(January 22, 2014)

Centenary hosts Forum on science, religion in public schools

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Forum, Centenary College's annual symposium hosted by the Philosophy Department, presents "Science and Religion in the Public Schools" with events Wednesday, January 29; Thursday, January 30; and Monday, February 3. All events are free and open to the public.

The Forum
Zack Kopplin of Repeal Creationism

Nationally recognized political activist and founder of Repeal Creationism, Zack Kopplin, will address The Forum's theme with a presentation on Wednesday, January 29, at 7 p.m. and convocation, "How I Got Involved in the Politics of Science Education" on Thursday, January 30, at 11:10 a.m. in the Whited Room. Kopplin is best known for his effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, a controversial law passed in 2008 promoting the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public school science class.

"Zack is very accomplished for someone so young," said Dr. Chris Ciocchetti, Associate Professor of Philosophy and coordinator of the event. "However, Zack won't have the last word. We've assembled a diverse panel of community members and students to respond to Zack's ideas…We will get an unusual chance to discuss how our public education system should approach science and religion, especially when they seem to conflict.”

The panel will convene Monday, February 3, at 7 p.m. in the Whited Room and feature a group of students and citizens who will discuss Kopplin's commentaries and interact with the audience during a Q&A session. Student panelists include Amanda Price '14, biology major and religious studies minor, and Matt Cravens '14, biology and history major. Helaine Braunig, Educator of the B'Nai Zion Congregation and Dominic Salinas, Department of Education Director at Centenary, are slated as the citizen representatives.

In addition to Ciocchetti and the Philosophy Department, this year's Forum is a product of the efforts of the Biology Department and the Secular Student Association Group.

Previous years' Forum topics have been "Consumer Responsibility," "Religiosity and Happiness," "Stem Cell Research and Public Policy,” and "Should Some Art Be Censored?"

For further information, contact Ciocchetti at 318.869.5246 or email or see the Forum web page.

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