Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Open Letter Concerning Court's Decision in Dover

In light of Judge John E. Jones III's ruling against intelligent design in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, I released this letter sharing my views on the court's decision.

Decision in Dover: Why the Courts got it Wrong

Dear Friends,

After six long weeks in court and after a month and a half of waiting, the now-famous “Dover trial” is finally over. Just a few minutes past 11:00 am EST, Judge John E. Jones III ruled against the Dover Area School District and against intelligent design in general in the landmark trial Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District et al. Due to a recent loss in the November elections, Dover Area School District will not appeal this case.

In his decision, Jones writes,

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

In that statement, Jones, despite being a federal judge, has demonstrated his ignorance of American law and past precedents. He rules that the intelligent design statement of the Dover Area School District violates the United States Constitution. Yet, he ruled based upon the purpose for adopting the ID policy at Dover. Jones did not rule based upon the merits of intelligent design as a science nor upon the validity of the statement being read in Dover’s science classes. Rather, he ruled based upon the purpose for adopting the statement.

Jones goes even further by making a statement concerning intelligent design in general by adding,

Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

The “intelligent design statement” read in biology classes in the Dover Area School District informed students that evolution was not a fact and that intelligent design was another theory different from evolution. The statement did not advocate one theory over another, but instead asked students to “keep an open mind.”

Advocates of intelligent design, according to Jones, “have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors.” Never mind if their “scholarly endeavors” might actually be correct, what this court worries about is “deeply held beliefs” and who has permission to hold them.

Jones’ ruling on Kitzmiller v. Dover says nothing about the validity or status of intelligent design as a science. It says a great deal about Jones’ personal philosophies and his lack of understanding concerning both design theory and American law.

As a student who has not only been involved but greatly affected by evolution/design controversy, I am very disappointed in Jones’ ruling. He complained about board members lying as to their motivation, yet he, in issuing this ruling, has allowed for educators to continually lie to students concerning the so-called validity of evolution. Jones has succeeded in doing nothing less than paving the way for academic tyranny and dishonesty and I am most disappointed.

I close with one more quote from Jones himself:

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

With all due respect to Judge Jones, I do not disagree with his court on the grounds that he is an “activist judge.” I disagree with his court on the grounds that he has demonstrated poorly to be any judge at all, activist or not. He cannot decipher between the facts and one’s motivations. He demonstrates a poor understanding of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

While Jones writes that the “Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science,” he makes no mention as to the science behind evolution or the lack of science behind design. Despite six weeks of testimony, I doubt that Judge Jones could explain any of the science that was presented in his courthouse.

Finally, Judge Jones is right in saying that “the students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better….” They deserve an honest education and an honest ruling. They didn’t receive the latter and they are now being denied the former.

My heart grieves for the students who have now lost their academic freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will not hinder or slow the intelligent design movement, but spur it on full speed.

Sincerely,

Samuel S. Chen

Monday, November 14, 2005

Dembski to Debate Again

Dr. William A. Dembski, Ph.D., Ph.D. recently participated in the "Great Debate: Should Intelligent Design be Taught in School?" at Boston University. Dembski is again debating this Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at Colby College. Go to this link for the details:

http://www.colby.edu/news_events/calendar/eventview.cfm?rID=31421&bID=288045

Monday, October 31, 2005

[Off Topic:] Tragedy at Baylor University

I don't usually blog concerning issues not related to intelligent design and evolution. However, this time, the impact of this event has been too great for the community here at Baylor University.

University Baptist Church (UBC) is a very popular church among students at Baylor. The senior pastor there, Pastor Kyle Lake, was performing a baptism service on Sunday, October 30, 2005 when the microphone accidentally fell into the baptistry. The student being baptised got out of the water okay, but Pastor Lake did not. Kyle Lake was electrocuted before his family and congregation. He died around 11:30 am, Central Time.

Kyle Lake leaves behind a young wife, three very young children, and a shocked congregation and Baylor community. Please pray for the Lake family, the UBC congregation, and the Baylor family as they mourn the loss of a devoted husband and father, and faithful pastor, and a wonderful friend.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Open Letter Concerning Trial in Dover Area School District

I recently released an open letter concerning the current Kitzmiller et. al. v. Dover Area School District trial in Pennsylvania. The text of the letter is below:

Intelligent Design, Education, and Liberty: What is Going on in Dover?

