Welcome to ARN-Announce
Dennis Wagner, editor
Number Sixty-five, May 24, 2007
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IN THIS ISSUE OF ARN-ANNOUNCE:
- NEW BOOK: The Complete Idiot’s
Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design
- NEW BOOK: World Without
Design--The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism
- ID Author, Guillermo Gonzalez,
Denied Tenure at Iowa State University
- 2 Day Science Teacher Symposium:
Teaching Biological Origins at Biola University
- ID Arts Update: Get your free
downloadable ID art print
- Swallowing: It’s Not As Easy As it
Looks by Dr. Howard Glicksman
- Dogmatic Darwinists: The Captain
Ahabs of Science by Roddy Bullock
- The Vertebrate Eye Does Not Have a Compromised
Design by David Tyler
The Complete Idiot's
Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design
Christopher Carlisle with W. Thomas Smith, Jr.
If you have been baffled by the Darwin vs. Design debate, or have been looking for the perfect book to introduce your
co-worker to the topic, then you are in luck! With Complete
Idiot Guides available on hundreds of
topics, the publishers of this catchy series have decided that the smart
people are the one’s who admit up front they know very little about a topic
they are interested in gearing up on, and are secure enough about who they
are to have an “Idiot’s Guide” sitting on their coffee table at home as
they quickly get up to speed on the key issues and facts.
This book takes a balanced look at the issues with an easy to read
layout that includes call-out boxes, definitions, and summary statements
throughout each chapter. Christopher Carlisle is the Episcopal
Chaplin at the University of Massachusetts and cofounder of The God and
Science Project. He has hosted events on his campus featuring proponents of
both sides of the debate. In this book you will learn:
- The fundamentals of Intelligent Design, including the
current debate between science and ID.
- The history of Intelligent Design over the past 2,500
- How Charles Darwin changed the relationship between
science and religion
- What ID proponents argue may be a more adequate
explanation of the life’s origins
- Why scientists, theologians, and ID advocates must
come to some common ground
The layman’s ID Trilogy is now complete when this book is read along
with Jonathan Well’s Politically
Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, and Denyse
Design or by Chance. The cat is out now out of the bag for the
average citizen, and the mandarins of science and the sound-byte news
reporters can no longer dismiss ID as “creationism in disguise” or a failed
attempt to “sneak religion into the public schools”. After reading
this book, even the village “idiot” will know better.
Go here to view the table of contents or to order your copy today.
World Without Design: The
Ontological Consequences of Naturalism
Michael C. Rea, Oxford University Press (trade paperback, 245
Alvin Plantinga has been crying out in the philosophical wilderness for
decades about the short comings of philosophical naturalism, the
cornerstone of Darwinian evolution. The wilderness just got a little less
lonely with the recent publication of World Without Design: The
Ontological Consequences of Naturalism by his Notre Dame colleague,
Michael C. Rea. Philosophical naturalism has dominated the Western academy
for well over a century. However, there is an important sense in which
naturalism's status as orthodoxy is without rational foundation.
Furthermore, the costs of embracing it are surprisingly high. The goal of
this book is to defend these two claims, with special attention to the
second. The first part of the book aims to provide a fair and historically
informed characterization of naturalism. The second part argues for the
striking thesis that naturalists are committed to rejecting realism about
material objects, materialism, and perhaps realism about other minds. The
book concludes with an examination of two alternative research programs,
intuitionism and supernaturalism, and argues that, under certain
circumstances, intuitionism is self-defeating. Those who think the Darwin
vs. Design debate is all about the scientific evidence, or about science
vs. religion, will be surprised to find out, that the issue goes much
deeper into the world of philosophy. According to Professor Rea philosophic
naturalism, which many take for granted in the world of modern science,
stands on shaky ground.
Go here to view the table of contents or to purchase your copy today.
ID Author, Guillermo Gonzalez, Denied Tenure at
Iowa State University
The big story this month is the denial of tenure to widely-published pro-ID astronomer Guillermo
Gonzalez at Iowa State University, despite the fact that he exceeded
by 350% his department’s standard for research excellence in peer-reviewed
publications. A quick recap of the key developments in the
1. Two tenured professors in Gonzalez’s department publicly admitted that his work on intelligent design
played a role in his tenure denial.
2. Two additional faculty members in Gonzalez’s department were
found to be connected to a national statement denouncing intelligent design
as “creationist pseudoscience.”
3. Tenure statistics were obtained showing that 91%
of faculty who applied for tenure this year at ISU received it, refuting
the university’s claim earlier in the week that its tenure standards are “so
high, that many good researchers have failed to satisfy the demands of
earning tenure” at ISU.
4. Tenure standards for ISU's Department of Physics and
Astronomy were released showing that outside research funding was not
a stated criterion for tenure decisions in the department.
5. ISU continues to pretend that nothing is
wrong while ignoring the
hostile work environment for Gonzalez.
What Can You Do? Help Guillermo Gonzalez in his fight for academic freedom. Contact ISU
President Gregory L. Geoffroy at (515) 294-2042 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and let
him know that you support academic freedom for Dr. Gonzalez to follow the
evidence wherever it leads. When a university receives hundreds or thousand
of messages on one topic, they pay attention. Be polite, but speak up for
Dr. Gonzalez and academic freedom in America.
ARN Correspondent, Denyse O’Leary, has been following this
development. Check her column for regular
updates on the situation.
