SMU

The universe has a designer, speakers say

This article, published by Baptist Press, mentions Discovery Institute and the Center for Science & Culture: Strobel was joined by noted scientists Stephen Meyer, Jay Richards and Michael Behe for the “Darwin vs. Design” presentation of the Center for Science & Culture at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based group of researchers exploring the worldview implications of science. The rest of Read More ›

Dallas Darwin vs. Design Controversy

Press Coverage of the SMU Controversy SMU profs protest intelligent design conference Jeffrey Weiss Dallas Morning News March 24, 2007 “Darwin vs. Design” at SMU — twaddle on both sides Jeffrey Weiss DallasNews Religion March 24, 2007 Letter to the Editor Larry Bradshaw SMU Daily Campus March 27, 2007 Letters: Intelligent design AT SMU Dallas Morning News March 28, 2007 Read More ›

Dallas Hall and the Dedman College monument.jpg
Dallas Hall and the Dedman College monument at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX

Brain Spat

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.

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Intelligent Design Proponents Challenge SMU Professors to Debate

This article, published by The Christian Post, mentions Discovery Institute: In response to SMU science professors’ protests against next week’s “Darwin vs. Design” conference on campus, Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute, sent a letter to the chairs of three departments at the school. The rest of the article can be found here.

Free speech at Southern Methodist University

This article, published by BeliefNet, mentions a presentation by Discovery Institute: My colleague Jeff Weiss had a nice piece in the Dallas Morning News this weekend about members of the faculty at Southern Methodist University up in arms over a planned presentation of intelligent design theory on campus. The Discovery Institute of Seattle is the presenter, and the program is Read More ›