Welcome to ARN-Announce
by Dennis Wagner
Number Fifteen, May 31, 2001
ARN-Announce is the on-line announcement and information service of Access Research Network. ARN generates announcements to the current ARN Announce list as information becomes available. You have received this message because your email address was submitted to this list. Subscription and Unsubscription information is at the end of this message.
IN THIS ARN-ANNOUNCE:
- ARN launches student division
- Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking
New book by Dennis Danielson (ARN Item #B052, $27.95) Amazon Buster Deal!
- Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and Americas Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion
Pulitzer Prize book by Edward J. Larson (ARN Item #B051, $13.50)
- Three Views of Creation and Evolution
by J.P. Moreland & John Mark Reynolds, eds. (ARN Item #B049, $14.25)
- A Report from Phillip Johnson on the Calvin College Conference
- Second Annual IDnet Symposium in Kansas City June 29-30, 2001
BOOK OF THE COSMOS SUMMER FOR THE GODS THREE VIEWS -- SUMMER CONFERENCES
Its summer time. I dont know what that means where you live, but here in Colorado it means warm days and afternoon thunderstorms. Seventy-six years ago it meant thunderstorms in the courtroom with one of the most celebrated and misrepresented trials of the 20th Century, the Scopes Trial, in Dayton Tennessee. Just in case you have been unduly influenced by the fictional movie account, Inherit the Wind, we have added Ed Larsons Pulitzer Prize winning book Summer of the Gods, to our catalog to set the record straight. Phillip Johnson gives a report of a more recent summer event: The Calvin College Conference held a week ago. We round out this issue with a look at the Book of the Cosmos, Three Views of Creation and Evolution, the Kansas City IDnet Symposium, and our new student division at ARN, The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC).
NEW STUDENT DIVISION AT ACCESS RESEARCH NETWORK
Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center - IDURC
It was almost 25 years ago when Access Research Network got its start as a group of students at the University of California in Santa Barbara. But that was back in the protest days so we were called Students for Origins Research (SOR). Somewhere along the way most of us got married, had kids, and got real jobs. One day we woke up and realized we werent students anymore, so we changed our name to Access Research Network. We had a lot of good times meeting in garages and basements, planning the overthrow of the Darwinian establishment.
As my oldest son makes plans to attend college a year from now, it is with great pleasure that I announce the next generation student movement, The Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center (IDURC). Micah Sparacio and Jeremy Alder started a website for undergraduate students a year or two ago and we were so impressed, we invited them to join on as the ARN student division. Browse through Jeremys article The Evolution Controversy: What's There To Be Afraid Of? and you will quickly see why we chose these guys to carry on the SOR torch. Soon we will be adding a discussion forum for undergraduate students. Although ARN has a great ID discussion forum going, it can be a little intimidating at times when all those "Piled-Higher-and-Deeper" guys (PhD) start posting. We would also love to post stories and papers by undergraduates to the IDURC site. So if you have any, pass them on to Micah or Jeremy.
BOOK OF THE COSMOS: IMAGINING THE UNIVERSE FROM HERACLITUS TO HAWKING
New book by Dennis Danielson (ARN Item #B052, $27.95)
When you gaze at the hundreds of galaxies visible in the Hubble Deep Field pinhole in the sky or browse the catalog of amazing nebula captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, do you ever pause to think you are seeing views of the universe never before available to the human race? How does your view of the universe impact your understanding of the universe? How did it impact Plato, Aristotle, or Copernicus? Or for that matter Kant, Poe, or Shaw?
Now you can find out in Dennis Danielsons Book of the Cosmos. In this 556-
page anthology Danielson collects impressions of the Cosmos from 85 different thinkers--from the beginning of written thought through the close of the 20th century. Like the sampler plate at the local surf & turf diner, this book allows you to partake of the writings of some of the greatest thinkers of our time as well as some lesser known names without having to eat the whole cow. And in between Danielson provides meaty introductions and connecting commentaries to put the bite-size pieces in context.
The chapters are arranged in chronological order, so you can choose to follow the progression of thought about the universe through time, or your curiosity can get the best of you and you can jump right to the chapter by Edgar Allen Poe. If The Pit and the Pendulum or The Cask of Amontillado gave you the chills, wait until you read Poes description of the Big Bang, written over one hundred years before scientists formulated the idea. There is also a little levity sprinkled throughout the book such as George Bernard Shaws 1930 toast to Albert Einstein at a dinner in Londons Savory Hotel.
Scientists, non-scientists, and literary connoisseurs should all find this book of interest. Any high schooler should be able to follow the readings. And along the way you will learn a little about black holes, fine-tuning, the big bang, cosmic inflation, superstrings, and how our view of the cosmos has radically changed in some ways and yet stayed the same in other ways over the past 2,500 years.
