Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revisiting Dover: How Brilliant Was Judge Jones' Decision?

As a Pennsylvanian, I had great interest in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in Pennsylvania, which was ruled upon by Judge John E. Jones III about one year ago. Judge Jones’ decision was greatly praised throughout the nation.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called it “historic” and “truly a victory for the constitution.” The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) referred to Jones’ opinion as “comprehensive and detailed” and called it a “must read.” The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) said “Judge Jones clearly understands that evolution is strong, powerfully documented science….” You can read the praise given by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and other groups here, all praising Jones for his outstanding and masterful ruling.

The media also praised Judge Jones. The New York Times called Jones’ decision “striking” and praised him for his “integrity and intellect.” The York Daily Record said that Jones’ decision was “exactly right.”

All that praise is enough for any student with an interest in government to marvel at such an outstanding judge with hopes of one day being like him—making such an important ruling and receiving the praise and respect of a nation for saving science education. But then the story takes a turn. It appears that Judge Jones’ brilliant, “comprehensive and detailed” opinion is not his own. The ideas that he so brilliantly put forth are not his either.

A report released this morning shows that 90.9% of Jones’ opinion on whether intelligent design is a science is copied verbatim from the ACLU’s “Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law,” submitted to the judge a month before his ruling. No wonder the ACLU praised Jones so marvelously. It wasn’t because they saw Jones’ ideas so brilliantly presented. Rather, they saw their own ideas so meticulously copied.

As a student, I’m required to submit nearly all my papers to a website called Turnitin.com. Turnitin.com helps professors check for plagiarism in papers by reporting how much of a particular paper was derived from other sources (books, other papers, websites, etc.). Professors typically allow up to 10%—nicer professors, 15% —of verbatim copying, because Turnitin.com doesn’t account for properly cited quotations. Typically, a paper of which 20% or 25% and above is not original receives a failing grade, either for plagiarism or for simply not using one’s own ideas. We are always told that a paper should be our ideas and analysis of a certain topic, with proper guidance by others (the sources). A paper should not be someone else’s ideas and analysis guided by us.

In more than 6,000 words, only 546 were Jones’ own. Quite frankly, Judge Jones would have failed out of Baylor University with that opinion. Jones said in his the ACLU’s decision that “the students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserve better….” I agree, Judge Jones isn’t much of a judge as shown in this decision. He would, however, make a great office assistant copying papers for someone.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Dover Trial Heads for Silver Screen

The York Daily Record reported this morning that Paramount Pictures has hired Ron Nyswaner to author a screenplay for a movie production on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial that took place in Pennsylvania last year. The movie will be produced by Lynda Obst of Obst Productions in Hollywood. The two had followed the Dover trial independently before eventually meeting.

The question that will probably be raised is whether this film will become a modern-day version of "Inherit the Wind"--the highly glamorized and historically inaccurate film about the Scopes Monkey Trial. (It is interesting to note that Judge Jones told a reporter during the Dover trial that he was going to watch "Inherit the Wind" for historical context, completely disregarding that the film is regarded as propaganda by most historians--even evolutionists). If Nyswaner is true to his word, then this film should not be Inherit the Wind II. Nyswaner told reporters that he will use transcripts, interviews, and news coverage as background for the script.

It will be interesting to see how accurate Nyswaner and Obst get their film to be.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Biochemistry Professor: Flunk all ID-Friendly Students

I posted about a week ago concerning a lecture being given by Robert Pennock of Michigan State University at the University of California at San Diego where all UCSD freshmen were required to attend. (See that post here). This was, no doubt, big news and appeared on blogs everywhere--over at Evolution News and Views, Uncommon Descent, and Overwhelming Evidence, among others. Well, the evolutionists have finally responded. Dr. Laurence A. Moran, a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, posted the following on his blog:

Casey Luskin over at the Discovery Institute reported that University of California, San Diego Forces All Freshmen To Attend Anti-ID Lecture. Apparently, the university has become alarmed at the stupidity of its freshman class and has offered remedial instruction for those who believe in Intelligent Design Creationism.

Salvador Cordova has picked up on this at Dembski's blog, Uncommon Descent in an article titled "Darwinian indoctrination required at UCSD? Or will the other side be heard someday?". He notes that 40% of the freshman class reject Darwinism.

I agree with the Dembski sycophants that UCSD should not have required their uneducated students to attend remedial classes. Instead, they should never have admitted them in the first place. Having made that mistake, it's hopeless to expect that a single lecture—even one by a distinguished scholar like Robert Pennock—will have any effect. The University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education.

Concerning the requirement that all freshmen attend Pennock's lecture, I had written "And such is academic freedom in the eyes of evolutionist." I guess I was wrong.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Darwin Strikes Back...and Out


My good friend Thomas Woodward has just published his sequel to his best-selling book, Doubts About Darwin. In Darwin Strikes Back, Woodward details the struggle that has emereged as the two sides of the evolution and intelligent design debate. He discusses the key players on each side and what contributions each have made to the debate. Here is what others have said about his book:

"Darwin Strikes Back tells the thrilling story of how the Darwinian establishment has summoned all its power to crush the frightening challenge of the Intelligent Design Movement, and how the rebels are not only surviving but gaining new strength as we respond to the onslaught. Highly recommended."
-Phillip E. Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley

"Taking the reader behind the headlines, Thomas Woodward--the premier historian of the Intelligent Design Movement--analyzes crucial developments of the past decade.
-Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University

In this world where the media misrepresents so much in the intelligent design and evolution debate, it is important to clarify and give people a better understanding of the issue. Both Doubts About Darwin and Darwin Strikes Back are well-written, excellent accounts of the dialogue between intelligent design and evolution. Both books are highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand where the debate started and where it is today.

The Story Behind Neanderthal


MSNBC reported this week that scientists had decoded Neanderthal genes, claiming that this close ancestor to humans began divering from humans in the evolutionary process about 700,000 years ago and made a complete split 300,000 years ago. This new research "could help shed light on the evolution of our own species...."

If scientists truly want the Neanderthals to "shed light on the evolution of our species," they should probably ready Buried Alive, the excellent book written by forensic orthodontist Jack Cuozzo. Cuozzo was hired to perform forensic orthodontistry on the Neanderthals and writes his stunning results in his book.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Evolution: Ban Critiques, Force Acceptance

The quest for academic freedom has reached a new pinnacle:

Take the "Evolution: Truth or Myth?" lecture which featured Michael Behe in 2004 at my alma mater. (Read an account of the story here). Here was a lecture held at a public school (a high school), after school hours, not funded by taxpayer money, and completely optional concerning attendance. This--according to pro-evolution facutly members in the school--was simply unacceptable. (The National Center for Selling Evolution Science Education also supported the school as demonstrated by a sequence of emails that passed between the school science department and Glenn Branch of the NCSE).

Fast forward two and a half years to November 2006 and a lecture is being held at the University of California at San Diego. The topic is "The Ground Rules of Science: Why the Judge Ruled Intelligent Design Creationism Out of Court" and the lecture features Michigan State University Philosopher of Science Robert Pennock. This lecture is being held at a public school (a state university), but unlike the aforementioned lecture given by Behe, this one is funded by taxpayer money, and manadatory for all freshmen.

