According to a nationwide survey, more than two-thirds of atheists and one-third of agnostics believe that “the findings of science make the existence of God less probable,” while nearly half of self-identified theists believe “the findings of science are neutral with regard to the existence of God.” But what if there is another option? What if the discoveries of science Read More ›
Stephen Meyer remembers the parade of prominent provocative thinkers who traipsed through McFarlin Auditorium in the mid-1980s when he was studying graduate-level mathematics at Southern Methodist University. So he’s bemused by the stance of the university’s science professors, who recently tried to shut down a conference he organized for April 13-14 at McFarlin with co-sponsorship by the SMU law school’s Christian Legal Society. Dubbed “Darwin Versus Design,” the confab will focus on intelligent design, or the theory that life has its genesis in intelligence rather than Darwinian randomness and natural selection.
“The largest objection began with the title itself,” says Larry Ruben, chair of SMU’s biology department. “This was going to be some kind of a scientific debate, Darwin versus intelligent design.”
Ruben protests the conference is misleading and dishonest—not really a debate about competing origin-of-life theories at all, since there are no Darwinists on the conference panel. It is simply an intelligent design binge. “What really irked the most was it appeared to be a program on science on something that scientists don’t accept as being science.”
Michael Keas, professor of the history and philosophy of science at Biola University in Southern California and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, an I.D.-promoting group that is organizing the conference, makes no apologies for the exclusion of Darwinists. “The other side has traditionally had a monopoly in higher education,” he says. “So this is a good opportunity for design theorists to make their case.”
But Meyer, who as director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture is a featured speaker at the conference, says objections such as Ruben’s stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of intelligent design theory emanating from distorted media portrayals and U.S. District Judge John E. Jones’ December 2005 ruling in a Dover, Pennsylvania, lawsuit challenging a school board’s requirement that biology teachers mention I.D. Jones ruled intelligent design is not science because it doesn’t put forward any testable hypotheses.Read More ›
For his 50th birthday, Phillip Johnson’s friends and family presented him with a cake topped with an icing portrait of the retired criminal law professor as Don Quixote.
A clever analogy, friend and colleague James Gordley remembers thinking, but a trifle unfair.
“Whatever Phil is tilting at, it’s not windmills,” Gordley, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said of his longtime friend.
Indeed, many of Johnson’s supporters might say a more appropriate analogy would be that of David and Goliath: one man – 50 years old at the time – taking on the cultural titan that is Darwin’s theory of evolution.Johnson, 65, is often referred to as the father of intelligent design – the concept that the world of living things is too complex to have been created through random genetic mutation, as dictated by Darwin, and that a higher power must have been involved.
Fifteen years after his book ignited debate on the subject, Johnson still accepts speaking engagements to discuss intelligent design with new audiences. Though not a trained scientist, Johnson said the issue warrants discussion beyond the scientific field.Read More ›
This article, published by The Christian Post, quotes Discovery Institute Senior Fellow John G. West: John G. West, a political scientist and Associate Director of the Discovery Institutes Center for Science & Culture pointed out that an article titled ”Intelligent Design Might Soon Meet Its Maker” by Laurie Goodstein erroneously reported that the recent changes in the Kansas science standards Read More ›