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Why 'Academic Freedom' Is Neither Academic nor Free

Featuring: 
Barbara Forrest, Ph.D., Member of NCSE's Board of DirectorsBarbara Forrest
Time: 
8:00am
TBA
Date: 
August 19, 2011
Location: 
Center for Inquiry—Transnational
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, NY


Since 2004, roughly a dozen state legislatures have considered passing "academic freedom" statutes drafted by the Discovery Institute. Although invoking academic freedom is an old creationist subterfuge, these proposed bills now typically attack not only evolution but climate science and "human cloning." Such legislation violates honest academic standards by undermining the rights of teachers and students to be free from religious and political interference in the classroom.

The Center for Inquiry Institute and CFI—Amherst
are proud to host a two-day conference on
EVOLUTION'S PUBLIC DEFENDERS
Fighting for Science and Dispelling Myths About Human Origins

For more information: 
Visit the CFI website

Why 'Academic Freedom' Is Neither Academic nor Free

Time: 
12:00am
TBA
Date: 
August 19, 2011 to August 20, 2011
Location: 
Center for Inquiry—Transnational
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, NY


Since 2004, roughly a dozen state legislatures have considered passing "academic freedom" statutes drafted by the Discovery Institute. Although invoking academic freedom is an old creationist subterfuge, these proposed bills now typically attack not only evolution but climate science and "human cloning." Such legislation violates honest academic standards by undermining the rights of teachers and students to be free from religious and political interference in the classroom.

The Center for Inquiry Institute and CFI—Amherst
are proud to host a two-day conference on
EVOLUTION'S PUBLIC DEFENDERS
Fighting for Science and Dispelling Myths About Human Origins

For more information: 
Visit the CFI website

Replacing Human Exceptionalism with an Integrated Environmental Ethic

Featuring: 
Peter M.J. Hess, Ph.D.
Peter M.J. Hess
Time: 
6:00pm
Date: 
July 30, 2011
Location: 
American Scientific Affiliation Annul Meeting
North Central College
30 North Brainard Street
Naperville, Illinois


Earth’s biosphere is poised on the brink of the sixth mass extinction event during the past 450 million years, this one of human making. Although the factors underlying our looming ecological crises are diverse, one in particular stands at the root: the doctrine of “human exceptionalism.”Logo - American Scientific Affiliation Born of an antiquated notion of the Abrahamic traditions that humans were created to rule over the earth, human exceptionalism has undergirded the philosophy that Homo sapiens—alone of all species—is exempt from biological constraints. This attitude leads to the inevitable failure of our ecological stewardship, and may very well prove fatal to our species and to our planet mates.

Can we unearth the roots of an alternative theological story that integrates Homo sapiens more fully into creation? Starting from the Pauline conviction that “all creation is groaning together” (Rom. 8:22), I will look at poetic and theological resources within the Roman Catholic tradition that challenge human exceptionalism. I will compare some insights of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alice Meynell, and Karl Rahner on the relationship between God, humanity, and evolving creation. In the words of Karl Rahner, SJ, “The point at which God in a final selfcommunication irrevocably and definitively lays hold on the totality of the reality created by him is characterized not as spirit but as flesh. It is this which authorizes the Christian to integrate the history of salvation into the history of the cosmos” (Hominization [1958], 55). Creation is the domain of God’s redemptive work, capable of bearing the Incarnation and, in turn, of being transfigured by it. Integrating humanity into the evolutionary creation story is essential to articulating a coherent environmental ethic.