And such is academic freedom in the eyes of evolutionists.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Voice for Students, Academic Freedom, Ousted from U.S. Senate


Never in my years working in the intelligent design movement have I met anyone more committed to providing students an honest education and more dedicated to restoring academic freedom to schools across America than United States Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). Not only has Senator Santorum been a help to me personally, but he has spent the last twelve years in the U.S. Senate pushing for education reform.

In 2001, he added the Santorum Amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act. This amendment calls for critical analysis of all data surrounding evolution--both data supporting and opposing the theory. It allows students to discuss the controvery and full range of scientific theories concerning the origin and development of life. It was an amendment that gave students in public school science classes their rights of speech, thought, and academia.

Unfortunately, the citizens of my home state of Pennsylvania decided students should not be allowed to think freely and expand their horizons. On November 7, 2006, State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. ousted Senator Santorum from office by a 59 to 41 precent margin. To be fair, Mr. Casey is a good man and comes from a family dedicated to raising education standards. (Pennsylvania had one of America's top public educatin programs under Casey's father, Governor Bob Casey, Sr.). Mr. Casey has done many great things for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania serving as the former auidtor general and currect state treasurer.

That being said, however, there is no knowing whether Mr. Casey will support academic freedom as Senator Santorum did. He viciously attacked Santorum during the campaign for having "extreme" views--such as those in the Santorum Amendment. As a student, I find it quite offensive that allowing students to think and analyze material freely constitutes as an "extreme" view.

Indeed, Pennsylvanians and Americans lost a great senator Tuesday night. But more than that, students and all those who support academic freedom lost a great voice in Washington, D.C. I thank Senator Santorum for all that he has done and will continue to do for the students and teachers of this nation and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

However, even without Senator Santorum, the fight will go on.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Overwhelming Evidence Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Discovery Institute on ID the Future. The interview was about Overwhelming Evidence and student involvement with intelligent design. The podcast has been released and can be found here.

Continue to spread the news of OverwhelmingEvidence.com to your family and friends. Students are crucial to academia and the idea the schools and universities are shutting down discussion is great disturbing.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture Celebrates Ten Year Anniversary

This past weekend, the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute celebrated their tenth anniversary. Though invited to attend the celebration, I had other responsibilities at Baylor that weekend and could not be in Seattle. From what I heard, the weekend went well, with Dr. Michael J. Behe (whose book, Darwin's Black Box, also recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary) as the guest speaker. I thank and commend the Discovery Institute and the Center for Science and Culture for their excellent work and for helping students, as myself, combat academic intolerance and restrictions of freedom in education nationwide. I look forward to what the next ten years may bring.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Baylor's Troubles: President John M. Lilley

I have posted about my university, Baylor, from time to time. It seems, however, that at the core of the problems Baylor faces today is the newly inaugurated President John M. Lilley.

Shortly after arriving at Baylor, Lilley decides to deny tenure to the highly regarded Dr. Francis J. Beckwith. It was only under immense pressure from students, alumni, faculty, parents, and others that this decision was reversed.

Lilley then decided to deny funding to the Forensic Science program at Baylor. Though this is a long and still-developing controversy, it appears that the faculty gave President Lilley a proposal that had two options. The first was to allocate the proper funds to make the Forensic Science program an accredited major. The second stated that if such funds were denied, there would be no other option but to close the Forensic Science major. President Lilley decided not to allocate the funds.

Shortly thereafter, Lilley decided that the interlocking "BU" symbol, which has represented Baylor University for generations and is federally trademarked for Baylor University, needed to go. He argued that the "BU" symbol would cause confusion with Boston University. This too, is a currently-developing controversy.

Lilley then proposed that the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University be split. This is something Lilley tried at the University of Nevada at Reno with no success. The university faculty at UNR overwhelmingly opposed Lilley's plan (which was proposed within less than a year of arriving at UNR). The last update from a reliable source was that Lilley had temporarily dropped plans to split the College of Arts and Sciences but may pick them up again in the future.

Not only did the facutly at Baylor greatly oppose Lilley's proposal, it appears that most respected schools (with a few exceptions) in America have a unified College of Arts of Sciences. Here are just a few examples:

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Columbia University)
College of Arts and Sciences (Cornell University)
Graduate Arts and Sciences Program (Dartmouth College)
Arts and Sciences and Trinity College (Duke University)
Georgetown College (Georgetown University)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Harvard University)
School of Humanities and Sciences (Stanford University)
The College (Washington and Lee University)
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Yale University)

It seems that President Lilley's priorities are out of order and that he is making the wrong decisions. Unless Lilley begins to reconsider what he was hired by Baylor to do and the direction that he was asked to take the university, Baylor is on a path in the opposite direction of their Baylor 2012 vision. I hope President Lilley will reconsider what he is doing before any more damage is done.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Baylor Makes Another Poor Decision

Just two weeks after reversing a decision and granting Dr. Francis J. Beckwith tenure, Baylor University has made a poor decision similar in impact to the denial of tenure to Dr. Beckwith.

On Friday, October 6, 2006, Baylor University announced that they will be closing the forensic science department following the graduation of the class of 2010. No student entering Baylor beginning with the class of 2011 is allowed to begin in the forensics program.

Baylor University is one of the only institutes of higher learning in the State of Texas to have a forensics department and one of the top ranked universities for forensic science.

The decision today works against the Baylor 2012 vision. Hopefully, like the Beckwith-tenure case, this decision will also be overturned.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Unveiling Overwhelmingevidence.com

As a student that graduated from a public high school, I can testify that for too long now, students have been lied to concerning the "overwhelming evidence" about evolutionary theory. "Science teacher" organizations such as the NSCE, the NABT, the NSTA along with other organizations such as the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are determined to keep the facts about evolution away from students. As a student, that greatly irritates me.

Now, students will have a place to go to ask questions, receive answers, and discuss this "evidence" behind Darwinian evolution. Today marks the grand opening of yet another student organization/network. OverwhelmingEvidence.com is here to help today's students regain their freedom of speech, academia, and thought--all the freedoms that groups such as the ACLU and judges such as Judge Jones are determined to take away.

Join the revolution, go to www.overwhelmingevidence.com today!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Florida ID Conference Begins Today

I blogged about this conference being held in Tampa (and St. Petersburg), Florida earlier but the importance of this conference was seemingly overlooked in light of the news that Dr. Francis J. Beckwith was granted tenure by Baylor University. I think this conference is important and since the audio and video streaming of it is free around the world, I found it necessary to blog about it again today, since the conference begins today.

Here is the information for the two-day conference:

WHAT: "Darwin or Design? Resolving the Conflict" Conference
WHERE: University of South Florida Sun Dome (Tampa, Florida)
WHEN: Friday, September 29, 2006 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM
SPEAKERS: Dr. Michael J. Behe, Ph.D.
Dr. Jonathan Wells, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ralph Seelke, Ph.D.
HOST: Dr. Thomas Woodward, Ph.D.
ALSO APPEARING: Dr. William A. Dembski, Ph.D., Ph.D.
COST: $5 per person, ALL HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS ADMITTED FREE (with appropriate ID).
OTHER NOTES: Each high school or college student in attendance will receive a FREE copy of the DVD Unlocking the Mystery of Life.

