The National School Boards Association enlisted Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch to criticize intelligent design bullet point fashion. Here I want to respond to these bullet-point assertions. I would repeat the entire article, but copyright restrictions prevent me. The article is available at http://nsba.org/sbn/02-jul/070202-8.htm. The article begins by asking whether intelligent design (or ID) has a legitimate place in the Read More ›
The ghost of William Jennings Bryan, the most celebrated–and demonized–critic of evolution of the past century, inhabits a small California bungalow in a one-block cul-de-sac in North Berkeley. There, 61-year-old Phillip Johnson is working full time to convince the world that an intelligent force–not evolution–is responsible for all forms of life on Earth. Unlike Bryan, the three-time presidential candidate who Read More ›
After Congress adopted a landmark statement in December calling for students to be exposed to a diversity of views when topics “such as biological evolution” are taught, a pro-Darwin group is absurdly trying to claim victory through creative reinterpretation of the legislative record. In the Conference Report attached to the education reform bill passed in December, Congress declared that “where Read More ›
BURLINGTON, Wash. — In this rural farming community, a high school biology teacher named Roger DeHart set out to question Darwin’s theories of evolution. He never mentioned God. He dissected such scientific topics as bacterial flagella, fossil records and embryonic development. Examine the evidence, he told the students, and ponder the Big Question: Is life the result of random, meaningless Read More ›
Stakes were high Monday at a meeting of an Ohio Board of Education panel. Up for discussion: whether high school biology students should be told about potential problems with Darwinism and evidence that life on Earth was planned. About 1,500 parents, teachers and students showed up for the meeting, which was moved to an auditorium to accommodate the crowd. They Read More ›
Leaving fundamentalist dogma behind, a new species of anti-evolutionists has arisen under the banner of “intelligent design” — now at the heart of a bitter debate erupting in Ohio about how science and evolution should be taught in the public schools. Intelligent-design advocates delve into the minutiae of biology in search of evidence that random mutation and natural selection are Read More ›
In her Dec. 15 letter responding to my December 6th editorial-page piece “A Scopes Trial for the ’90s” Eugenie Scott claims that Prof. Kenyon and I misunderstand the nature of science. What she means, of course, is that we understand it — and its current arbitrary prohibitions — all too well. The Kenyon case underscores a fact that Dr. Scott Read More ›
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 ›