The "Darwin vs. Design" conference was a resounding success in Knoxville, where a dedicated team of local supporters brought Discovery Institute fellows to present scientific evidence for the theory of intelligent design. The local organizers gave generously of their time and energy because they strongly believe that the debate is worth having.
The conference was well-received by an enthusiastic crowd of over 700 people at the lovely Knoxville Convention Center., nestled in the shadow of UT-Knoxville.
Students and educators comprised more than half of the audience, which also included retired engineers, high school students, medical doctors, and area business and civic leaders. There were also a number of UT students there, no surprise given the close proximity to the university.
As a former journalist Lee Strobel was the perfect moderator, interviewing the scientists and pulling from them intriguing descriptions of what they see as the scientific evidence that points to intelligent design as the best explanation for life's origins. Each of the speakers made a compelling case for intelligent design, punctuating their presentations wtih movie clips, power point presentations and other multimedia.
At the end of the day conference-goers were treated to a time of Q&A in a talk show format where Strobel moderated as the three panelists fielded questions from the audience about teaching the controversy, Discovery's science education policy, and the current atmosphere of intolerance towards scientists who study ID. Many in the crowd came prepared with questions, and academic freedom was on their minds.
While not all who attended were open to the design hypothesis, all were welcome and engaging dialogue was encouraged. A small group of protesters handed out flyers, which provided an opportunity for conference organizers to address their misinformed generalizations of design theory.
DVDs of intelligent design documentaries, books, and information on our fellows, programs, and research were available at tables inside the convention center.
Discovery Institute would like to thank the wonderful board of local supporters who made the first "Darwin vs. Design" conference such a success in Knoxville.
Recommended hotel: We want to thank the great staff at Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House Hotel for making our stay in Knoxville so comfortable.
File: Knoxville Schedule for Online.pdf - 42k
Description: Knoxville Schedule