Dear Friends,

As many of you are now aware, the issue of intelligent design and evolution has continued to escalate in various settings across the United States of America. State legislators have proposed bills and heard testimonies while school districts and state school boards have changed science standards. The debate is currently being spotlighted in Dover Area School District in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The trial has continued for four weeks and as the fifth and final week begins, I, being both a student and a resident of Pennsylvania, can no longer stay silent. Adults and even self-declared “experts” surround the debate with scientific jargon and legal lingo, while arguing as to the constitutionality of presenting intelligent design in the public school science classroom.

We have heard, over and over again, that Darwinian evolutionary theory is a “theory” in the “scientific form of the word.” (Basically, evolution is a fact). Opponents of intelligent design theory has labeled ID as “anti-scientific,” a “pseudoscience,” and “religious.” However, aside from the jargon and beyond the war of words, we see a new dimension, a clearer image, to the debate in the Dover Area School District.

Dr. Kenneth Miller, Ph.D. of Brown University wrote in an open letter:

The scientific case for evolution is, indeed, overwhelming, and at the trial I gave several hours of detailed testimony documenting that fact. You are, of course, welcome to claim that there is “not a shred” of evidence for evolution. But had you been present in the courtroom, I suspect you would not make that statement.

Dr. Robert T. Pennock, Ph.D. of Michigan State University testified that (from the York Daily Record):

Intelligent design proponents' ultimate goal is to create a revolution in science, taking it back to the days when epilepsy was believed to have been caused by divine possession and gravity was thought to be the result of "spooky action at a distance.”

Others, including Dr. Barbra Forrest, Ph.D. of Southeast Louisiana University and Dr. Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education are offering their testimonies against the “intelligent design statement” of the Dover Area School District.

Steven Stough, both a parent suing the Dover Area School District and one of the witnesses in the trial, said that his daughter would probably leave the classroom when the intelligent design statement was read. He added, “She's harmed by that because she's no longer part of the accepted school community.”


What exactly is the matter being debated? Why is it that the plaintiffs claim the defendants’ intelligent design statement creates “irreparable harm?” Why does there exist such an antagonism against even allowing students to hear the name of an idea?

The issue at hand is not whether or not intelligent design theory is permitted to be taught in public school science classes. Dover Area School District did not teach intelligent design, but merely made mention of it. They similarly did not teach the gaps in evolution, but merely made mention of it.

The antagonism has resulted from the mere mention of the idea that intelligent design exists and that flaws in evolutionary theory exist. The eight families suing the Dover Area School District have convinced too many people that the mere mention of the terminology “intelligent design” means that religion is being taught as fact in schools. Such an assertion is not only wrong, but absurd.

This creates a crisis in not only Dover Area School District, but in public science classes across the nation. Under the false alarm of religion, and especially fundamentalist Christianity, science teachers across America have begun to declare and teach evolution as a scientific fact. As the National Science Teachers Association states, “There is no longer a debate among scientists about whether evolution has taken place. There is considerable debate about how evolution has taken place.” This does not lead to a solid and honest science education. Rather, this leads to a form of academic tyranny that is unthinkable in even communist nations, such as the People’s Republic of China.

While a student at Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, I was the president of a student organization think tank called “Third Eye Open.” When we decided to address the issue of evolution and intelligent design, we suffered the dictatorship that has gripped this topic. Facing lawsuits and threats, among other harassment, I soon experienced the iron fist by which evolutionists rule academia. To read the full story of my quest to host a conference on evolution and intelligent design, please see the articles in either the American Family Association Journal or in Liberty Magazine.

Of course, Dr. Kenneth Miller would argue that had I been in the courtroom to hear his testimony, I would overcome my stupidity and subscribe to evolution. And Dr. Robert Pennock would argue that proponents of intelligent design, such as myself, are trying to take science back to the days when epilepsy was believed to have been caused by divine possession and gravity was thought to be the result of "spooky action at a distance." The parents suing Dover Area School District would probably tell me that my bigoted attitude concerning evolution and intelligent design are causing their children “irreparable harm.” Yet, none of them have experienced the horrid truth behind the debate, as I have.