The next day, a dialogue with faculty, physicians, and students will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida. Here are the details:

WHAT: Dialogue with faculty, physicians, and students
WHERE: Radisson Hotel (Directions)
WHEN: Saturday, September 30, 2006 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM
SPEAKERS: Dr. Michael J. Behe, Ph.D.
Dr. Jonathan Wells, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ralph Seelke, Ph.D.
Dr. Thomas Woodward, Ph.D.
COST: FREE, but LIMITED TO 400 ATTENDEES

If you are in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area this weekend, this is a conference worth attending, especially if you are a student.

If you are NOT in the area, however, the conference will be broadcast around the world! Here are the details:

LIVE AUDIO STREAMING:
Friday, September 29, 2006
7:00 to 10:00 PM
www.860wgul.com

VIDEO STREAMING:
Sunday, October 1, 2006 and Monday, October 2, 2006
(48 hours after each event)
Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI)

For more information, please visit:
http://www.pssiinternational.com/save_the_date.htm


Spread the word and tune in (or attend if you're in the area) to this conference. It will be worth your time!

***NOTE: The information for this conference was taken from the Evolution Questions Network***

Friday, September 22, 2006

OVERRULED: BECKWITH TENURED!

Earlier this evening, Baylor University President John Lilley reversed the decision from last spring to deny Dr. Francis J. Beckwith tenure. Despite a second vote to deny him tenure by the tenure committee (though much closer this time than in the spring), President Lilley has overruled the tenure committee and granted Beckwith his much-deserved tenure.

The powers attempting to undermine Baylor as a Christian institute of higher education have been stopped. The efforts to deny freedom of speech, academia, and even thought have met their demise in this decision. I commend and thank President Lilley for making the right decision. This vital decision has kept a top scholar at Baylor and has kept Baylor on its 2012 vision.

Major ID Conference

Dr. Thomas Woodward, author of Doubts About Darwin, is hosting a major ID conference next weekend in Tampa, Florida. Drs. Michael J. Behe, Ralph Seelke, and Jonathan Wells are the guest speakers and Dr. William A. Dembski will be doing an interview for the conference. The conference will have live audio streaming and video streaming to come two days after each presentation is made at the conference.

For those who wish to attend in person, please visit:
http://www.pssiinternational.com/save_the_date.htm

For those who cannot attend in person, please visit:
LIVE AUDIO STREAMING: www.860wgul.com
VIDEO STREAMING will come about two days after the event and will be posted on this site at that time.

For more information on this conference, please visit:
http://www.pssiinternational.com/save_the_date.htm

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tenure Committee Denies Beckwith a Second Time

Last spring, Baylor University denied tenure to the highly qualified Dr. Francis J. Beckwith. This past week, the tenure committee voted on the appeal of Dr. Beckwith's tenure. Though the vote this time was closer than in the spring (the vote this time was reported anonymously as being 6-5 with one absention), the committee again chose to deny Beckwith tenure.

The decision on Dr. Beckwith's tenure now rests with new Baylor University President, John Lilley. An official decision is expected soon.

For more information:

"Baylor Boot" (World Magazine)
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pope Blasts Darwinism

Yesterday, Tuesday, September 12, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI called evolution "unreasonable." In an address to 300,000 in Germany, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the concept of Darwinian evolution in terms that reverses the Catholic Church's over 50-year acceptance of the theory.

Pope Benedict XVI, who voiced opposition to evolutionary theory while he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, remains consistent with his previous views, which he last voiced on World Youth Day in April 2006. At that meeting, he told his young audience that "science supports a reliable, intelligent structure of matter, the design of Creation."

For the entire article, go here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Silliness Pervades Textbooks

A close friend of mine, whose name shall remain anonymous for safety purposes, recently posted on a blog the following:


Do you want to read one of the silliest things to ever come out of a textbook?

...An existing adaptation may come under strong selective pressure for some new purpose, as did insect wings. These did not arise so that insects might fly, but rather as structures that were used to "row," and later skim, across the surface of the water. Later, the larger ones by chance proved useful for purposes of flight.

Insect wings happened to let insects fly... by chance? By lots of little evolutions over time? Insects just happened to have the right changes in the right places so that they could propel themselves through the air? I don't think so. I think natural selection is plausible in some ways, but not in this case.


Basically, evolution simply isn't logical. If professors and textbook authors can't see that, at least students can and, often times, do. Two thumbs up to my friend. Well done.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Another ID Book on the Market


Drs. Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt, both fellows at Discovery Institute, have published a new book, A Meaningful World, discussing design and "how the arts and sciences reveal the genius of nature."

"A Meaningful World is simply the best book I've seen on the purposeful design of nature. In sparkling prose Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt teach us how to recognize genius, first in Shakespeare's plays and then in nature. From principles of geometry to details of the periodic table, the authors portray the depth, elegance, clarity and pure cleverness of a universe designed to nurture the intelligent life that one day would discover that design. A Meaningful World recovers lost purpose not only for science, but for all scholarly disciplines."
-Dr. Michael J. Behe, Ph.D. (Author, Darwin's Black Box)

More information on the book can be found here.

Theistic Evolution: A Higher View of God?

As Pope Benedict XVI begins his weekend conference on the issue of evolution, creation, and, some believe, intelligent design, the evolution lobby has been seemingly up in arms and pleading with he pontiff to abandon his views which he published as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Among these evolutionists is Kenneth Miller, a professor at Brown University. Besides being an outspoken advocate against intelligent design, Miller claims that Christians who reject evolution have a lower view of God than he does. His argument is that he believes God can use whatever means He desires to bring life to earth. Christians who reject evolution, believe that God isn't omnipotent and can only use one way to bring life to earth, namely, creation.

There are two main problems with this view, commonly called theistic evolution. The first is with the "evolution" part of the term. Intelligent design advocates don't oppose evolution because God couldn't have done it that way. They oppose evolution because God didn't do it that way. The argument is not, "God is limited on what He can do and He was only allowed to use design." The argument is, "God is able to use whatever means He wishes (including evolution), but the evidence is that He chose to use design."

For example, to get from Dallas, Texas to Chicago, Illinois, you can fly or you can drive. If you choose to fly, it doesn't mean that you were limited in your options and couldn't drive. You simply didn't drive. The the same manner, it's not that God couldn't have used evolution, it's that the evidence has been showing that He didn't use evolution.

The second main problem with theistic evolution is with the "theistic" part of the term. For Christians who hold to evolution, as does Kenneth Miller, a serious problem arises as to when the fall of man occurred.

Genesis Chapter 3 records the fall of man, when Adam and Eve took and ate the fruit from the the forbidden tree. Unlike with Genesis Chapter 1, Christians are typically unified on the idea that at this point (Genesis 3) sin has entered the world, which is why God must expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

Evolution, survival of the fittest, and natural selection, are based on the idea that something is wrong, usually fatally wrong, and if evolution does not take place, the species will die. In order to survive, the species begins to evolve, to adapt to the environment, and to become better fitted for survival.

The problem lies in that if sin and death didn't enter the world until after humans were evolved, then how were species at risk of dying? Why were only the fittest surviving? The Bible makes explicity obvious that before sin entered the world, there was no death to living things. There would be, therefore, no need to evolve. The survival of these species would not be at any risk. Survival of the fittest would not be applicable at that time, since all species were surviving. Evolution would be pointless, since there was no need to evolve, seeing that all species were surviving. Natural selection would be non-existent because evolution was not occuring.