Science Teacher Symposium: Teaching
Biola University's M. A. Program in Science and
Religion and the Department of Education will present a Science
Teacher Symposium on August 3rd and 4th, 2007. The symposium is
specifically designed for high school biology teachers, but anyone may
- Meet leading critic of Darwinian evolution, Jonathan Wells
- Investigate Discovery Institute’s new biology curriculum
(free copies for qualified* teachers)
- Network with other teachers and curriculum writers
An exciting new supplementary textbook delivers critical thinking at its
best (9th grade – college): Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and
Against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House Publishers, 2007). Those teaching
lower grade levels may attend to consider ways of adapting this material.
Presented by the M.A. Program in
Science and Religion and the Department of Education at Biola University. Register: Call 888-332-4652 or download
FREE Downloadable ID Art Print: Placed with
We are pleased to introduce artist Tim McMahan and his ID Art print
entitled “Placed with Purpose”. We are also pleased to offer those that sign
up for the ID
Arts mailing list a free high-resolution edition of this image suitable
for framing or use as your computer desktop wallpaper. Here is Tim’s
commentary on the image: “I created it in Adobe Photoshop with the use of two
stock photos (the moon and the eye). I created it after hearing a lecture by
Jay Richards on The
Privileged Planet in March 2005. Dr. Richards mentioned in that
lecture that many of the things we find most beautiful in nature also happen
to be results of things that are necessary for our survival. I was inspired
by the idea that a solar eclipse is not only an expression of beauty but also
evidence of purposeful design. While looking at an eclipse, we can see the
designer looking back at us.” Tim is a freelance
graphic designer based in Orange, CA. He graduated from Biola University in 1996 with a B.S. in Art
— A Short Story by James Hoskins
While you are at the ID
Arts website, checkout this short story by James Hoskins. It’s the same old
story–kid goes off to college where everything he was raised to believe is
challenged, but Confession, a short story by
philosophy student James Hoskins, turns out to be a confession of a different
SWALLOWING: It’s Not as Easy as it Looks
By Dr. Howard Glicksman
In this month’s
installment of Exercise Your Wonder, Dr. Howard Glicksman walks us through
the design of swallowing. Here is a brief excerpt:
“It is common today to encounter people who would look at the anatomy of
the head and neck, see the high risk for aspiration, and would conclude that
it couldn’t have been intelligently designed because that’s not the way they
would have done it. Of course, one has to take into account the
importance of the faculty of smell and its direct connection to the faculty
of taste to see why the parts for breathing and eating are so close together.
But then came the need to preserve respiratory function while still allowing
for nutrition and hydration through the oral cavity. You now understand
how this is achieved in our bodies
It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and that beauty
is in the mind of the beholder. Well, I’d like to leave you with a
link that shows a video
As you watch it, consider what you’ve just learned about what’s really
going on every time you swallow, about 1,000 times a day. That’s 1,000 chances
per day for aspiration causing disease, dysfunction and death to take place,
and the body handles it beautifully.” Go here to read the
Dogmatic Darwinists: The Captain Ahabs of
By Roddy Bullock
What does Darwinism have to do with Moby Dick?
To find out, read
Roddy Bullock’s column in the ARN ID Report this month.
The vertebrate eye does not have a
Glial cells have been known to neuroscientists for over a
century and they perform numerous essential functions. Now we can add
another. In the vertebrate eye, there are "radial glial cells spanning
the entire retinal thickness" known as Muller cells. Shaped like an
extended funnel, they are "oriented along the direction of light
propagation". These cells "provide a low-scattering passage for
light from the retinal surface to the photoreceptor cells", thus acting
as optical fibres. Their function is to "mediate the image transfer
through the vertebrate retina with minimal distortion and low loss".
For years, we have been told by "blind watchmaker" Darwinians that
the eye is an example of bad design because light has to pass through the
retina to reach the photoreceptor cells. These folk insist that a good
Designer wouldn't have wired our retinas the "wrong" way. The
response from those who advocate design has been to show that the eye is an
example of optimum design: there are good reasons that can be advanced for
having an inverted retina. This approach has satisfied many but certainly not
all. The "bad design" claim is still widespread.
This new paper in the May issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, has finally nailed the argument: by revealing yet another level of
exquisite design. The authors modestly say: "This finding elucidates a
fundamental feature of the inverted retina as an optical system". They
describe the Muller cells as "ingeniously designed light
collectors". ScienceNow says: "For an organ
that delivers such crystal-clear images, the eye is curiously designed. Its
light-sensing rods and cones lie hidden behind a blanket of nerve cells that
carry visual information to the brain. So what prevents those neurons from
obscuring our vision? The answer may be surprisingly high-tech." So, in
addition to optimal design arguments, we can now appreciate how these
distinctive cells address completely the main perception of compromised
design. One of the authors is quoted as saying: "Nature is so
clever". Surely, it has to be myopic not to discern here the hallmarks
of an intelligent designer. This is argument from evidence par excellence!
Muller cells are
living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina
Kristian Franze, Jens Grosche, Serguei N. Skatchkov, Stefan Schinkinger,
Christian Foja, Detlev Schild, Ortrud Uckermann, Kort Travis, Andreas
Reichenbach, and Jochen Guck.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, May 15, 2007,
vol. 104, no. 20, 8287-8292. | 10.1073/pnas.0611180104
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A FEW NOTES ABOUT ARN ANNOUNCE
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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