FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2013
For more information:
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462- 6390
Glenville, WV—’The Impact of Science and Religion on Society’ will be the theme for a series of four monthly seminars to be held at Glenville State College beginning in January. The series will define science and religion, touch on some of the myths that contribute to divisions between science and religion, provide examples of the benefits of religion to society, and emphasize 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 are free and open to the public.
“Our goal for these seminars is to start a dialog that will help people understand science education. We want to highlight the fact that religious beliefs and science can indeed co-exist and do not need to be in conflict. We hope that individuals from all walks of life will join us for these seminars and add their input to the discussion,” said Dr. Gary Morris, GSC Assistant Professor of Biology and Department of Science and Mathematics Chair.
The first seminar, ‘Science and Pseudoscience: Sorting Fact from Fiction’ will be held on Tuesday, January 29th. GSC Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. David O’Dell will be 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.
On Tuesday, February 19th, Pastor Mark James of the Wesley Foundation will be 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 is providing funding for this seminar.
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 will be 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.
The series will conclude 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.
The GSC series has been developed with the idea that each seminar will build on the previous one but will also stand alone. Each seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Presidents Auditorium in the Heflin Administration Building. Complimentary beverages will be served in the auditorium foyer beginning at 6:30 p.m. Following each seminar, a reception will be held in the pre-event area on the third floor of the Mollohan Campus Community Center. Light refreshments will be served.
“Everyone is invited to take part in all four engaging evenings of lively speakers and healthy discussion, all capped by food and refreshments hosted at the best small public liberal arts college in the United States, Glenville State College,” said Morris.
For more information on the seminar series, contact Morris at Gary.Morris@glenville.edu or call (304) 462-6305.