Those who hold an Intelligent Design perspective will be delighted to see contributions from Calvin, Kepler, Pascal, Paley, Gitt, Berlinski, and Gingerich to balance the writings from Decartes, Darwin, Clarke, Weinberg, Hawking, and Smolin.
About the Author:
Dennis Danielson is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he teaches honors and graduate courses in the literature of cosmology. He has lectured on topics such as Copernicanism, concepts of space, and the Anthropic Cosmological Principle to non-scientific audiences in the U.S., Canada, England, Germany, and South Africa.
What People Are Saying:
Danielson brings together the writings of some 85 philosophers, scientists, poets, and others as they reflect on the nature and science of the cosmos. Beginning with writings from the Torah and the Bible, the work moves through the contributions of such authors as Plato, Plutarch, Ptolemy, Dante, Copernicus, John Calvin, Galileo, John Milton, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allan Poe, Maria Mitchell, and others. The chapters are edited for brevity and contain summarizing asides by the editor.
--Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
"The romance of cosmic discovery has never been so thoroughly documented as in The Book of the Cosmos. Dennis Richard Danielson, the volume's editor, has hand-picked the most insightful thoughts ever penned on the Universe. From scientists to philosophers to poets, the contrast of views is stimulating, but the similarity of views is striking - we are all kindred souls in the timeless human quest to make sense of the universe in which we live."
-- Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, Director of Hayden Planetarium, New York City & Visiting Research Scientist, Princeton University
"Dennis Danielson's Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking is a remarkably rich and varied collection of cosmological writings. Not only has Danielson chosen these selections with care and originality, he has further enhanced their interest and accessibility by insightful commentary. It seems safe to predict that this treasury will bring delight and even amazement to many readers."
--Michael J. Crowe; Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre
To view the table of contents or order a copy of this book go to: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/coverimages/b052.htm
SUMMER OF THE GODS: THE SCOPES TRIAL AND AMERICA'S CONTINUING DEBATE OVER SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Pulitzer Prize book by Edward J. Larson (ARN Item #B051, $13.50)
Jonathan Wells recent book on the scientific Icons of Evolution has been a revelation to many that the house of Darwinism is built on a very weak and suspect foundation. In Summer of the Gods historian Ed Larson reveals that the foundation for one of the foremost cultural Icons of Evolution, the 1925 Scopes Trial, is equally suspect.
The 'Monkey Trial, as it was nicknamed, was instigated by the American Civil Liberties Union to challenge a controversial Tennessee law banning the teaching of human evolution in public schools. What resulted was a trial of mythic proportions. Unfortunately what is remembered about the trial today is more myth than fact. Larson attributes this to two significant sources. The first is the publication in 1931 of the best-selling book Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties and the second is the wide circulation of the 1955 play and the 1960 movie release of Inherit the Wind. Both media accounts portray the Scopes Trial as the triumph of reason over religion, and yet judging by the debates going on today it appears that the victory cry was a bit premature. Moreover, it is interesting to learn that the fictional work Inherit the Wind was really written as a social commentary against the McCarthyism of the 50s, using the Scopes Trial to draw parallel points from another era.
If you are looking for a detailed account of the trial itself, there are better choices. But if you want to understand the historical, political and religious context of the trial, as well as the myths carried forward by the Inherit the Wind play and the movie, this book is the authoritative source. With almost 40 pages of notes and references it provides a great launching pad for diving into all the details. In fact this would make an excellent class project for a high school or college history class. Work your way through the Summer of the Gods and perhaps the transcripts from the trial and then watch Inherit the Wind starring Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly and see how well your class does in deciphering fact from fiction. Although the authors of the Inherit the Wind play freely admit in the preface that the play is not history, somehow the movie has been indelibly ingrained on the American psyche as a representative account of the 1925 trial. And what teacher will refuse a book from Harvard University Press that won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History as your text?
For those looking for a brief treatment of the subject I would recommend Chapter 2 of Phillip Johnsons book Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds.