Theistic evolution assumes an already fallen and sinful world. There exists only two ways, then, for a Christian to reconcile the fall of man with evolution.

1. Accept that evolution is not a random and natural process. Instead, when the species would evolve, how they would evolve, what they would evolve into, and so forth would all be directly designed and guided by God. This, however, is considered intelligent design. Assuming no natural processes and no randomness, the very definition of evolution is shot.

2. Accept that man existed first, sinned, and then the evolution process began. The problem with this view is that evolution argues a process that took life from the simple, low-ordered species to the complex, high-ordered species. Going backwards would again shoot down the very definition of evolution.

So, the problem with "theistic evolution" is both with the "evolution" and with the "theistic." Knowing this, who really has the higher view of God?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Connection Between September 11th and Intelligent Design?

President George W. Bush had it wrong the entire time. There was no connection whatsoever linking the events of September 11, 2001 and the war in Iraq. The link was between 9/11 and intelligent design, not Iraq. Of course, how could anyone miss such obvious an observation?

In an interesting article on OpedNews.com, a list of twenty things we now know five years of September 11, 2001 is provided. In the article, the author discusses Bush's deliberate rejection of the facts, which leads him to accept intelligent design.

Upon this, and some of the other items mentioned, I have two questions. First, who is really intentionally rejecting the facts? (See here).

Second, the article makes many connections to how these 20 items show failure in Iraq, but he makes little, if any, connection to the events of 9/11, which was the original premise.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

C-SPAN to Discuss ID Book



Dr. John West and Casey Luskin, two of the authors of the book Traipsing into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision have been getting quite some press for their book, which was co-authored with Drs. David DeWolf and Jonathan Witt.

This time, the press comes from C-SPAN. On Saturday, August 26, 2006 at 7pm EST, C-SPAN's Book TV will be airing a special on Traipsing into Evolution. The program will be re-run on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 6:30 EST.

A description of the event can be read here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design


Yesterday, Monday, August 21, 2006, Dr. Jonathan Wells, the author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? (Regnery 2000) released another book. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design is part of a series of politically incorrect guides by Regnery Publishing, Inc.

Pope Benedict Replaces Vatican Observatory Director

Pope Benedict XVI replaced Rev. George Coyne, the director of the Vatican's observatory, on Saturday, August 19, 2006. Coyne, a Jesuit and vocal opponent of intelligent design, has held the post since 1978.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, from Argentina, will be the new director of the observatory. See the full story here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI to Discuss Evolution

Pope Benedict XVI, who became well known for his views on evolution while he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is conducting a weekend seminar entitled "Creation and Evolution" from September 2-3 at the Castel Gandolfo, the pontiff's summer home.

This seminar is the latest in the annual "Shulerkreis" or "student circle," a meeting the pope holds with his former Ph.D. students. Pope Benedict has been holding these seminars every year since the 1970s when he was a theology professor at the University of Regensburg in Germany.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Celebrating Ten Years of Darwin's Black Box

August 2006 marks the ten year anniversary of Dr. Michael J. Behe's best-selling book Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. In celebration of the 10 years of this book, a 10th aniversary edition of the book has been released with a new afterward written by Behe.

Darwin's Black Box was named by National Review and World magazines as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th Century. In addition it has received much praise from both friends and foes. Here is just a sampling of that praise:


"Michael Behe has done a top-notch job of explaining and illuminating one of the most vexing problems in biology: the origin of the complexity that permeates all of life on this planet.... This book should be on the essential reading list of all those who are interested in the question of where we came from, as it presents the most thorough and clever presentation of the design argument that I have seen."
-Robert Shapiro, author of Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth

"[A] valuable critique of an all-too-often unchallenged orthodoxy."
-James Shapiro, National Review

"No one can propose to defend Darwin without meeting the challenges set out in this superbly written and compelling book."
-David Berlinski, author of A Tour of Calculus


Thank you to Dr. Behe for his exceptional book. It is a challenge against Darwinian evolution that cannot go unnoticed. Thank you and best of luck to Dr. Behe in the future.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Robert B. Sloan to be President of Houston Baptist University

Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., the controversial president at Baylor University, and former professor at both Baylor and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, was voted on as the new president of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas.

Sloan was elected president of Baylor University in 1995 and developed the Baylor 2012 Vision, which has put Baylor on track to be a top research university. Sloan resigned his position as President of Baylor University shortly after he hired Dr. William A. Dembski to direct the Michael Polyani Center (MPC), the first intelligent design research center at a university. Though a long story, the MPC was eventually dissolved, despite being supported by a panel made up of representatives from various colleges and universities. Dembski was then released by Baylor.

Sloan resigned the presidency in 2005 to become the chancellor of the university. Dr. William Underwood was the interim president through the end of 2005 and is now the president of Mercer University in Georgia. Dr. John Mark Lilley was elected president of Baylor University and began his tenure on 2006.

On a personal note, I am saddened by Sloan's leaving Baylor University, as he was to be my professor during the Fall 2006 semester. I am, however, excited for Houston Baptist University. Baylor University grew incredibly during Sloan's tenure and Houston Baptist has much to look forward to. Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. is a great man of character and will be an excellent president at Houston Baptist University. Best of luck to Dr. Sloan. Sic 'em Bears.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jerry Coyne and ID

Evolutionist Jerry Coyne recently wrote a review of Ann Coulter’s new book Godless. In his review (in the New Republic Online), he says:

“[O]ne has to ask whether Coulter (who, by the way, attacks me in her book) really understands the Darwinism she rejects. The answer is a resounding No. According to the book’s acknowledgments, Coulter was tutored in the “complex ideas” of evolution by David Berlinski, a science writer; Michael Behe, a third-rate biologist at Lehigh University (whose own department’s website disowns his bizarre ideas); and William Dembski, a fairly bright theologian who went off the intellectual rails and now peddles creationism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. These are the “giants” of the ID movement, which shows how retarded it really is. Learning biology from this lot is like learning elocution from George W. Bush….”


Who are the people that Coyne describes in his review? Who are these “‘giants’ of the ID movement” that “shows how retarded it really is?” Well, here is what history has told us thus far:

Dr. David Berlinski obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematics and Molecular Biology at Columbia University. He has been a professor of philosophy, mathematics, and English at schools such at Standford University and Rutgers University in the past. He has authored numerous books including, most famously, A Tour of Calculus (Pantheon) and The Advent of the Algorithm (Harcourt Brace). Berlinski has lectured and debated at some of the most prestigious institutes in the world.

Dr. William A. Dembski has seven degrees in five fields of study (psychology, philosophy, theology, statistics, and mathematics). His degrees include a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago. In addition, Dembski completed four postdocs and eight fellowships, once again in a variety of subjects. Dembski has lectured and debated at some of the most prestigious institutes in the world.

Dr. Michael J. Behe obtained his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Professor of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University. He is the author of the best-selling book Darwin’s Black Box, which was named by National Review and World magazines as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th Century. Behe has lectured and debated at some of the most prestigious institutes in the world.

Certainly you could refer to Berlinski as a “science writer,” Dembski as a “theologian” who “peddles creationism,” and Behe as a “third-rate scientist,” but you would only do that to add your own spin to the facts.

