Newswise — The theory of intelligent design has received much attention recently, with extensive national media coverage (including Time magazine, The New York Times and Nightline) being given to the actions taken by the Dover Area (Pa.) School District Board of Directors and the subsequent pending federal lawsuit by parents. Dover is believed to be the only public school district in the nation to require teachers to mention intelligent design in the classroom.

The Elizabethtown College Center for Science and Religion (ECCSR), an entity whose mission is to create a dialogue group that will explore the dynamic interface between religion and science, is sponsoring a March 1 series of debates addressing this topic. The forum, "Intelligent Design: The Scientific, Theological and Civil Dimensions of the Debate," will feature the following national key figures involved in the Dover case:

"¢ Michael J. Behe, a national proponent of intelligent design and Lehigh University biology professor, and Niall Shanks, author of the current best-selling critique of intelligent design and East Tennessee State University philosophy professor, have agreed to debate the scientific aspects of intelligent design.

"¢ John Haught, Landegger Distinguished Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, and Rev. Dave Martin, senior pastor at Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, Pa., will debate the theological aspects.

"¢ Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, which is representing eight Dover families in their federal lawsuit, and Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, who will defend the school district, will debate the civil/legal issues.

The schedule for the day is as follows:"¢ 9 a.m. " opening remarks by Elizabethtown College President Theodore Long"¢ 9:15 a.m. " introduction of topics and speakers by moderator Michael Silberstein"¢ 9:30 a.m. " Scientific Dimensions (Behe and Shanks)"¢ 12:45 p.m. " Theological Dimensions (Haught and Martin)"¢ 3 p.m. " Civil and Legal Dimensions (Walczak and Thompson)"¢ 7:30 p.m. " Capstone Lecture by Paul Gross, emeritus professor of life sciences at the University of Virginia and coauthor of "Creationism's Trojan Horse."

At Elizabethtown College -- central Pennsylvania's premier small, comprehensive college -- 1800 men and women enjoy personal attention, breadth of curriculum, experiential learning and a commitment to serving others. Elizabethtown has been ranked for 11 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top comprehensive colleges in the North.

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