Atheist groups plan events in Palouse

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PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- A new coalition of atheists, freethinkers and humanists has formed in the Palouse region of Washington and Idaho, and its first major event is a celebration of scientist Charles Darwin next week.

The Palouse Coalition of Reason seeks to counter the power of religion in society, in favor of science and secular thought.

That often puts them at odds with organized religion, or at least groups that try to impose religious beliefs on government or society.

The Palouse Coalition of Reason is hosting two events next week as part of International Darwin Day, featuring leading atheist speakers. Daniel Dennett and PZ Myers will speak Thursday evening at Washington State University. Fred Edwords and Jennifer McCreight will speak at the University of Idaho on Friday.