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Western Kentucky University

Conference Speaker

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The Student Research Council, the WKU Chapter of Sigma Xi, and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs are pleased to announce the featured Sigma Xi speaker for the 43rd Annual WKU Student Research Conference in March 2013.

Dr. Paul Simmons is a clinical professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville. He is a medical ethicist who has training in theology and philosophy, doing post-doctoral work at Cambridge and Princeton Universities. He is involved in the national and international debates through speaking and writing on topics such as abortion, genetics, in-vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, elective death, and health care. His special interest is in the relation of religion, science, and public policy. He brings theological insights into conversation with scientific and legal dimensions of each issue.

On Friday, March 22, 2013, Dr. Simmons will meet with WKU students for an informal discussion of a wide range of topics, according to student interest. Possible topics include biomedical ethics, stem cell research, neuroscience and the existence of God, and teaching religion in the public schools. This meet-and-greet event is free and open to WKU students of all disciplines.
It will be held in the Kentucky Room of the Kentucky Building from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Refreshments will be served.

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, Dr. Simmons will present the distinguished Sigma Xi lecture at the annual WKU Student Research Conference. The event will be in Gary Ransdell Hall Room 1074 in the late afternoon (the exact time will be announced soon). The title of his presentation is "Intelligent Design: Is This the End of Evolution?" Intelligent Design claims to rival or displace the theory of evolution but Simmons argues it is both bad theology and bad science. It has no credible standing as science and appeals to terribly problematic notions such as "irreducible complexity." It also appeals to religious piety as believing the unprovable and improbable. Simmons believes there are major deficits in Intelligent Design that make it incredible that it would ever be taught in a classroom for science. Dr. Simmons' presentation is free and open to the public.


Dr. Paul Simmons

Dr. Paul Simmons

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 Last Modified 9/24/14