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Oak Ridge Forum: "The New Atheists"
The Oak Ridge Forum on Religion and Science is sponsoring a panel discussion of interest to RET members on Thursday, February 22, 12:00 noon - "The New Atheists."

(more below)

This panel discussion is sparked by the recent publicity surrounding comments by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

If you're interested in having lunch with the group, you should contact Larry Dipboye (info below) to let him know you're coming, then be there at or before 11:30 a.m.. You can pay at the door for the catered lunch.


The Oak Ridge Forum on Religion and Science will meet Thursday, February 22, at the Civic Center on the Oak Ridge Turnpike in Oak Ridge, TN.

The event is in the "social room," adjacent to the gym. Just enter through the gymnasium entrance to the west end hall and turn left toward the Turnpike. The "social room" is on the right at the end of the hall.

GATHER 11:00 AM for a social time.

EAT 11:30 AM lunch served by the Soup Kitchen for $9.00 (at the door) includes cost of room/incidentals.

PROGRAM at Noon.

For lunch reservations contact Larry Dipboye at Ldip@earthlink.net or phone 483-6752.

PROGRAM: "The New Atheists"

"According to national polls, 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God, and more than 50 percent hold a negative view of those who don’t share their belief in a ‘Supreme Being.’ But non-religious fervor is slowly gaining a foothold in the U.S. as some atheists find a way to successfully reach out to mainstream America about their views on the existence of God. . . .A small group of America’s non-believers, such as biologist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation, and actress/comedian Julia Sweeney, are challenging religious fundamentalism through best-selling works and sold-out performances. According to Harris, ‘The usefulness of religion--the fact that it gives meaning, that it makes people feel good--is not an argument for the truth of any religious doctrine.’" Quoted from Religion & Ethics Newshour.

Moderator Carolyn Dipboye
Carolyn Dipboye is a pastor of Grace Covenant Church, a graduate of Mercer University (B.A.) and Southern Seminary (M Div, & PhD) She has taught seminary ethics classes at Southern and at Carson-Newman College, and, as adjunct, religion classes at several colleges in KY and TN. She teaches ethics courses at Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning (ORICL).

Ray Garrett
Ray Garrett is a semi-retired Research Professor of Physics at the University of Tennessee. After receiving his PhD in physics and teaching for two years at the University of Alabama, he spent more than thirty years at ORNL as a research scientist and scientist/manager working in areas of atomic, molecular and optical physics. He now continues with research at UT while pursuing other interests. He and his wife, Jo Ann, raised their family in Oak Ridge where they have lived for 39 years. He is Chairman of the Anderson County Democratic Party and is on the board of directors of the Cumberland Trail Conference. He was elected to and chaired the 2003 Oak Ridge City Charter Commission. He has served on boards of ORCMA, the Community Arts Center, Chamber of Commerce, MRS Task Force, and the ACLU. Other hobbies include hiking, biking, camping, nature study, travel, music, writing, collector cars, and local, state, national and international politics. In the present context of the Forum on Religion and Science

Susan Gawarecki
For ten years Susan Gawarecki has been Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Reservation Local Oversight Committee that communicates local government concerns regarding policy issues related to the DOE decisions, especially environmental cleanup, emergency response coordination, and historic preservation of Manhattan Project facilities. She was an Echols Scholar in Environmental Sciences and earned the BA from the University of Virginia. She received her M.S. in Geological Science from Lehigh University and the PhD in Geology from University of South Carolina. She studied the neotectonics of the Gulf of Suez in Egypt and worked as a Research Associate at the USC Earth Sciences & Resources Institute that included two studies on the geology of Iraq. Susan is a member of the Norris Religious Fellowship and volunteers with the Good Neighbors program, which provides emergency funds for families in need. She raises llamas on her farm in Andersonville and keeps a variety of other companion animals and serve

Steven D. Martin
Steven D. Martin is a United Methodist pastor and the president of Vital Visions, a non-profit corporation exploring the intersection between culture, faith, and public life. Steve holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and an M.Div. from Emory University. He has pastored United Methodist churches across East Tennessee since 1989. Steve’s hobbies of music, photography, computers, and storytelling merged with his professional interest in religion, history, and politics to launch his recent career shift into documentary filmmaking, educational outreach, and dialogue. He was recently honored with a dinner and reception at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, for his film, "Theologians Under Hitler, and the creation of "The Nashville Declaration on the Church and the Holocaust," a document signed by Bob Edgar, Richard Land, Arthur Waskow, Gary Cass, Barry Lynn, Rick Scarborough, and other leading nationally-known religious leaders. Steve has lectured at Univ

Jake Morrill
Jake Morrill has been the minister of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church since 2003. He holds degrees from the University of Texas, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Harvard Divinity School. A Board Member on the Race Relations Center of East Tennessee and a member of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club, Jake, by his own acknowledgment, is the proud father of the smartest and handsomest two year-old the world has ever yet seen.

For lunch reservations contact Larry Dipboye at Ldip@earthlink.net or phone 483-6752.

Larry Dipboye
865 482 6752

Posted by pking
Feb. 19, 2007