After reading much on both sides of the debate, I have concluded, as an inquiring student, that evolution is not sufficient enough to explain certain aspects of our current universe. Intelligent design has emerged as the better explanation for the origin of the universe.

However, personal opinions do not matter in this case, the truth does. The truth in this case is that if mentioning intelligent design becomes banned from schools, then evolution is left to be taught as a fact in public schools. In this situation, students will be denied a good, honest, science education and students will continually be persecuted in their science classes for asking questions and doing research concerning evolution and intelligent design. Is this what we consider education in America?

And so I plead with you, get involved so that more students will not have to go through what I had to, simply because I had a question. Write to your local newspaper and express your views to them. Call your state representative and state senator and tell them that they need to support intelligent design and academic freedom in our schools today. Call your congressperson and senator (in Washington, D.C.) and tell them that they need to take a stand for freedom and not the tyranny of evolution. Together we can make a difference and bring liberty back to our schools. However, we need your voice, so please speak out now, before it is too late.

Thank you for your concern and your help on this issue. It is greatly appreciated. For updates on the trial proceedings in Dover Area School District or for other information on intelligent design, please visit my website at http://www.buddy4u.com/view/?x=safe&u=SC4978. Also, for updated commentaries on intelligent design and evolution, please visit my weblog site at http://www.doubtingdarwin.blogspot.com. Feel free to navigate the links on both sites as well.

I ask that you forward this email to all those that you know. The more people who read this letter, the more people we can get involved. It is important that the people know the truth behind the evolution and intelligent design debate. Thank you again. I wish you the best and if I could ever be of any assistance to you, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Samuel S. Chen

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Lack of Intelligence at Baylor University

Evolution's ugly self has again found a place at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where I attend the Honors College. For those unfamiliar with the standing struggle between intelligent design theorists and evolutionists at Baylor University, the following link is very helpful:

http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.05.ID_at_Baylor.htm

On September 29, 2005, Dr. Robert M. Baird, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at Baylor, gave a lecture on why he believed euthanasia to be a moral decision. While I disagreed with nearly all of Baird's premises to his arguments, one premise he declared stood out in particular. Baird based one of his arguments on evolutionary fact. No matter whether euthanasia is moral or not, Baird should have known better than to claim evolution as a fact.

It was only a few years ago that Baird, as the President of the Faculty Senate, challenged the validity of the Michael Polyani Center (MPC), an intelligent design think tank at Baylor University, and also of Dr. William A. Dembski, Ph.D, Ph.D., a leading proponent of design theory. The controversy escalated and eventually resulted in the removal of Dembski, the closing of the MPC, and the limitations of academic freedom and freedomf of thought at the university. For Baird to not only have known this but to have taken an active role in it and then to turn to a university divided over this issue and declare that evolution is a fact, shows his blatant disregard for the research produced by his colleagues.

More recently, the Baylor University newspaper, The Lariat, printed an op-ed piece from the Miami Herald. The article compared design theorists involved in the Dover Area School District lawsuit to the Ku Klux Klan members. Yet, no piece was ever run concerning support for the Dover Area School District with the exception of a brief note to the editor.

Whether here at Baylor University or elsewhere, students need to continue to question Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design is indeed a science and is not a religion. It is an issue worth discussing and it is an issue that should be discussed at Baylor. Opponents of design theory here at Baylor should not have a dictatorship over speech, academia, and thought. It is my hope that Baylor will soon leave their current state antagonism towards intelligent design and show favor to free thought. As of now, however, many, such as Baird and The Lariat, have not only rejected intelligent design, but they have simply rejected intelligence.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Obeying a Law for Forced to Comply?

Originally Posted: Monday, September 26, 2005, 7:32:00 PM

On Friday, September 23, 2005 I had the honor of attending a lecture given by Dr. Russell Hittinger, Ph.D., a professor of philosophy at the University of Tulsa. Dr. Hittinger's lecture was on his book First Grace: Rediscovering the Natural Law in a Post-Christian World.

