The Oregon State University Socratic Club will sponsor a debate on the topic, “Will the World End Soon? Apocalyptic Visions of the Future” on Monday, October 17, at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium on the OSU campus at the corner of Monroe and Arnold Way. A panel of four experts will discuss and evaluate widespread claims that our world faces the near end of history or even the end of human life on Earth as we know it.
A radio preacher, Harold Camping, recently predicted that Jesus will return to Earth on October 21, 2011 (after an earlier date of May 21 didn’t materialize). Many believe that the Mayan calendar predicts that cataclysmic events will take place in 2012. Al Gore predicts that the world faces imminent environmental disaster because of man-made global warming. Are these claims believable? Four experts will examine them and debate their credibility. Nicole von Germeten (History) will discuss the Mayan calendar; Gary Ferngren (History) will discuss biblical prophecies of the future; Allen Thompson (Philosophy) will examine claims of apocalyptic environmental disaster; and Martin Emmrich (a Presbyterian minister) will discuss reasons for the current popularity of end-of-the world scenarios. Their presentations will be followed by a dialogue between the panelists and by questions from the audience.
The debate is free and open to the public.
The Socratic Club is beginning its tenth year as a student organization at OSU. The Club is modeled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941, with C. S. Lewis serving as President. At OSU it offers a forum for opposing points of view on subjects of contemporary debate at the intersection of Christian belief and contemporary culture. Two events are planned for each quarter. For more information visit the OSU Socratic Club online at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic/