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Phillip Johnson helped shape the Intelligent Design movement by teaching people how to ask the right questions. Similarly, true academic freedom is not about having all the answers. It's about teaching people how to ask all the right questions. In his book The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2002), Professor Johnson teaches us how to put a variety of contemporary topics on the witness stand-such as education, science, logic, tolerance, gender and liberty-and unwrap the confusion by asking the right questions. For example, Johnson informs us to inquire:
By bringing such challenges to the academic forum, Phillip Johnson shows himself to be a great strategist: for he deftly demonstrates how the reigning naturalistic philosophy not only squelches public debate but also constrains us to ask the wrong questions. Unless we begin with the right questions, our discussion will be framed by the assumptions of that very philosophy which must be challenged, Johnson argues.
This product has been formatted for convenient use in the classroom setting, and is available in DVD or VHS format. The video may be watched uninterrupted from beginning to end, or the viewer may use the DVD menu feature to select the questions in any order.
To order your copy of the new Phillip Johnson interview video, The Right Questions, go to : http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/video_show_item.php?id=26
For those of you who have been patiently waiting for the print editions of RS4K Biology and Physics we have great news. Our scheduled ship date for the new hardback editions of RS4K Level I (Chemistry, Biology and Physics) is now about a month away (May 3rd). In the meantime, we have reduced the price of the Chemistry spiral bound edition by 20-25%, so if you have been thinking about giving RS4K a try, now is your chance to save some bucks. The CD edition of Biology is also going to be phased out when the hardbound edition arrives and we only have a few of those left.
The prices for the new editions will be slightly higher because of the hardbound binding, but all three teacher manuals will be combined into one text which will offset the price increase for the overall curriculum. We plan to have the catalog pages up in a few weeks to order the new hardbound edition, but until then you can take advantage of the clearance sale on the spiral bound Chemistry.
To order Chemistry I at a 20-25% discount go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/rs4k/rs04.htm
To snag one of the last Biology I CDs go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/rs4k/rs10.htm
2004 (Hardcover edition), Regnery Publishing, Inc., 464 pp.
"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light." (Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994)
Is Earth merely an insignificant speck in a vast and meaningless universe, as Carl Sagan suggested? On the contrary, in The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and philosopher Jay W. Richards present a staggering array of evidence that exposes the hollowness of this modern dogma. They demonstrate that our planet is exquisitely fit not only to support life, but also gives us the best view of the universe, as if Earth-and the universe itself-were designed both for life and for scientific discovery. In fact, Earth is a lot more significant than virtually anyone has realized.
In this provocative book, readers are taken on a scientific odyssey from a history of tectonic plates, the wonders of water, and solar eclipses, to our location in the Milky Way, the laws that govern the universe, and the beginning of cosmic time.
You will discover:
The Privileged Planet's astounding findings should lead any individual to reevaluate entrenched assumptions about the universeand even to reconsider our very purpose on what so many have dismissed as nothing more than an accident of cosmic evolution.
"This thoughtful, delightfully contrarian book will rile up those who believe the 'Copernican Principle' is an essential philosophical component of modern science. Is our universe designedly congenial to intelligent, observing life? Passionate advocates of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) will find much to ponder in this carefully documented analysis."
- Owen Gingerich. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, author of The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolution of Nicolaus Copernicus
"Not only have Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards
written a book with a remarkable thesis, they have constructed their
argument on an abundance of evidence and with a cautiousness of statement
that make their volume even more remarkable. In my opinion, The Privileged
Planet deserves very careful attention."
- Michael J. Crowe. Cavanaugh Professor Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900
"In a book of magnificent sweep and daring Guillermo
Gonzalez and Jay Richards drive home the arguments that the old cliché
of no place like home is eerily true of Earth. Not only that, but if
the scientific method was to emerge anywhere, the Earth is about as
suitable as you can get. Gonzalez and Richards have flung down the gauntlet.
Let the debate begin; it is a question that involves us all."