Wait, I take that back. Dembski isn’t a creationist and I didn’t know that Lehigh University (a top-50 research university in America) was into hiring third-rate scientists. On that note, I didn’t know that the University of Pennsylvania (a top—oh wait—an Ivy League school) was into turning out third-rate scientists…and giving them Ph.D.s! Speaking about Ivy League schools, I wasn’t aware that Princeton University was into training “science writers” and giving them Ph.D.s! Coyne better be careful, his own institution (University of Chicago) might also be in the practice of hiring and turning out “science writers” and “third-rate scientists.” After all, Dembski received multiple degrees from that school.

I think Coyne might have over-reacted just a tad to the part about Ann Coutler “attacking” him. But again, fact-distorting and insult-hurling have always been favorites for Coyne and the evolution community.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Traipsing Into Evolution

The Washington DC Examiner published a full page article interviewing Dr. John West, Ph.D. and Casey Luskin, two of the authors of Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision. In the interview, West made an excellent point when he said:

"Judge Jones’ rejection of intelligent design sprang from his willingness to go beyond the facts of the case and attempt to decide an important scientific debate by judicial decree. Unfortunately, in his zeal to decide the validity of intelligent design for everyone else, Judge Jones ended up attacking a straw man. As we document in our book, his opinion is filled with distortions and basic errors of fact. For example, he asserts that intelligent design scientists don’t published peer-reviewed scholarship, which is patently false."

The article can be read in its entirety here. The book, Traipsing Into Evolution is an excellent evaluation of the Dover trial and can be purchased at Amazon.com or by calling 1-800-643-4102.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stand Up for Science, Stand Up for Kansas!

Last year, the Kansas State Board of Education courageously adopted science standards requiring Kansas students to learn not only about the evidence that supports Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also about the scientific evidence which challenges it. Four other states -- New Mexico, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- have similar requirements in place. The new science standards simply allowed for students to think, analyze, and speak freely concerning evolution.

Unfortunately, some groups have decided that students are not allowed to think, analyze, and speak freely. These groups are trying to censor Kansas teachers from presenting any evidence critical of evolution. They are even urging school districts to disregard the new science standards. This is why Discovery Institute launched the "Stand Up for Science, Stand Up for Kansas" campaign. If you agree that students should learn about evolution’s weaknesses as well as its strengths, please join with like-minded citizens and stand up in support of the Kansas state science standards. Go to www.standupforscience.com to sign the petition to support the standards in Kansas!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Research ID Opens

Today was the opening day for the Research ID. Please visit the website at www.researchid.org. Here is a letter from the founder of Research ID:

The intelligent design community needs dynamic and interactive websites where professionals and students can gain valuable information about ID, and at the same time contribute their own knowledge and information to the site. Today is the grand opening of just such a synergistic website called ResearchID.org. To fulfill this need for vibrant interaction, ResearchID.org is a knowledgebase compiling and synthesizing research on intelligent design.

The research in the knowledgebase covers fields ranging from computer science and bioinformatics, to physics and cosmology. ResearchID.org is investigating topics such as using ID as a heuristic for developing new scientific research. They have also begun working on the Catalog of Fundamental Facts, which was suggested by David Berlinski and William Dembski. There is plenty of biographical information, a glossary of ID jargon, and more.

ResearchID.org is more than just a static database of information. Anyone can register (free) and contribute, so it is also a springboard for new research schemes, a clearing house for information, and a dynamic community where you’re encouraged to bring your ideas to fruition. Peruse the information, or better yet, join the team by participating. This is a crucial time for intelligent design research, and you can be a part of the vanguard right now!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Lawyer in Dover Trial Dies of Brain Tumor

Joseph M. Farber, an attorney with Pepper Hamilton, LLC, died in his home on Monday, May 22, 2006. The cause of death was a brain tumor.

Farber, 34, was a member of Pepper Hamilton's "commercial litigation practice group and was a specialist on securities and antitrust matters." He is most known, however, for being on the team of lawyers that sued the Dover Area School District in the widely known case, Kitzmiller v. Dover. Pepper Hamilton, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State in the lawsuit.

While I strongly disagree with Farber's views on intelligent design and while I felt the plaintiffs' made a poor case in Dover, I am saddened to hear of Farber's death. I wish his wife, Carol; his sons Nathaniel and Samuel; his parents, David and Gloria; and his brother; the best of luck in the days to come. My condolences go to the family and all who knew Joseph Farber.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Darwinist Disagrees with Current View of Evolution

Dr. Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh recently said that, while he is still an evolutionist, evolutionary theory as it is commonly viewed and taught is incorrect. Dr. Schwartz, the author of the book The Red Ape has two issues with modern evolutionary theory, two issues that most evolutionists hold to as key elements in the foundation of the theory.

The first is gradualism. Schwartz argues that the fossil record does not back up the view of gradualism, something argued before by the late Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, a paleontologist from Harvard University, as well as others in similar fields. Schwartz also claims that gradual evolution defies logic. He believes that Gould's "punctuated equilibrium" version of evolution, which does away with the gradual aspect of evolution, is far more accurate than gradual evolution.

Schwartz, however, does not accept "punctuated equilibrium" for he says that it still embraces adaptation, which is his second problem with modern evolutionary theory. Schwartz does not believe that creatures evolved according to their surrounding environment, but rather, that the creatures were simply produced by random evolution and can survive in a variety of different environments.

Whether Schwartz's views are accepted by the evolution community or not, he poses two difficult questions for evolutions who accept gradual changes and adaptation. The article about Schwartz and his studies can be found at:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06149/694046-85.stm

Friday, May 26, 2006

Federal Court Throws Out Ruling in Cobb County Trial

On Thursday, May 25, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled in favor of keeping an open mind. The federal court, made up of three justices (one appointed by former President Bush, one by former President Clinton, and one by current President Bush) voted unanimously to send back the case discussing the constitutionality of disclaimers in science texts to the trial court. The earlier decision in the case Selman v. Cobb County School District ordered that disclaimers be removed from biology textbooks in the Cobb County School District in Georgia.

The disclaimer at the center of the controversy read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered." The complaint, voiced during the trial, from evolutionists, such at Dr. Kenneth Miller, Ph.D., a professor at Brown University and co-author of the biology textbook Biology, was with the phrase "this material should be approached with an open mind...."

This decision stops short of declaring the disclaimer constitutional, but it demands that more evidentiary hearings be held before a ruling be rendered. While disclaimers are not the best way to approach the ID and evolution issue in schools, to demand a disclaimer removed that makes no mention of intelligent design and asks students to keep an open mind is unreasonable. The court made the right decision in throwing out the lower court's decision.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Debating Darwin: Stephen Meyer vs. Peter Ward

Dr. Stephen Meyer, Ph.D. and Dr. Peter Ward, Ph.D. recently debated on "Intelligent Design vs. Evolution" in Seattle. The debate can be heard here.

The two previously debated on the Dori Monson Show and that transcript is avaliable here.

Another Take on Judge Jones in Time Magazine

Casey Luskin wrote a piece on Judge Jones' appearance in Time Magazine. He discusses the ten questions he would ask Judge Jones if he had the opportunity. It is entitled "Judge Jones Extendes his Time in the Spotlight" and can be found here:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/05/my_dream_interview_with_judge.html

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Judge Jones: Influential in this "Time?"