During his lecture, Hittinger pointed out that if a law cannot bind, then there exists no law. We are sometimes, compeled to follow laws with which we disagree, or "non-binding laws." These, according to Hittinger, are not laws but "forces." We do not obey forces, we merely comply to them, often times because we are coerced to.

This is the way I view the current state of science education in our nation when the issue of evolution and intelligent design is raised. Students today are forced to accept and explain the "validity" of evolutionary theory while they are often "disciplined" for even mentioning intelligent design.

This is not because evolution is overwhemlingly accepted by the scientific community, rather this is because of the great dissent concerning evolution in the scientific community. Because so many scientists now doubt the theory of evolution, those who subscribe to it fear their theory will no longer be accepted and so they resort tactics typically deemed formidable in the academic arena.

This shows two things about the evolution lobby. First, it shows the immenent demise of the evolution as a sophisticated scientific theory and second, it demonstrates that evolutionists have no care for the education of today's students. They have no worries about the future of the United States and other nations. They are focused on one thing and one thing alone, their success and the success of the tyranny of evolutionary thought.

Evolution has no binding force as is required by a law. However, evolution has succeeded in scaring students into compliance. It is, in my estimation, time to stand up against this compliance and to challenge the domination of evolutionary thought in today's science classrooms.

New Darwinalia Product Line

Originally Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2005, 9:57:04 PM

Dr. William A. Dembski recently introduced a new line of "Darwinalia" products. The first of these products is "Darwin in a Vice" and the second is an interesting computer game called "Panda-Monium." This is a neat line up of new products and should help intelligent design supporters relieve the frustrations caused by the elementary actions and attitudes of many evolutionists. (To those who are truly elementary, I do apologize for insulting you with that comment).

The link to these products will be in the new section of my website, called "Darwinalia Products." Click here.

Unintelligent Evolution on the Daily Show

Originally Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 11:00:56 PM

Dr. William A. Dembski, Dr. Edward Larson, and Ms. Ellie Crystal finally made their appearance on the Daily Show tonight. While Dembski and Larson did well presenting their views, Crystal was quite the opposite. Her arguments seemed weak, if they existed at all, as she attempted to defend "metaphysical consciousness reality."

Dr. Larson brought up an interesting point when he said that there is nothing wrong with teaching alternative views but we cannot cease teaching evolution. The reason I say that this is interesting is because intelligent design advocates are exactly that--intelligent design advocates--not "anti-evolution in school" advocates. In fact, ID-advocates want more of evolution taught, both evidence supporting and opposing the theory. The true censors of science are the evolutionists who deny any possible fault or error with their theory fact.

After demonstrating his lack of knowledge concerning the intelligent design movement, Larson proceeded to display his lack of reason. He claimed that science teachers shouldn't be told what to teach in their science classes, citing Dover Area School District as an example. What Larson overlooks is that having any curriculum is telling a science teacher what to teach in the science classroom. These teachers are either listening to us, taxpayers in the community, or to someone else, but everything they teach they are instructed to teach. So, to say that teachers shouldn't be told what to teach is to say that teachers shouldn't teach. Actually, that's not too far off from what exists in many public school science classes already.

Dembski, though he was fighting a stomach virus, did very well on the show. He answered Stewart's questions with his own sense of humor. However, as we probably could have predicted, Larson was granted the last word on the show. I suppose that is only fair, however, since he probably had to evolve to the level of being a panelist and probably wasn't ready until the last few minutes of the show.

So what did we learn from the show this evening? We learned about intelligent design (Dembski), evolution (Larson), and that some people make design and evolution look bad (Crystal). I still suggest watching the Daily Show for the rest of the week.

Clarification on the Daily Show

Originally Posted: Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 1:35:24 AM

It is now clear that Dr. Dembski should be on the Daily Show tonight (Wednesday, September 14th). He is appearing with Dr. Edward Larson and Ms. Ellie Crystal.

Again, tonight's Daily Show with Jon Stewart is well worth watching, as the entire week is.