- Simon Conway Morri, Professor of Evolutionary Paleobiology, University of Cambridge, Author of Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe
"Impressively researched and lucidly written, The
Privileged Planet will surely rattle if not finally dislodge a pet assumption
held by many interpreters of modern science: the so-called Copernican
Principle (which isn't actually very Copernican!). But Gonzalez and
Richards' argument, though controversial, is so carefully and moderately
presented that any reasonable critique of it must itself address the
astonishing evidence which has for so long somehow escaped our notice.
I therefore expect this book to renew-and to raise to a new level-the
whole scientific and philosophic debate about earth's cosmic significance.
It is a high class piece of work that deserves the widest possible audience."
- Dennis Danielson, Professor of English, University of British Columbia, Editor, The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking
"Gonzalez and Richards have written a book that is
at once inspiring, illuminating, and beautiful. Although the 20th century
insights in quantum physics should long ago have dispelled the simplistic
idea that nature is nothing more than matter in motion, The Privileged
Planet suggests that scientific discovery is embedded in the very structure
of the cosmos. With uncommonly engaging prose, they offer a virtual
tour of the marvels of modern science and the discoveries science has
brought to light, from geology to cosmology. The authors also suggest
intriguing answers to ubiquitous "cosmic questions": Why have
we been able to discover so much about the world around us in such a
short time? Is extraterrestrial life common, or is it quite rare? What
is Earth's place in the cosmos? Does the universe exist for a purpose?
Only those interested in these questions-but who isn't?-should read
- George Gilder, Author of the bestselling book Telecosm. Founder, Gilder Technology Report
"In this fascinating and highly original book, Guillermo
Gonzalez and Jay Richards advance a persuasive argument, and marshal
a wealth of diverse scientific evidence to justify that argument. In
the process, they effectively challenge several popular assumptions,
not only about the nature and history of science, but also about the
nature and origin of the cosmos. The Privileged Planet will be impossible
to ignore. It is likely to change the way we view both the scientific
enterprise and the world around us. I recommend it highly."
- Philip Skell, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Physics, Pennsylvania State University, Member, National Academy of Sciences.
"This new book is an excellent and timely contribution
to the broadening and increasingly important discussion of origins."
- Henry F. Schaefer III, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry. Director, Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, University of Georgia. Five-Time Nobel Prize Nominee
"Privileged Planet is simply a beautifully written
piece of work: so lucid and compelling in its presentation that even
the most lay of laypersons will fly through its pages, barely able to
put the book down. And when is the last time that hard science has delivered
such an optimistic, even joyful message? For Gonzalez and Richards have
made the incontrovertible case that this earth of ours is not just some
flyspeck of inconsequentiality in a meaningless universe, but holds
a rare, even honored place, and that we, its inhabitants, are especially
privileged to be here."
- Joshua Gilder, Former White House speech writer. Author of Heavenly Intrigue: Brahe, Kepler and the Birth of Modern Science
To view the table of contents or order Privileged Planet , go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=72
2002 (Softcover edition), Leighton Academic Press., 423 pp.
The Intelligent Design movement appears at times to be primarily an American phenomenon, no doubt driven by our unique political, religious and educational situation. However, from time-to-time a significant book appears from another continent, adding fuel to the growing ID firestorm. The classic example is Australian biologist Michael Denton and his foundational book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Another example has just surfaced in the UK by David Swift entitled Evolution under the Microscope: a scientific critique of the theory of evolution. Swift's critique of Darwinian evolution appears almost independent of the ID movement and the U.S. issues. Instead he comes at the topic as a scientist that was once content with evolution theory, but who grew increasingly frustrated with a theory that could not account for the modern evidence of molecular biology.
In this thought-provoking and exhaustive text, Swift conducts a critical examination of the science of evolution. Because the theory of evolution relates to our origins it has far wider implications than just being the leading explanatory principle of biology. This, of course, is why it is still debated well over a century after Darwin.
Swift shows convincingly that what we have discovered in the last 50 years of biochemistry presents insurmountable hurdles to the current widely-accepted evolutionary explanation for the complexity of biology at the molecular level, posing fundamental challenges to the theory. At the same time, Swift does not argue from or in defense of what the Bible (or any other religious text) may say on the matter. Neither is it typical 'creation science', for example he accepts that the earth is billions of years old. He also completely agrees with the principle of natural selection, and the possibility that substantial progress, even limited 'apparent design', could arise through the accumulation (by the operation of natural selection) of a series of advantageous variations.