Judge John E. Jones, III, the judge who ruled in the recent Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in their recent issue featuring the 100 most influential people. What did Judge Jones do that was so influential? He attempted to privatize all liquor stores in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the Chairperson of the Liquor Control Board. He failed on that attempt, however. What else did he do that was so influential? He banned "Bad Frog Beer" on the grounds that its label was obscene.

But he won this honor as Judge John Jones. What did he do as a judge that was so influential? Oh yes, that's right, he banned the mention of intelligent design from science classes, he revoked freedom of academia and freedom of thought from students, and he demonstrated his great lack of knowledge concerning intelligent design, evolution, and the U.S. Constitution. So how, exactly, is Judge Jones influential?

Perhaps he is influential because very few, if any, federal judges before him has displayed so much ignorance. Or perhaps he has influenced others to make unreasonable decisions to destroy the education of students. Maybe Time was thinking along the lines of other historical figures that have won "Man of the Year"-- people like Adolpf Hitler (1938), Joesph Stalin (1939, 1942), Nikita Krushchev (1957), and Ayatullah Khomeini (1979).

Either way, congratulations to Judge Jones on joining a long line of famous, or infamous, leaders. Hopefully the dictatorship he aims to set up in education falls like the dicatorships set up in governments by Hitler and Stalin.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University has two campuses and is located in Australia. It would be interesting to see them offer a class on intelligent design.

http://www.cdu.edu.au/

Friday, April 21, 2006

Updated Version of Lariat Article

Here is the corrected version of the Baylor Lariat article "Baylor not immune to scholarly feud over origin of life."

http://www.baylor.edu/Lariat/news.php?action=story&story=40316

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Baylor Lariat Prints Correction

The Baylor Lariat, the Baylor University student newspaper, printed a factually incorrect article on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, concerning Dr. Francis J. Beckwith and the intelligent design debate at Baylor University (see here).

To the Lariat's credit, they posted a list of corrections in today's issue of the paper. The printed:


Correction
Wednesday's article "in the Beginning" contained several errors.
The Seattle-based Discovery Institute is a secular, nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy center dealing with national and international affairs, not a conservative Christian think thank.
Dr. Francis Beckwith is not a member of the institute but a fellow, which means he received funding for research.
Beckwith, who was described as a proponents of teaching intelligent design alongside traditional scientific theory, said he believes there are good reasons why a public school should not require the teaching of ID, but there are no good constitutional reasons to prohibit a teacher from teaching it or a school board from requiring it.
Beckwith's statement that "intelligent design arguments--in principle--cannot be excluded from the realm of science," was not in the context of theology, but a question of philosophy of science having to do with the preconditions of science itself.
A corrected version of the story may be viewed online at www.baylor.edu/Lariat.


Thank you to the Lariat for printing the corrections.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Baylor Lariat Misleading on Intelligent Design and Francis Beckwith

Baylor University's student newspaper The Baylor Lariat printed a front page article today concerning Dr. Francis J. Beckwith and the intelligent design debate at Baylor. However, whether by ignorance or intention, The Baylor Lariat grossly misrepresented the truth of the matter. We wait to see if they will apologize for their misrepresentation of the facts.

Below are the statements issues concerning the Lariat's article today issued by the Discovery Institute and the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center.


DISCOVERY INSTITUTE:

April 19, 2006

The article “Baylor not immune to scholarly feud over origin of life” by Van Darden and Josh Horton inaccurately describes the Discovery Institute as a “conservative Christian think tank.” This is false. Discovery Institute is a secular, non-partisan, non-profit public policy center dealing with national and international affairs. It is not religious in any manner and does not embrace any religion, but rather respects each individual's right to choose their personal religious belief. Discovery staff and fellows comprise a diverse range of political and philosophical beliefs. For more information see http://www.discovery.org/.

Discovery Institute's mission is to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Our mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus the Institute's own publications, blogs and website.

Current Institute projects explore the fields of technology, science and culture, education policy, reform of the law, national defense, the environment and the economy, the future of democratic institutions, transportation, religion and public life, government entitlement spending, foreign affairs and cooperation within the bi-national region of "Cascadia." The efforts of Discovery fellows and staff, headquartered in Seattle, are crucially abetted by the Institute's members, board and sponsors.

I am requesting that The Lariat remove this statement from the article on its website and print a correction in the newspaper.

Please let me know when this correction will be published.

Thank you,

Robert L. Crowther, II
Director of Communications
Center for Science & Culture
Discovery Institute, Seattle, WA
(206) 292-0401 x107
rob@discovery.org


INTELLIGENT DESIGN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CENTER:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Baylor University student newspaper, The Baylor Lariat, printed a front page article in today’s newspaper entitled “Baylor not immune t
o scholarly feud over origin of life” written by Van Darden and Josh Horton.

In the article, the Seattle-based think thank, Discovery Institute, is referred to as a “conservative Christian think tank.” Such, is not true. Discovery Institute is a secular, non-partisan, non-profit think tank that deals with a variety of national and international issues, including intelligent design. However, Discovery Institute is in no way a religiously affiliated organization. The fellows, directors, and staff are of a variety of theological, philosophical, and political persuasions. In no manner is the institute a “conservative Christian think tank.”

Furthermore, the article states that “Beckwith, associate professor of church-state studies and outspoken proponent of teaching intelligent design alongside traditional scientific theory, was denied tenure in March, an act some say is due to Beckwith’s membership in the Discovery Institute.”

This statement, however, is also false. Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Ph.D. is not a proponent of intelligent design nor an advocate for having it taught in public school science classes. As a constitutional scholar, Beckwith simply holds that the teaching of intelligent design is constitutional. He does not necessarily agree that it is beneficial to teach intelligent design alongside of evolution and he is not a proponent of intelligent design. Beckwith is not a scientist and his research is not along these lines. He merely holds that the teaching of intelligent design is constitutional, contrary to recent court rulings.

Finally, the Lariat printed a diagram of “Two views of history.” The first was labeled “Current scientific consensus” and described the traditional evolution model. The second was labeled “Scriptural ‘young Earth’ history” and described the young earth Creation model. This diagram is very misleading.

First, by labeling the evolution model “Current scientific consensus,” the Lariat has made a statement on their view that evolution as the science, disregarding other views such as intelligent design. Second, the “Scriptural ‘young Earth’ history” model leads readers to believe that intelligent design is merely young earth Creationism repackaged. Such, is not true. Intelligent design is a secular scientific view based upon empirical scientific research.

The article, as written by the Lariat staff, has many false statements and is misleading on the whole. Whether or not this was done intentionally, the article is misleading nonetheless. The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center stands with the Discovery Institute and demands a correction printed in the newspaper and that the statement that Discovery Institute is a “conservative Christian think tank” be removed form the online article.

Thank you,

Samuel S. Chen
Director
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Student Representative,
Access Research Network
SC4978@juno.com

Below is the "Two views of history" diagram printed with the article in the Baylor Lariat:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

ID Courses Being Offered at Colleges and Universities

George Mason University is probably most well-known now for their surprise NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball appearance this spring. However, they are also known for attacking intelligent design theory in a number of their classes. (See here). However, other schools are beginning to offer intelligent design courses, including the anti-ID ivy league school, Cornell University. Below are some examples of universities that are beginning to teach intelligent design. It will be interesting to see how the theory is presented in these classes.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
Genes and Genesis
Honors 399: Physics, Philosophy, and Fundamentalism

CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Evolution and Design: Is There a Purpose in Nature?

