL, Sih A. The Influence of Resource Distribution, Behavior, and Density on Patterns of Spatial Association. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. 2005.
  • Peck SL. The Management of Insect Resistance to Transgenic Crops in Small Hectare Metapopulations. Fifth Asia-Pacific Congress of Entomology. 2005.
  • Peck SL, Bell A, Vargas R. Wide area control of Bactrocera cucurbitae: A mathematical model of wide area suppression. Hawaiian Entomological Society, 2005 Pacific Entomology Conference. 2005.
  • Peck SL, McQuate GT, Vargas R, McInnis D, Jang E, Revis H. Confronting models with data. Annual Fruit Fly Areawide Pest Management Progress Review and Conference. 2004.
  • Peck SL. Distinguished course faculty at the Infectious disease epidemiology and mathematical modeling course. 2004.
  • Bell AV, Peck SL, Vargas RI. Delay equation modeling of fruit fly area-wide control. Entomology Society Meetings, Entomology Society of America Annual Meeting. 2004.
  • Bell AR, Peck SL. Colony behavior in Tetramorium caespitum. Entomology Society of America Annual Meeting. 2004.
  • Peck SL. Development and management of insect resistance against transgenic plants. Korea Conference on Innovative Science and Technology-2004-GM Crops and Foods: Potential Safety and Environmental Impact. 2004.
  • Peck SL. Modeling Resistance issues in model comparison. Resistance Management Modeling Workshop. 2004.
  • Peck SL. An ecologist's view of LDS culture and the current environmental crisis. Symposium: Our Stewardship: Perspectives on Nature. 2004.
  • Peck SL. The spread of antibiotic resistance in a spatially structured hierarchy of metapopulations. European Society for Evolutionary Biology 9th Congress. 2003.
  • Peck SL, Seager C, McQuate GT, Vargas R, McInnis D, Jang E. Movement of Melon Fly Bactrocera cucurbitae. Pacific Entomology Conference, Hawaiian Entomological Society. 2003.
  • Peck SL. Distinguished course faculty at the Infectious disease epidemiology and mathematical modeling course. University of Utah Medical Center. 2003.
  • Peck SL. The role of modeling in managing antibiotic resistant organisms. National Academy of Scineces. 2002.
  • Peck SL. Studies in antibiotic resistance and insecticide resistance: commonalties, differences, and new directions. North Central Weed Science Society. 2001.
  • Peck SL. Use of the metapopulation theory and individual-based models to improve pest control. Quels outils pour un changement d'échelle dans la gestion des insectes d’intérêt économique ? (New tools for a change of scale in pest management). Keynote speaker . October, 2001.
  • Peck SL. A computer simulation model of the movement and population dynamics of the Malaysian fruit fly (Bactrocera latifrons): Implications for Management. Exotic Fruit Fly Research Symposium. 2000.
  • Peck SL, McQuate GT. Control of Mediterranean fruit flies using bait sprays of spinosad and phloxine B: Possible malathion alternatives for fruit fly control programs. 3rd Meeting of the Working Group on Fruit Flies of the Western Hemisphere. 1999.
  • Peck SL, McQuate GT. The comparison of three pesticides used to control Mediterranean fruit fly infestations. Pacific Entomology Conference. 1999.
Steven Peck