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An Analysis of Homer Simpson and Stephen Jay Gould

Note: The Simpson’s, television’s popular prime-time cartoon known for its satirical commentary on various social issues, recently took a shot at the creation-evolution debate by featuring Stephen Jay Gould prominently in one of its episodes. Here is Bill Dembski’s review and observations of that episode. For those of you who regularly watch the Simpsons, you’ll know that to have one’s Read More ›

lecture hall
Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall. Business and Entrepreneurship. Faculty lecture and workshop. Audience in the lecture hall. Academic education. Participants making notes.

Open Debate on Life’s Origins

Can scientists change their minds about controversial ideas? Can they reject theories if evidence requires? That may depend upon what theories are at stake. Consider a disturbing case in California involving a distinguished biology professor, Dean Kenyon. A year ago, Kenyon was removed from his biology classroom at San Francisco State University after a few students complained to administrators about Read More ›

Literature Survey:

Robert J. Richards, “The Theological Foundations of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution,” in Experiencing Nature, P.H. Theerman and K.H. Parshall, eds. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997), pp. 61-79. Most historians of science take Darwin at his word in the Autobiography: although he believed in God and special creation as a young man, “disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but Read More ›

Converting Matter into Mind

In the Foundations of Cognitive Science Herbert Simon and Craig Kaplan offer the following definition: Cognitive science is the study of intelligence and intelligent systems, with particular reference to intelligent behavior as computation. Since this definition hinges on the dual notions of intelligence and computation, it remains scientifically unobjectionable so long as one declines to prejudge the relation between computation Read More ›

Danger: Indoctrination

When most of us think of the controversy over evolution in the public schools, we are likely to think of fundamentalists pulling teachers from their classrooms and placing them in the dock. Images from the infamous Scopes “monkey” trial of 1925 come to mind. Unfortunately, intolerance of this sort has shown itself in California in the 1990s as a result of students complaining about a biology instructor. Unlike the original Scopes case, however, this case involves a distinguished biology professor at a major university — indeed, an acknowledged expert on evolutionary theory. Also unlike Scopes, the teacher was forbidden to teach his course not because he taught evolutionary theory (which he did) but because he offered a critical assessment of Read More ›

molecular models classroom.jpg
Students sit in the classroom and listen to a lecture in science. Plastic molecular educational model. Soft focus background image
Photo by svetlanaz on Adobe Stock

Danger: Indoctrination

A distinguished biology professor, Dean Kenyon, was forbidden to teach his course not because he taught evolutionary theory (which he did) but because he offered a critical assessment of it. Read More ›
SFSU_Campus_Overview_Nov2012
J. Paul Leonard Library and Malcolm X Plaza at San Francisco State University
Photo by Webbi1987 via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Scientific Correctness in San Francisco

When most of us think of the controversy over evolution in the public schools, we are likely to think of fundamentalists pulling teachers from their classrooms and placing them in the dock. Images from the infamous Scopes "monkey" trial of 1925 come to mind. Unfortunately, intolerance of this sort has shown itself in California in the 1990s as a result of students complaining about a biology instructor. Unlike the original Scopes case, however, this case involves a distinguished biology professor at a major university — indeed, an acknowledged expert on evolutionary theory. Read More ›