Perhaps more universities and colleges will follow suit and allow discussion of intelligent design. And if we're lucky, maybe George Mason University will do something decent besides win basketball games.

Jokes Poke Fun at Pianka, Unfortunately Pianka is Serious

Many jokes have circulated concerning Dr. Eric Pianka's recent speech and his well-known "doomsday talk" about destroying 90% of the world's population by use of the ebola virus. While these comics find their humor in the ridiculousness of Pianka's suggestions, we should be concerned that Pianka, despite making such outrageous claims, received the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist Award. Two of the comics poking fun at Pianka are posted below, view them and laugh, but then think about how twisted Pianka's mind might be to be serious about his suggestion and how grossly twisted the minds of the Texas Academy of Science must be to award him as a distinguised scientist.




Sunday, April 09, 2006

Telic Thoughts Hypocritical of Mims, Removed from Doubting Darwin

Telic Thoughts used to be listed as an intelligent design link on this blog and on the Doubting Darwin Webiste. This is no more. Mike Gene's website has been taken off both my homepage and this blog. The reason is Gene's recent hypocritical attack on Dr. Forrest Mims, Ph.D. Mims had criticized a recent speech by Dr. Eric R. Pianka, a professor of biology at the University of Texas.

Pianka is known for making statements such as "we [humans] are no better than bacteria" and for claiming that an ebola virus should be used to exterminate 90% of the earth's population to assist with population control.

However, despite these radical views (radical may be too conservative of a term to describe Pianka), Pianka received the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist Award from the Texas Academy of Science (TAS).

In his speech, Pianka asked for all recorders to be turned off at one point. Nobody, except those in attendance know what was said by Pianka. However, based upon his past statements and his curious request for all recorders to be turned off, Mims criticized Pianka and the decision of the TAS to grant him the award.

Mike Gene decided that it was appropriate to criticize Mims's report for being "premised on a terrible misunderstanding and misjudgment." He says this is because a partial transcript of Pianka's speech has been released and while it shows some extreme ideology, "it fails to support the most egregious accusation [of Forrest Mims]."

What about Pianka? Gene writes "We do feel sympathy for Dr. Pianka for all the stress, accusations, and vicious labels he has had to endure because of this story.... We do not feel any sympathy for those who reported Dr. Pianka to the Department for Homeland Security...." So, according to Gene, Mims is the villain while Pianka and his self-described "doomsday talk" are the heroes.

Apparently, to Gene, a partial transcript is all the information Gene needs to know and declare that Mims is wrong and to extend full sympathy to Pianka. For this, I remove his Telic Thoughts blog from my websites. I, and the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC), condemn Mike Gene and all those at Telic Thoughts.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Three Hour Challenge: Are You Courageous & Honest Enough?

Here's a challenge for all evolutionists: the Three Hour Challenge. Watch the films Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet and then, without lying, explain why and how intelligent design is not based upon scientific observation and research but instead is based on religious doctrines and faith.

To make life easier, you can go here and watch the films on your computer.

If you really think you can prove intelligent design is purely religious with no trace of science, then take the challenge, if you're courageous and honest enough.

Ain't No Overwhelming Evidence Convincing Enough

Here's the song "Overwhelming Evidence." It was adapted by Dr. Jonathan Wells, the author of Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? and sung to the song "Aint No Mountain High Enough."

OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE
To the tune of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"
Adapted by Dr. Jonathan Wells

Listen, people
Evolution’s true
We can promise you,
Cause we’ve got evidence, people.

You say our textbooks lie,
But only in your eyes,
Cause you’re creationists,
While we are scientists.
At the end of the day,
The truth is what we say ­

Cause we’ve got
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence ­
To prove that our theory’s true.

Oh, the peppered moths
Aren’t where we thought
It’s a big mistake
And the photos are fake.
We know it’s unreal,
But it’s no big deal

Cause we’ve got
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence ­
To prove that evolution is true.

Haeckel’s embryos
Are not the way it goes.
Fish and human parts
Are different from the start;
But the story’s intact
And evolution’s a fact ­

Cause we’ve got
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence ­
So we don’t have to listen to you!

Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence,
Overwhelming evidence ­
So we don’t have to listen to you!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Wayne Stayskal on Evolution and Intelligent Design

Here are two comic strips done by Wayne Stayskal concerning the intelligent design and evolution debate. The first was done in 1981 during the Arkansas creation trial. Because of the timing, the word "creation" was used originally in the piece, but was updated to read "intelligent design." Both of these comic strips are a fair representation of the debate between design and evolution today.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chen Distances Self, IDURC, from Protest at Baylor University

A Baylor student protested Dr. Francis J. Beckwith's denial of tenure today by lying as a dead man in front of the president's office at Baylor University. The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC), which I direct, has also been opposing the denial of tenure of Professor Beckwith. However, the IDURC claims no allegiance with or support for the extreme student protest that occurred on Baylor's campus today, Thursday, March 30, 2006. I released an official public statement this afternoon concerning the protest and the IDURC's stance on Professor Beckwith's removal from Baylor. Here is the statement:


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dear Friend,

As many of you are now aware, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, a professor at Baylor University and the associate director of the J.M. Dawson Church-State Institute, was denied tenure by Baylor. This denial of tenure came despite Beckwith’s impressive resume, which included leadership roles in several academic societies and having contributed to or authored over thirty books, among others.

While the Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC) is grieved to hear of the release of Professor Beckwith, the center disagrees with the recent protest against the university’s president, Dr. John Lilley. The protest, which was conducted by a student what will remain unnamed, took place on Thursday, March 30, 2006, and consisted of the student lying on the ground in front of the president’s office (Pat Neff Hall) with a sign that read “Stop President Lilley from killing free speech.” The student had red paint thrown on him to represent blood. There were also flyers for students providing information, some of it inaccurate, concerning the situation.

This venue for supporting Beckwith was inappropriate and is not supported by the IDURC. We condemn the actions of the student and all who were associated with the protest. We encourage them and all students wishing to get involved to seek less extreme ways in which to do so. For instance, the IDURC has printed posters defending Beckwith, as well as Dr. William A. Dembski, a professor released by Baylor in 2004.

As director of the IDURC, I officially declare no association between myself, the organizations that I represent, and these protests. We do desire for Beckwith to remain at Baylor, but will not engage in extreme and disturbing protests, as was conducted, to support our cause.

Our message today is clear: we are disappointed and have no kind words for Baylor University in their release of Francis Beckwith. However, we are equally disappointed and likewise have no kind words for the protesters who have demonstrated only that their childlike manners are no better than those of the university. I, and the IDURC, do not associate with either Baylor University or the protesters. As we have always done, we stand beside the truth and, in this case, beside Dr. Francis J. Beckwith.


Sincerely,

Samuel S. Chen

Director,
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Representative,
Access Research Network

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Baylor University Strikes Against Academic Freedom Again

A few years ago, Dr. William A. Dembski was released from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Nevermind the fact that he holds mulitple degrees, including four masters and two Ph.D.s (from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago), four postdocs (from Northwestern University, MIT, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago), had taught at three universities previously (Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas), had written many articles and had written and edited over twenty books, held a graduate and postdoctoral fellowship with the National Science Foundation, and had won several academic awards and honors.