A presentation at the
American Scientific Affiliation
Annual Meeting
For more information: 

Replacing Human Exceptionalism with an Integrated Environmental Ethic

Time: 
10:00am
Date: 
July 30, 2011
Location: 
American Scientific Affiliation Annul Meeting
North Central College
30 North Brainard Street
Naperville, Illinois


Earth’s biosphere is poised on the brink of the sixth mass extinction event during the past 450 million years, this one of human making. Although the factors underlying our looming ecological crises are diverse, one in particular stands at the root: the doctrine of “human exceptionalism.”Logo - American Scientific Affiliation Born of an antiquated notion of the Abrahamic traditions that humans were created to rule over the earth, human exceptionalism has undergirded the philosophy that Homo sapiens—alone of all species—is exempt from biological constraints. This attitude leads to the inevitable failure of our ecological stewardship, and may very well prove fatal to our species and to our planet mates.

Can we unearth the roots of an alternative theological story that integrates Homo sapiens more fully into creation? Starting from the Pauline conviction that “all creation is groaning together” (Rom. 8:22), I will look at poetic and theological resources within the Roman Catholic tradition that challenge human exceptionalism. I will compare some insights of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alice Meynell, and Karl Rahner on the relationship between God, humanity, and evolving creation. In the words of Karl Rahner, SJ, “The point at which God in a final selfcommunication irrevocably and definitively lays hold on the totality of the reality created by him is characterized not as spirit but as flesh. It is this which authorizes the Christian to integrate the history of salvation into the history of the cosmos” (Hominization [1958], 55). Creation is the domain of God’s redemptive work, capable of bearing the Incarnation and, in turn, of being transfigured by it. Integrating humanity into the evolutionary creation story is essential to articulating a coherent environmental ethic.


A presentation at the
American Scientific Affiliation
Annual Meeting
For more information: 

PANEL: Communicating Skepticism

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.; PZ Myers, Ph.D.; Phil Plait, Ph.D.; Jamy Ian Swiss, Magician; Carol Tavris, Ph.D.

Skepticism Panel
Time: 
7:15pm
Date: 
July 17, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing MeetingThe Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

Panel moderated by Sadie Crabtree

Sponsored by the
James Randi Educational Foundation
and the
Center for Skeptical Inquiry

For more information: 

PANEL: Communicating Skepticism

Skepticism Panel
Time: 
11:15am to 12:15pm
Date: 
July 17, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing MeetingThe Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

Panel moderated by Sadie Crabtree

Sponsored by the
James Randi Educational Foundation
and the
Center for Skeptical Inquiry

For more information: 

Deja vu all over again: Denialism of climate change and evolution

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
July 15, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing Meeting
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is some overlap in personnel between the two issues, but far more people are climate change deniers than evolution deniers. What is interesting to skeptics, however, is the similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Denialists in both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either evolution or climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for creationism, the ideology of course is religious; for global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

Sponsored by the
James Randi Educational Foundation
and the
Center for Skeptical Inquiry

For more information: 

Deja vu all over again: Denialism of climate change and evolution

Time: 
11:00am to 11:30am
Date: 
July 15, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing Meeting
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is some overlap in personnel between the two issues, but far more people are climate change deniers than evolution deniers. What is interesting to skeptics, however, is the similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Denialists in both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either evolution or climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for creationism, the ideology of course is religious; for global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

Sponsored by the
James Randi Educational Foundation
and the
Center for Skeptical Inquiry

For more information: 

WORKSHOP: Defending Evolution in the Classroom and Beyond

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D., NCSE; Josh Rosenau, NCSE; Donald Prothero, Ph.D., Occidental College

Scott, Rosenau, Prothero
Time: 
5:00pm
Date: 
July 14, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing Meeting
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

This workshop will help participants develop the skills and strategies necessary to defend evolution from creationism and protect science in the 21st century.
The Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011
For more information: 

WORKSHOP: Defending Evolution in the Classroom and Beyond

Scott, Rosenau, Prothero
Time: 
9:00am to 10:45am
Date: 
July 14, 2011
Location: 
TAM - The Amazing Meeting
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas

This workshop will help participants develop the skills and strategies necessary to defend evolution from creationism and protect science in the 21st century.
The Amazing Meeting Logo, Vegas 2011
For more information: 

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