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Centenary College Hosting Forum on Science, Religion in Public Schools

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Centenary College of Louisiana

The Forum, Centenary College’s annual symposium hosted by the Philosophy Department, presents “Science and Religion in the Public Schools” with events Wednesday, January 29th; Thursday, January 30th; and Monday, February 3rd. All events are free and open to the public.

Nationally-recognized political activist and founder of Repeal Creationism, Zack Kopplin, will address The Forum’s theme with a presentation on January 29th at 7 p.m. and convocation, “How I Got Involved in the Politics of Science Education” on January 30th, 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,” says 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 3rd, 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, senior biology major and religious studies minor, and Matt Cravens, senior biology and history major. Rabbi Jana DeBenedetti of the B’nai Zion congregation and Centenary Education Department Director Dominic Salinas 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.

For further information, contact Ciocchetti at 318-869-5246, email or head to the Forum web page.


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