[2006/10/04] ID Draws Crowds, to Evolutionists’ Dismay
ID Draws Crowds, to Evolutionists’ Dismay 10/04/2006 Reactions in the news and evolution-centered scientific societies to the rise of intelligent design is mixed. Some ignore it, printing Darwinism-as-fact articles as usual. Others seek harmony and understanding. Still others rise up in holy horror, demanding organized counter-reformation. One thing Darwinists cannot do is deny that a widespread, international sea change in thinking about origins is underway and shows no sign of abating.
Baylor upset: ID proponent Dr. Francis Beckwith gained tenure at Baylor after a long, drawn-out battle, reported Evolution news and World Magazine (10/07/2006 issue).
Conn job: Conn College in Connecticut is hosting skeptic Michael Shermer Oct. 10 to discuss evolution vs. intelligent design.
Cato Plato: Shermer takes on Jonathan Wells on Oct. 12 at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. The title is “Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design.”
Museum dust: Associated press writer Deepti Hajeli (see Yahoo News) showed that museum curators are becoming cynical at the incorrigible creationist beliefs of many visitors: “I haven’t been surprised by the public’s reaction since our first survey, when I saw that 35 percent of the adult population thought that humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs.”
Old dinos, really? The Dallas Morning News reported on ICR’s latest RATE conference, in which evidence for a young earth and problems with radiometric dating were shared before an audience of 700.
Be fair: In the Detroit News, Scott Bahr argued that evolutionary theory relies on faith, too. Those who decry faith in the classroom, he said, fail to see the irony in their position. Even evolution requires ID to be valid: “The scientific method assumes an ordered universe that obeys natural absolute laws.” For this and other reasons, “an intellectually honest discussion of origins belongs in the classroom.”
Kentucky freed education: The outgoing education commissioner in Kentucky, Gene Wilhoit, warned the Board of Education that they should not choose a proponent of intelligent design, reported WHAS Channel 11 and the Courier-Journal of Louisville.
Space perspective: In an editorial for the Space Foundation, CEO Elliot Pulham, an evolutionist, said that space exploration to justify itself needs to understand the enduring value of humans. Pulham included a line combining of The Privileged Planet with Gaia: “we have only understood the preciousness and rarity of Mother Earth since we have been able to view her from space and since we have been able to peer deeply into the universe and understand how very rare this home planet is.”
Let there be light: Strongly pro-evolution magazine Scientific American had an editorial asking for at least a little more respect for religion, even if certain religious tenets (e.g., the Bible’s) have been contradicted by science, it claims. “Cosmology, geology and evolutionary biology flatly contradict the literal truths of creation myths from around the world,” The Editors wrote, “Yet the overthrow of religion is not a part of the scientific agenda. Scientific research deals in what is measurable and definable; it cannot begin to study what might lie beyond the physical realm or to offer a comprehensive moral philosophy.”
British revolution: “Outrage and alarm” by the media and scientific societies was the response to the “Truth in Science” initiative last month, in which “Schools up and down the country were sent two DVDs with a study guide helping teachers to utilise these materials in biology lessons.” The BBC News, TSL Education and Politics.co.UK described some of the angry responses. A writer for Biblical Creation had fun with the irony of what he called “grotesque behavior” by the opposition to freedom of thought. “If the Government has any sense, it will not do anything to reinforce the grip that materialistic dogma has over many minds within the science community,” David Tyler wrote. “We do not want to see any moves towards instituting ‘thought police’ to protect Darwinism from critical scrutiny, because that is self-evidently anti-science.”
Jesuit agenda: Loyola University is offering forums for and against intelligent design Nov. 6-7.
Darwin’s ghost: Peter James Causton had a lot to say about the moral influence of Darwinism in Commonweal magazine. He compared the Darwinian and Christian responses to the problem of suffering.
Talk back: The editors of Time Magazine may continue to present cover stories like, “What makes us human? not much,” that assume evolution and attribute our humanness to mere natural causes, but more readers are not taking it without a response. Catholic priest Jonathan Morris on Fox News accused Time of making a “wild, pseudo-scientific (and very common) conclusion about the nature of evolution and of man.”
The man Darwinists love to hate, but cannot: Phillip E. Johnson, the founder-figurehead of the intelligent design movement, was featured on today’s BreakPoint commentary by Chuck Colson. A book of Johnson’s writings was compiled this year, called Darwin’s Nemesis. Johnson is in good health these days and still active in speaking.
For the most part, mainline scientific journals are still ignoring ID if not treating it with disdain in editorials and book reviews. That may change, however (see 10/03 story). ID researchers are finding more and more ID scientists willing to come out of the closet, and are collecting lists of ID-friendly scientific research papers. And the international audience is still craving popular-level books and DVDs that are providing alternatives to Darwinism (see previous story, above).
So many words out there. Let your senses tell you what a thousand philosophers can’t ignore: the exquisite design in nature didn’t just happen.