This thoroughly researched book is a must for any one with a serious interest in the subject of evolution. It successfully tackles the scientific issues at an appropriate level for consideration by professional biologists, and at the same time makes the subject accessible to the more general reader. This book will likely rattle a few cages in UK universities and cause Richard Dawkins to tour the kingdom to assure the masses that all is still well in the land of Darwinian evolution.
To view the table of contents or order Evolution Under the Microscope, go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=71
Walter James ReMine
1993 (Hardcover edition), St. Paul Science, 538 pp.
Published in 1993, The Biotic Message has become essential reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in the origins debate.
Written with a focus on biological issues, this book engages evolutionists on their own terms, on their issues, using their testimony, and their ground rules - including the central role of testability within Science. ReMine attacks many evolutionary illusions, and offers a new creation theory of biology: Life was designed to shout that it had only one creator, and to resist all other explanations.
ReMine's underlying theme is that an intelligent designer/creator has placed a pattern in living things (and their fossils) which defies a naturalistic explanation and points the observers to the one intelligent designer. This is The Biotic Message: that the unity in biology indicates an intelligent designer, and the pattern of diversity defies any consistent naturalistic explanation.
Be forewarned, this book is not a light readit is lengthy and densely packed, and is designed for the serious student of the origins controversy. Although it resembles a freshman-level college text, it has been enjoyed by high school students and is suitable for public schools. A strong background in science is not necessary, as the book is tutorial in its approach.
ReMine addresses evolutionary issues, such as:
"Voluminous, well-written, thoroughly researched and beautifully bound. ... ReMine's bibliography and text references read like a who's who of pro-evolutionary icons with names like Darwin, Gould, Lewin, Lewontin, Futuyma, Strahler, Dobzhansky, Haldane, Crick, and even Skinner, Sagan and Hawking. The author quotes these scientists at length, critiques them and uses the research of one to contradict he other. ...ReMine is persuasive and challenging."
- Thomas P. Ostrom, evolutionist and professor of anthropology. Rochester Post Bulletin, March 29, 1994
"The Biotic Message, a bold and fascinating attempt to state a
comprehensive theory, the short of which is that life is designed to
convey a message that life is the product of a single designer as
opposed to multiple designers or evolution. The thesis itself is exciting,
and the argument for it provides a fresh perspective on a number of
specific issues pertaining to evolution." .... "Original,
and stimulating to the mind, and very thoroughly worked out. ... Well
worth the money."
- Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial
"It's an impressive work"
- Dr. Michael Denton, author of Evolution, a Theory in Crisis
"I'd like to add my enthusiastic appreciation of Walter ReMine's book. ... I believe the book is an extremely valuable addition to the intelligent design literature and deserves a wide readership.
The main reason for my enthusiasm is that Walter presents arguments in his book that, so far as I know, have not been presented anywhere else. He particularly shows that principles of population genetics work strongly against evolutionary theory. I myself was floored by his discussion showing that the sickle cell gene actively works through natural selection to exclude a more efficient mutant, hbC from gaining a foothold in malaria-prone populations. The reason I was astounded is that I DID MY THESIS ON SICKLE CELL HEMOGLOBIN and I never thought of or read of the connection that Walter made.
As far as Message Theory goes, in the book Walter does a great job
of explaining it. The theory appears to be original, defensible, and
scientific. Is it true? It very well could be, as far as I can see,
and I look forward to a discussion of it."
- Dr. Michael Behe, associate professor of biochemistry, Lehigh University. author of Darwin's Black Box
To view the table of contents or order The Biotic Message , go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=70
Robert C. Koons
2000 (Hardcover edition), Oxford University Press., 349 pp.
Let us say right off the bat, if you are looking for an easy read on philosophy and causation, this is the wrong book for you. On the other hand, if what you are after is an in-depth discussion on Philosophy's relationship to Causation, and its metaphysical applications, Realism Regained will reward your curiosity and dedication to the subject.
