Tag Archives: Darwin Week


We are so excited to have our 10th Darwin Week this year, which will be happening from February 13-16th, 2017.

Today’s keynote spotlight will be on Dr. Hector Avalos, a philosophy professor from Iowa State University. He will be giving a lecture titled “Can Science Prove that Prayer Works?” This lecture will tackle the assumed separation between science and religion as well as experiments in the past that looked to prove that. He will be speaking February 15th at 7:30 PM

Dr. Hector Avalos is Professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University, where he was named Professor of the Year in 1996, and a Master Teacher in 2003-04. A former fundamentalist preacher and faith healer, Dr. Avalos is now one of the few openly atheist biblical scholars in academia. Born in Mexico, Avalos received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona in 1982, and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1985. In 1991, he became the first Mexican American to earn a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Near Eastern Studies at Harvard. He is the author or editor of ten books, including The End of Biblical Studies (2007). His most recent book is The Bad Jesus: The Ethics of New Testament Ethics (2015).

If you haven’t already, please “like” the Darwin Week Facebook page (and the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers page, while you’re at it!) Also, click “attending” on the event to get quick Facebook access to the schedule as well as ask questions or add comments.

You can also join the ranks of the several dedicated UNIFI members who have changed their profile pictures and cover images to the ones on this page.

Meet the Speakers of Darwin Week 2017: Kavin Senapathy

Darwin Week this year will be from February 13-16 and UNIFI’s officer team is busy planning away! Each day there will be 3-4 UNI faculty members giving talks and each evening of Darwin Week 2017, there will be a special presentation by someone from outside the UNI community. All talks will occur around 7:00 pm in the University Room in the basement of Maucker Union.

Our first keynote speaker is Kavin Senapathy on Monday evening at 7 pm. Her Darwin Week 2017 presentation is entitled Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in Your Grocery Cart. 

Our food supply has never been safer, or more varied or abundant as it is in the developed world today. Yet the public fears “toxins” and chemicals in food, and faces an avalanche of labels with every trip to the market. Kavin Senapathy will discuss why people believe what they do about food, why these myths proliferate, and how to decipher the tactics that marketers use.

Kavin Senapathy is an author, writer, and science activist covering health, medicine, biotechnology, agriculture and food. She’s the co-founder and director of international pro-science, pro-biotech movement March Against Myths, and co-author of “The Fear Babe: Shattering Vani Hari’s Glass House,” a book discussing popular food misconceptions and why they proliferate despite evidence against them. As a mom to a 6-year-old and 3-year-old, Senapathy often tackles health and nutrition misinformation targeted at parents. She’s a regular contributor to Forbes, with work frequently appearing in outlets like Slate, Gawker, Grounded Parents and more. She is active on social media, and can be found discussing the latest biotech, food, health and parenting-related news on Twitter @ksenapathy and Facebook at fb.com/ksenapathy.