What People Are Saying:
"Edward Larson tells the true story of the Scopes trial brilliantly, and the truth is a lot more interesting than the myth that was presented to the public in Inherit the Wind." Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial
"Summer for the Gods is, quite simply, the best book ever written on the Scopes trial and its place in American history and myth. The tone is balanced; the research, meticulous; the prose, sparkling." Ronald L. Numbers
"Experts will learn much about the background and details of the Scopes trial; the general reader will be drawn into the trial as never before. Inherit the Wind, step aside!" Will Provine, Cornell
"Considering all the literature written about the Scopes trial, one would question the need for yet another book on the subject. Nevertheless, Larson has done a wonderful job of writing an engaging yet scholarly account of the issues surrounding this trial. Using new archival material from both the prosecution and defense, Larson presents a well-balanced view of the trial and its major players, who are probably as guilty of creating a controversy as they are of resolving one. . . Larson presents a wonderful account of the complex issues embodied in this famous trial. Highly recommended for general readers up through faculty." J. Olson, Choice
"This Pulitzer Prize-winning account is 'an excellent cultural history of the case.'" Rodney A. Smolla, New York Times Book Review
"Echoes of the 1925 Scopes 'monkey trial' over the teaching of evolution persist today, as Larson (history and law, U. of Georgia) illustrates in his narration based on some new archival materialof this 'trial of the century' and interpretation of its legacy." -- Booknews
"The 1925 Scopes trial involving the teaching of evolution has been shaped in current consciousness largely by Frederick Lewis Allen's 1931 book Only Yesterday and the 1960 film Inherit the Wind, based on a Broadway play. Larson explains in this intriguing, lucid history that both sources contained faulty information: the book inaccurately presented fundamentalism as a vanquished foe, while the film more a response to McCarthyism than a reconstruction of the trial inaccurately portrayed the teacher on trial as a victim of a thoughtless mob and the prosecutor, based closely on real-life prosecutor William Jennings Bryan, as a product of that mob. The reality was more complex, reveals Larson. Bryan was both an economic progressive and Christian anti-evolutionist. The American Civil Liberties Union actively campaigned for a plaintiff in a test case, and John Scopes saw the case as a lark. Defense lawyer Clarence Darrow cared less about the ACLU agenda, free speech and academic freedom, than about jousting over the Bible and besting Bryan in court. Though Scopes was found guilty, the judge imposed a minimum fine and the Tennessee Supreme Court managed to overturn the conviction without invalidating the law. Larson, who teaches history and law at the University of Georgia, has ably put the trial and its antecedents and aftermath in appropriate context." -Publishers Weekly
To view the table of contents or order a copy of this book go to: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=49
THREE VIEWS OF CREATION AND EVOLUTION
J.P. Moreland & John Mark Reynolds, Editors (ARN Item #B049, $14.25)
Just as there are conflicting interpretations of origins within the naturalistic community, so there are conflicting interpretations within the theistic community. This book reveals three different Christian worldviews about our origins: Young-Earth Creationism (Nelson and Reynolds), Progressive Creationism (Robert C. Newman), and Theistic Evolution (Howard J. Van Till). We have worldview talks everyday of our lives and in this book we have the opportunity to listen to a lively virtual discussion. Moreland and Reynolds create this atmosphere of a large roundtable meeting by each author presenting their position and those around the table (Walter Bradley, John J. Davis, J.P. Moreland, and Vern S. Poytress) critiquing their specific position. At the end of the formal discussion, Richard H. Bube and Phillip E. Johnson reflect on the nature of science, specifically on Methodological Naturalism and Intelligent Design.
Moreland and Reynolds' introduction and reason for this virtual debate is stated well: "Because Christians are interested in the truth and because they are called to proclaim and defend their views to an unbelieving world, it is important for the believing community to think carefully about how to integrate their carefully formed theological beliefs with a careful evaluation of the 'deliverances' of science, especially in the area of creation and evolution."
So, whether you are a theist, agnostic, atheist, or mystic, reading this book will help you better understand why Christians hold three diverse perspectives on creation and evolution and in turn allow you to dialogue more knowingly with those you may disagree with.
To view the table of contents or order a copy of this book go to: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=47
THE WEEKLY WEDGE UPDATE
A Report from Phillip Johnson on the Calvin College Conference
If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the Intelligent Design movement, there is no better place than Phillip Johnsons Weekly Wedge Update here at ARN. In the past month Phil has reported on the significance of recent discoveries in the Human Genome Project, a CNN feature on Icons of Evolution and the effort of high schooler Joe Baker to get his school board to acknowledge the errors, Phils impressions of the homeschool movement, a debate between John Mark Reynolds and Niles Eldredge, what one African-American church is doing about ID, and the success one 14 year old had in presenting ID in his public school.
This week Phil reports on the Design, Self-Organization, and Functional Integrity Conference held recently at Calvin College May 24-26.
To view Phils Weekly Wedge Update columns go to: http://www.arn.org/johnson/wedge.htm
SECOND ANNUAL IDNET SYMPOSIUM IN KANSAS CITY -- JUNE 29-30, 2001
Speaking of summer conferences, there is no better bang for your buck than the Darwin, Design, and Democracy II Conference to be held at the end of June in Kansas City. The cost is only $30 if you register before June 14th. And the two-day lineup includes Phillip Johnson, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, Walter Bradley, Nancy Pearcey, John Calvert, Jay Richards, and a host of others. We will be there in full force with the ARN book table, so sign up today and we will see you in a few weeks in Kansas City.
For more information or to register for the conference go to: http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/
A FEW NOTES ABOUT ARN ANNOUNCE
This is the fifteenth issue of ARN-Announce. It 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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