In his introduction, Robert Koons states that physicists are currently searching for a "theory of everything", however the theory they seek, according to Koons, has nothing to say about mental phenomena. Thus, he describes his book as a work in "real, honest-to-God, no-apologies-given metaphysics, but metaphysics conducted in a thoroughly scientific spirit."
In this wide-ranging philosophical work, Koons takes on two powerful dogmasanti-realism and materialism. In doing so, Koons develops an efficient metaphysical system that accounts for such phenomena as information, mental representation, our knowledge of logic, mathematics and science, the structure of spacetime, the identity of physical objects, and the objectivity of values and moral norms.
Koons constructs a non-Humean theory of causation which sheds light on recent causal theories in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. In the process, he develops a parsimonious metaphysical theory, which accounts for such phenomena as: information, teleology and biological function, mental representation, qualia and mental causation, our knowledge of logic, mathematics and science, the structure of spacetime, the identity of physical objects, and the objectivity of values and moral norms.
Realism Regained offers a broadly "naturalistic" account of norms, building upon and refining the teleological theories of Dretske, Stampe, Millikan and others. However, Koons argues against a narrowly materialistic view, providing seven independent lines of argument for the existence of non-physical facts, in particular, facts of logical, mathematical and natural necessity.
"From the point of view of general philosophy, an exciting feature of Realism Regained is that the logical developments are applied to a range of philosophical problems, resulting in a book with a wide sweep: it is synoptic, systematic and advances many novel and challenging theses. These are connected through causation and teleology: the early logical chapters provide a theory of causation in a formal setting. A notable feature of the account of causation is that it makes room for timeless and non-spatial entities, like modal facts, to be causes; and the later chapters apply this to a succession of topics."
- Mark Sainsbury, King's College, London.
"Realism Regained is a really important achievement on
a grand scale. Throughout the book one finds promising new ideas and
new ways of making old ideas more precise."
- Timothy Willimason, Edinburgh University
"Realism Regained stands out as the first extended work
to make use of the account of causation coming out of situation theory.
This realist account of causation and the account of information and
function built on it are quite novel but based on solid technical
foundations. This book is a 'theory of everything.' It covers a huge
range of issues but in each case shows how the formal theory of functions
underlies the particular approach taken. It will grab attention and
has the combination of formal details and philosophical argumentation
to raise interest and discussion from several directions."
- Bernard Linsky, University of Alberta
To view the table of contents or order Realism Regained, go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=69
Last month we announced the upcoming Intelligent Design and the Future of Science conference to be held at Biola University. The conference will kick off Thursday April 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with a Banquet Dinner and lively cast of speakers including Phillip Johnson, Bill Dembski, Steve Meyer, David Berlinski and ID critics Michael Ruse and William Provine. The complete speaker list and conference agenda have been updated on the conference website, so be sure to check it out.
I will be there hosting an ARN book/video table along with Tom Magnuson and Art Battson (who will be videotaping some of the sessions for future ARN video products). Please stop by and introduce yoruself if you are at the conference.
To learn more about the conference or to register now go to http://www.biola.edu/id/index.cfm
Caution: This column may stretch your faith in macroevolution while at the same time exercise your ability to wonder. What's your wonder quotient? On one extreme; are you totally gullible and always in wonder? Do you believe everything that you read without investigating it for yourself? Or in the other extreme; are you a complete materialist, thinking that everything, including thought, will and feeling, can be explained only in terms of matter? If so, you are never in wonder because even if you can't explain it you have faith that somewhere, somehow, someday, someone will be able to explain it in a way that makes sense to you? Be prepared to experience; Wonder!!
Recently Georgia States school superintendent proposed removing the word evolution from the states curriculum and replacing it with the phrase biological changes over time. This curious move by the Georgia superintendent was defended by Superintendent Cox as a way to allow access to the concept of evolution for those who might ordinarily be prevented from reading about it due to its controversial nature. The proposal, which has since been rescinded, drew strong fire from several supporters of the theory, as Paul Nesselroade explains in the latest Wedge Update Column.
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ARN-Announce describes many of the upcoming events and new articles, books, videos and other resources on Intelligent Design. Please forward this message to several of your friends and colleagues to let them know about the resources available at Access Research Network (www.arn.org). Back issues of ARN-Announce can be found at www.arn.org/announce.htm
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