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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 ›

Thinking About the Theory of Design

Introduction: Why Return to a Disreputable Business? Present theological discussions . . . ignore natural theology, and for contemporary linguistic philosophers the Argument from Design possesses no validity whatsoever and is logically and morally indefensible, although it may serve to heighten religious emotions. Meyrick H. Carre“Physicotheology,” The Encyclopedia of Philosophy One wonders what religious emotions the argument from design is Read More ›

Digital Dark Horse Newspapers

The perennial question of all suitors of fate and fortune now whispers and resounds through conference resorts, executive retreats and consulting sessions across the land as business leaders from Hollywood to Wall Street pose with pundits and ponder the new world of converging technologies. Symbolized in a famous mandala by MIT’s Media Lab, this grand fondue of information tools — Read More ›

of-panda-and-people-Dean- Kenyon

Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins

Of Pandas and People gives evidence for intelligent design from origin-of-life studies, biochemistry, genetics, homology, and paleontology. In a unique manner, Of Pandas and People gives the pros and cons of both the biological-evolution theory and the intelligent-design concept. Pandas promotes a widely recognized goal of science education by fostering a questioning, skeptical and scrutinizing mindset. This supplemental biology textbook Read More ›

Photo by Jordan Harrison

Metcalf’s Law and Legacy

The world of networks breaks into two polar paradigms. Most familiar is the Public Switched Telephone Network. From the tiniest transistor flip-flop on a modem chip through labyrinthine layers of rising complexity on up to a 4ESS supercomputer switch linking 107,520 telephone trunk lines (itself consisting of millions of interconnected transistors), the public network is a vast, deterministic web of Read More ›

The Whispers of Strangers

Today is my 76th birthday,” the letter began. “Unassisted and by my own free will, I have chosen to take my final passage.” Suicide. My friend Frances died in a cold, impersonal hotel room after taking an overdose of sleeping pills, with a plastic bag tied over her head suffocating the life out of her body. Frances was not a Read More ›

Photo by Dave

The Issaquah Miracle

In the spring of 1989 when Michael Bookey first visited the Middle School in Issaquah, Wash., to help the school system with its computers, he was reminded of his early ventures into Communist China. After 20 years of working with computer networks, to enter Issaquah seemed to me like encountering an exotic tribe of primitives untouched by the modern world. Read More ›

The Whole Question of Metaphysics

On February 11-16, 1993, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) met in Boston for its 159th National Meeting. While several sessions addressed topics of great interest, one in particular — “The New Anti-evolutionism” — focused on issues which have long been featured in OR publications and correspondence.1 This report concentrates on that section.

Transcript of Michael Ruse’s 1993 Speech to the AAAS
(transcript added 5.98)


The Case of the Missing Speaker

Michael Ruse, a philosopher and biology historian at the University of Guelph in Ontario, was probably the best-known speaker featured at the session, “The New Anti-evolutionism.” As session organizer Eugenie Scott remarked before Ruse spoke, “He is almost a person who needs no introduction in this context.” Yet a recent article describing the session in the London Times Higher Education Supplement omits Ruse entirely.2 Although the Times provides the identities and views of all the other speakers in some detail, they make no mention — even in passing — of Ruse nor his talk.

Why the glaring omission? Was Ruse’s talk so commonplace or forgettable that it warranted no mention? Hardly: indeed, the opposite is the case. Ruse is often controversial, but he is rarely boring, and his talk entitled “Nonliteralist anti-evolution as in the case of Phillip Johnson” was true to form; it was (for this correspondent) easily the most memorable and surprising of the meeting. Thus I speculate that Ruse’s conspicuous absence from the Times article may be due to a certain uneasiness about his main point, which, Ruse argued (and I agree) “is an important one.”

This eyewitness report may help to repair the Times complete neglect of Professor Ruse. Let’s begin by reviewing the other speakers’ remarks.

Read More ›

Homology:

Before Darwin, homology was defined morphologically and explained by reference to ideal archetypes -- that is, to intelligent design. Darwin reformulated biology in naturalistic* rather than teleological terms, and explained homology as the result of descent with modification from a common ancestor. Descent with modification, however, renders design unnecessary only if it is due entirely tonaturalistic mechanisms. Two such mechanisms have been proposed, genetic programs and developmental pathways, but neither one fits the evidence. Without an empirically demonstrated naturalistic mechanism to account for homology, design remains a possibility which can only be excluded on the basis of questionable philosophical assumptions. * In this article, "naturalism" and "naturalistic" refer to the philosophical doctrine that nature is the whole of reality, and that intelligent causation does not qualify as a scientific explanation. Read More ›
Seattle-from-Kerry-Park-1990s

Six Solutions for Seattle – Global City or Just Another Town?

METROPOLITAN Seattle - from Everett to Tacoma and from Puget Sound to the Cascade foothills - in the past decade has become a true international "Citistate," to use the term coined by syndicated columnist Neal R. Peirce. A Discovery Institute project, "International Seattle: Creating a Globally Competitive Community," is aimed at helping the region define a new strategy for increasing its international competitiveness. With the help of a 24-member advisory board and a host of volunteers, we have conducted interviews throughout the region and studied a dozen other cities' international programs. It was a breakthrough in 1990 when community-wide response to international concerns led to the creation of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle. The "TDA" pulled together resources from the city of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and organized labor, with a stated goal of making this region "one of North America's premier international gateways and commercial centers." Read More ›