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.

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."

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:

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

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.


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

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


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
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center

Student Representative,
Access Research Network

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.

Genes and Genesis
Honors 399: Physics, Philosophy, and Fundamentalism

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."

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.