Darwin Wars Continue Unabated
The Dover decision did not end the fervent discussion about Darwinism and intelligent design. There are too many articles to mention separately, so here is a sampler:
- Dover Board Rescinds Policy: As expected, the new Dover school board quickly put an end to the policy that required reading a statement that alternatives to evolutionary theory exist, including (but not limited to) intelligent design. See: LiveScience and MSNBC News.
- Jews News: The Miami New Times reported about a lively debate before an audience of 300 Jewish scientists and intellectuals in Miami about how Jews should respond to the ID debate. Opinions at the “Sixth Miami International Conference on Torah and Science” ranged everywhere from calling Darwinism irrational to saying embracing ID would be a disaster.
- Great IDEA?: Sarah Price Brown reported on BeliefNet about the rising interest in forming ID clubs on campuses, and how the IDEA Center is assisting. There are about 30 IDEA clubs at last count, including ones at Cornell, UCSD and George Mason University.
- Basking Sharks II: The Wichita Eagle reported that the lawyers who defeated the ID initiative in Dover, Eric Rothschild and Stephen Harvey, are scheduled to speak at the University of Kansas later this month. They want to leverage their experience for others involved in the debate.
The losing side, though, is not going away any time soon – there is too much momentum across the country, said Richard Thompson, President of the Thomas More Law Center that defended the school board. He criticized the Dover decision: “The judge specifically ordered the school board never to denigrate or disparage the theory of evolution,” he remarked, “which now makes that theory sacrosanct and violates one of the major principles of America — that no official, high or petty, should establish dogma or orthodoxy in a method of thinking.” Source: Agape Press.
- Domino: Both Nature and Science expressed triumph over the Dover decision, claiming it affirmed unequivocally that ID is not science, and that this decision is likely to affect other cases.
- Just the Facts: Robert Crowther on Evolution News criticized the habit of major media to editorialize. Instead of reporting the facts, they are intent on telling us “what it means.” Crowther says they go even further, trying to tell people how to think about what it means – and that, according to Crowther, in their usual biased and inaccurate manner.
- Danger Signs: R. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, CrossWalk.com used the title of Daniel Dennett’s book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea to warn that there is “no middle ground” in this debate.
- Science by Court Order: Robert Robb in the Arizona Republic criticized the Dover decision by Judge Jones, saying it is not the provenance of the courts to determine what is science.
- Is ID Testable? Jay Richards and Jonathan Witt made the case on Evolution News that intelligent design is empirically testable and makes predictions.
- Freedom! D. Eric Schansberg argued for the Acton Institute that the solution to the ID-Darwin acrimony in schools is to give parents freedom of choice. Lord John Acton (1834-1902) was the British historian famous for the phrase, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Schansberg tied this thought to the education monopoly.
- Separation of Church and Science? According to Agape Press, some professors at Samford University, a Southern Baptist school in Alabama, are protesting the appearance of an ID proponent with degrees from Cambridge and Oxford, Dr. John Lennox, who has 60 peer-reviewed publications to his name. The grounds of the protest? Go figure– “separation of church and state.”
- Lawyer Pub: Albert Alschuler continued his blog about the Dover decision on the University of Chicago Law School site, and got a variety of reactions.
- Outdoor Evangelist: Biblical creationist Peter DeRosa got good press in Florida’s Contra Costa Times. The fossil hunter and his dinosaur-digging team reject the “lightweight Christianity” that remains nebulous about the designer. They are not ashamed to declare the Bible as the true Word of God, and Jesus Christ the Lord as the Creator. But DeRosa also holds his own answering tough questions about scientific evidence, and while polishing in his lab the allosaurus his team found (01/29/2003), explains why the evidence contradicts evolution and supports the Genesis creation account.
The controversy over intelligent design, creation, evolution and education extends from the grass roots of small town school boards and churches all the way up to international scientific institutions and governments.
With so many opinions flying left and right, it is more important than ever to keep informed, know how to use your baloney detector, and understand the key issues. Here, you get the sources where the proponents can explain their views in their own words. Don’t expect the major media to get it right, especially when discussing ID. Go to the Discovery Institute and Access Research Network and get the story straight from the sources rather than letting reporters “explain what it means” for you.
Pay particular attention to which side wants open debate and which wants to shut it down. Notice who wants the scientific evidence to speak for itself, and who threatens lawsuits or relies on judges to issue orders from the bench. Notice which side speaks with reason and scholarly logic, and which resorts to mockery. Such observations contain an important message, sometimes more important than the actual arguments used.