Evolution Schmevolution on the Daily Show

Originally Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2005, 3:36:34 PM

I apologize to anybody who watched the Daily Show with Jon Stewart this past Monday, expecting to see Dr. William A. Dembski. I am not sure why the segment with Dembski did not air. Instead, there was a young man who understands intelligent design to the same degree that Jon Stewart is serious on his show.

The Daily Show will be discussing the issue of evolution this entire week. I think the show is worthy of watching and hopefully Dr. Dembski will make his appearance soon.

Dembski to appear on Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Originally Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2005, 3:54:22 PM

Dr. William A. Dembski, Ph.D., Ph.D., a leading proponent of intelligent design, and Dr. Edward Larson, Ph.D., Ph.D., a proponent of evolution, will both be featured on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The show will air on Monday, September 12, 2005 on Comedy Central. The entire week of September 12-16 on the Daily Show will be a discussion concerning intelligent design and evolution.

Dr. Dembski holds several degrees including two Ph.D.'s and has done several postdocs. He has taught at five colleges, universities, or seminaries and has written eight books. In addition, he was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1999 and the Texas A&M Trotter Prize in 2005. He has lectured at prestigious institutes and hosted the famous "Nature of Nature" conference at Baylor University.

Dembski is one of the greatest thinkers of our generation. He possesses an incredibly fast mind and a unique sense of humor. It would be well worth watching him on the Daily Show on September 12th. In fact, the Daily Show is worth watching this entire week.

Modern Intellectual Slavery

Originally Posted: Friday, September 09, 2005, 5:46:35 PM

I had the honor of attending a lecture today by Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D. a philosopher and the Dean of the Honors College at Baylor University, where I attend school. Dr. Hibbs spoke on the subject of "Subversive Natural Law: MacIntyre, Aquinas, and African-American Thought."

During his talk, Hibbs proposed the idea that "modern slavery" is actually worse than "ancient slavery." (Ancient slavery refers to the slavery during such eras like that in Egypt, Rome, Greece, etc.)

Why would anyone suggest such an idea? As Hibbs explained, the slavery experienced in Egypt, Rome, Greece, and around the world was slavery of the body. Slaves inherently didn't own their own bodies, didn't own their own possessions, etc. However, in the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the form of slavery was what Hibbs calls "modern slavery." More than a slave not owning his or her own body, the slavery of this era had the dangerous hold on one's mind. Such a hold is much greater and possesses worse implications.

What is the modern slavery in today's society? I believe it is intellectual slavery and I find it flourishing well in institutes of higher learning such as universities and colleges and even high schools.

Evolution is the prime example of modern intellectual slavery. When has a theory become so dogmatic that students are not permitted to question or challenge it? When has a theory been so important that students must be denied the freedom of thought while studying it?

Good science and good education would allow students to question the science and validity of evolution. Unfortuantely, many scientists and educators today find students too obtuse to think and believe that they must be fed out of a bottle, or at best, spoon-fed.

This grip on students' minds is not only an insult but it is the highest form of slavery: modern intellectual slavery. Just as the abolitionists campaigned for freedom in the 1800s and even the 1900s, we need to likewise push for academic freedom today.

"Samuel Chen Conspiracy?"

Originally Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2005, 4:46:40 PM

A fact few of you know is that Emmaus High School has launched an investigation into my activity and leadership with Third Eye Open, a think tank-like student organization which has since been shut down. I am interested in knowing who originated the concern that I am "part of some movement and/or organization that is trying to weed out teachers with whom you [I, Samuel Chen] disagree politically...." The many false presuppositions made in and created by this statement make those who believe it ignorant and those who start and spread it laughable. Is there a "Samuel Chen Conspiracy" rising at Emmaus High School? I didn't think that I was so important that I could get anything, especially not a conspiracy, named after me. I find this investigation humorous and am interested in seeing the results it yields.

Welcome

I would just like to take some time to welcome you to my new intelligent design blog. It carries the same name as my intelligent design website. For access to my ID website, please see here.
I hope this blog and my website will be of help to you. Always feel free to contact me with questions and once again, welcome.