The Impact of Science and Religion on Society was the theme for a series of four monthly seminars held at Glenville State College from January to April 2013. The series defined science and religion, touched on some of the myths that contribute to divisions between science and religion, provided examples of the benefts of religion to society, and emphasized the importance of science education, which will be more successful if supported by the churches, to the future of the State of West Virginia and the United States.
The seminars were free and open to the public, thanks to support from our sponsors: the Glenville State College Foundation, Chi Beta Phi, the Wesleyan Foundation, and the Department of Science and Mathematics.
You may click any of the images below to view full sized posters, PowerPoint slide shows, or tapes of the seminars. For the best video quality, watch the videos directly from YouTube by clicking on the video name at the top of the frame or by clicking the YouTube logo once the video begins to play on this page.
Science and Pseudoscience
The first seminar, 'Science and Pseudoscience: Sorting Fact from Fiction' was held on Tuesday, January 29th. GSC Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. David O'Dell was the presenter. Pseudosciences are presented as being scientific but fail to meet the standards of science. Dozens of pseudoscientific beliefs are documented, and many scams succeed by capitalizing on people's inability to distinguish science from pseudoscience. These include astrology, communication with the deceased, doomsday predictions, therapeutic touch, homeopathy, and dowsing. A few television shows such as Mythbusters promote scientific reasoning, but many more (Ancient Aliens, Finding Bigfoot, The Nostradamus Effect, Ghost Lab, Conspiracy Theory, Countdown to Apocalypse) present pseudoscientific claims with little to no scientific criticism. This seminar is being sponsored and funded by the Wesley Foundation.
Scientific Discoveries and Faith
On Tuesday, February 19th, Pastor Mark James of the Wesley Foundation was the speaker for the second seminar in the series titled 'Unite the Two So Long Disjoined Knowledge and Vital Piety: A Pastor's Perspectives on Scientific Discoveries and Faith.' Many people wrestle with the biblical understandings/perspectives and the findings and discoveries of science. By presenting some portions of the Bible, it will be demonstrated that scientific discoveries can enhance our understanding of our world without undermining our religious faith. The Glenville State College Foundation provided funding for this seminar.
Evolution and Religion
On Tuesday, March 19th, GSC Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Ross Conover, GSC Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Sara Sawyer, and Pastor Mark James of the Wesley Foundation were the speakers for 'Evolution and Religion: Why They Are Not Mutually Exclusive.' One hundred and fifty years after the publication of Darwin's theory of evolution, there is still great controversy about it among the general population, although it is widely accepted in the scientific community. This seminar will objectively confront this perceived controversy in an attempt to dispel misconceptions by teaching the facts about evolution and its impact on our lives in concert with the Bible's perspective on the origins of the world.
Science Education in the U.S.
The series concluded on Tuesday, April 16th with 'Status of Science Education in the U.S.: On the Brink of Cultural Extinction.' GSC Professor of Physical Science Dr. Joe Evans will explore the reasons for the marginal to poor performances of United States' students on science and math exams. The lack of U.S. educated students going into STEM fields, thus fueling the need for Division I universities to recruit international students, will be highlighted. The presentation will conclude with the steps being proposed to counter our situation.