What Baylor apparently cared about was that Dembski was a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and the executive director of International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design. Dembski was the director of the Michael Polyani Center at Baylor, the first intelligent design think tank and a major research university (Baylor). He was released after a controversy surrounding the center and is currently heads the Center for Theology and Science and is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Science and Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

The associate director of the Michael Polyani Center under Dembski was Dr. Bruce Gordon. Gordon, will also be leaving Baylor University at the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

However, Baylor is not done cleaning the house of intelligent design advocates. Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, the associate director of the J.M. Dawson Church-State Institute at Baylor University and a fellow and faculty affliate of the Center for Religious Inquiry Across Discplines (CRIAD), was denied tenure by Baylor University on March 24, 2006. As in Dembski's case, it didn't matter to Baylor that Beckwith has multiple degrees (including three masters and a Ph.D.) from prestigious universities, holds many prestigious positions in over twenty academic societies or organizations (including being tapped to advise the President of the United States on Constitutional issues), has written, edited, or contributed to over thirty books and fifty articles, and has accomplished more by the age of forty-five than those who released will accomplish in their lifetimes combined. Beckwith has accomplished more than I can post in this blog. Please see his biography to get just a small glimpse of everything he's done.

What Baylor cares about, most likely, is Beckwith's political, philosophical, and theological views on issues such as prenatal life, marriage, the rationality of Christian belief, and, of course, intelligent design.

Baylor University aspires to be a top-tier research university with deep Christian roots in a vision called the "Baylor 2012 Vision." With such a play of politics and such an oppostion to the the truth and even to freedom of speech, academia, and thought, the university will never proceed forward. The entire administration at Baylor University (the president, the regents, the faculty senate, etc.) needs to rethink the decisions they make regarding the education of students at Baylor.

I am most disappointed at the incredible antagonism and disregard for the truth evident in this university. I will miss Professor Beckwith dearly, as he was to be my undergraduate advisor. I have no kind words for Baylor University and am appalled at what appears to be a university conspiracy against intelligent design and against open dialogue.

Judge Jones Threatened

Judge John E. Jones III, the judge who ruled against intelligent design and the Dover Area School District in December 2005, recently told newspapers that he had been threatened for his decision. (See story here).

I disagree with threatening the judge for his ruling. While I disagree with Jones' decision, there is never any reason to threaten one's life over such a decision. I encourage those who are doing such to cease their actions. We can disagree with our opponents without making threats.

However, Judge Jones now finally gets a slight feeling for what intelligent design advocates deal with from day to day. Students have their degrees denied and their work failed for subscribing to design theory. Those who publicly advocate design theory, as myself, receive death threats and often find themselves being harrassed in the news. What Jones has experienced is merely the tip of the iceberg compared to what design advocates experience.

While I disagree with the threats being made against Judge Jones, I find it ironic that he is experiencing the repercussions that are being suffered and will be suffered by those he ruled against.

Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Truth Behind the Politics

I released my work on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial shortly after Judge Jones' ruling on the trial in December 2005. My writing was recently published online and is now avaliable to the public.

Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Truth Behind the Politics

In addition, I had written two open letters concerning the trial. The first came in the fourth week of the six-week trial and the second was released right after Judge Jones' ruling was rendered.

Intelligent Design, Education, and Liberty: What is Going on in Dover?
Decision in Dover: Why the Courts got it Wrong

Opinions on Dover Decision

The following are the opinions of several intelligent design advocates on the recent ruling by Judge John E. Jones III on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.

Dr. Michael J. Behe (Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University)
Dr. William A. Dembski (Professor of Science and Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Executive Director, ISCID)
Dr. Alvin Plantinga (Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame)
Mr. Casey Luskin (Founder, IDEA Center and Legal Advisor, Discovery Institute)

Dembski's Lecture at the University of Kansas

Dr. William A. Dembski spoke at the University of Kansas on January 23, 2006 to a crowd of about 1500 people. His talk and the question and answer session are now online.

Lecture- http://www.kucru.com/Artist%20-%20Track%201(1).mp3
Q&A- http://www.kucru.com/Artist%20-%20Track%201.mp3

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Design but no Intelligence at George Mason University

While most schools, colleges and universities included, refuse to touch intelligent design with a ten foot pole, George Mason University has decided to tackle the topic. Not discuss, teach, or research intelligent design--tackle it and beat it into the ground as best as they can. Here are some quizzes and courses students at GMU get on intelligent design:

Biology 471: Quiz on ID
Biology 471: Quiz on Selection
English 302: Syllabus
Government 329: Course Description

Apparently, attacking intelligent design with science hasn't been working too well so evolutionists, like the ones at GMU, are turning to subjects like English.

I challenge any and all students at George Mason University who are taking or will take any of these classes or any other class that includes intelligent design to:

1. Ask hard questions. Challenge the attacks made against ID theory.
2. Write papers defending intelligent design theory and dispelling the myths that will
inevitably be raised against design theory.
3. If and when opposition is met, contact me at the Intelligent Design Undergraduate
Research Center (www.idurc.org).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Intelligent Design Marches On

Quite a bit has been going on in the intelligent design movement lately and with the month of march, the movement keeps rolling forward.


First, with the current bill in Wisconsin that would ban all discussions on intelligent design in public schools, Dr. William A. Dembski offered this challenge:

I’m offering $1000 to the first teacher in Wisconsin who (1) challenges this policy (should it be enacted) by teaching ID as science within a Wisconsin public school science curriculum (social science does not count), (2) gets him/herself fired, reprimanded, or otherwise punished in some actionable way, (3) obtains legal representation from a public interest law firm (e.g., Alliance Defense Fund), and (4) takes this to trial. I encourage others to contribute in the same way. Thank you Wisconsin.


Then, the growing list of scientists that have voiced skepticism concerning evolution has grown to over 500 individuals. Thank you to these 500 courageous scientists.


Shortly thereafter, the first copy of the newest book on intelligent design, Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement, was printed. The book is edited by Dr. William A. Dembski, has contributions written by Dr. Michael J. Behe, Dr. Francis J. Beckwith, Dr. Walter Bradley, Dr. J. Budziszewski, Dr. Jonathan Wells, even evolutionist Dr. Michael Ruse, and many others, and the forward is written by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa). The book comes out officially in April 2006 and is worth buying, reading, and passing on.


Now, the calendar for March Madness looks as follows:

March 8- Dr. William A. Dembski interviews with Audiomartini

March 9- Dr. Paul Nelson debates against Dr. Sahorta Sarkar at the University of Texas at Austin.

March 14- Dr. Paul Nelson debates against Dr. Michael Ruse at Jacksonville University in Florida

March 17, 18- Dr. William A. Dembski lectures at UC-Berkeley in California

March 12-15- “ID Week” with Dr. John Angus Campbell at James Madison University, a debate tournament with the nation’s top debate teams (of course, Baylor University's team, of which I am a member, is not going to be present) on intelligent design.

March 28- Dr. William A. Dembski lectures at The College of New Jersey

March 31- Dr. Francis J. Beckwith debates at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in Virginia


Hopefully the month of March is a mere foreshadowing of things to come with the intelligent design movement.