Welcome to ARN-Announce
by Dennis Wagner
Number Twenty Five, October 22, 2002
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.
Click here for a text-only version of this document.
IN THIS ARN-ANNOUNCE:
- Highlights from this past year:
- ARN Lecture Videos on UCTV
- Documentary Videos
- Good news in Georgia and Ohio
- Increasing Number of ARN Web visitors
- Student Involvement
- Real Science for Kids Chemistry I Curriculum
- Your opportunity to be part of the ARN solution:
- Real Science for Kids Biology I Curriculum
- Panel Discussion Video with Wells, Ruse and Tiffney
- Interview Video with John Angus Campbell on the Rhetoric of Charles Darwin
- Natural Philosophy: A Survey of Physics and Western Thought (new high school physics textbook from ARN)
- Online Edition of Origins & Design Journal
- Your free gift for being an ARN donor
- Phillip Johnson's new book, Asking the Right Questions
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS PAST YEAR
It has been several months since we sent out an ARN Announce email. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on a few of the highlights from this past year, give you a sneak preview of some of the exciting products we are about to release, and give you an opportunity to help us launch these new products with a donation to ARN.
For those who can help us out with a donation of $50 or more, we'd like to rush you a copy of Phillip Johnson's brand new book Asking the Right Questions: Truth, Meaning and Public Debate.
I know this will be a long message, but I hope you enjoy the update. If you are short on time and want to make your donation and get the book, just scroll down to the bottom to skip my insightful state of the union address and get to the punch line fast.
ARN Lecture Videos Broadcast on UCTV
For over 10 years now we have been producing high quality academic lecture videos on origins with the likes of Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Michael Denton, Dean Kenyon, Walter Bradley, Henry Schaefer, Robert Newman, and Scott Minnich. Now I must admit that talking head lecture videos generally do not rank high on entertainment value. It's the antitheses of MTV. But we felt this was our niche in the marketplace: to provide academically sound challenges to Darwinism in a university setting. Our patience paid off this year when the University of California Television (UCTV) began broadcasting our videos in their Focus on Origins series, which is accessible to millions of viewers on the DISH network. UCTV aired the Focus on Origins series weekly for 7 months. Here a few of the responses UCTV received from their viewers:
2/16/2002 The program "On Darwinism" was extremely interesting. Do you intend to air it again, and if yes, when? Thank you for your excellent science programs. -- New York
2/18/2002 I was watching about the subject of questioning Darwinism. On Darwinism The speaker was Phillip E. Johnson from the University of California at Berkley. I can't find him in the web site. Can you help me? Thank you. (follow-up comment: Thank you for making this information available from Prof. Johnson's perspective. I appreciate all points of view being represented fairly so I may make an informed decision about what I believe. Usually you only hear the pro Darwinist perspective and I consider that to just be propaganda since it's one sided and taught as fact rather than the theory that it is. It shows that your school is open minded.
3/18/2002 I am fascinated by the Focus on Origins series. Please let me know how many programs there are, for how long are you going to air them, and how can I get copies? I will go over my usual luxury items budget to have them. Thank you. - California
3/24/2002 I watched a remarkable program featuring Dr. Phillip E. Johnson. (Can Science Know the Mind of God?) I found this to be a compelling, no, spellbinding presentation!! His arguments were compelling. Thank you for having the rank 'political' courage to transmit this presentation. Gutsy move, y'all. - Texas
3/28/2002 I have just finished watching Phillip E. Johnson (The Blind Watchmaker) give the most intelligent and coherent challenge to the dogma of Darwinism that I have ever seen. Thank you for airing it.
4/9/2002 I watched Prof. Johnson's debate on your program "Darwinism: Science of Philosophy?" and I was very impressed with his point of view. I could not stop listening to it. It is very important that many voices are being heard on television and I think you guys are doing a great job in relating this through your wide range of programs. Keep up the good work! -- New York
4/19/2002 Regarding: Focus on Origins Series It's about time educators started entertaining other ideas about the beginning of life . Thank you for airing this show. - California
4/20/2002 As a high school biology teacher, I found the interview of Dr. Charles Thaxton (On the Origin of Life)to be an extremely interesting and honest evaluation of the methods and results of research into the question of the origin of life. I look forward to using some of this information when I cover the topic next year in my biology classes. Great discussion of how methods used by researchers influence their results and how the results of experiments often produce more questions. Thank you for airing this program. - California
4/26/2002 I am enjoying the series of debates on the theory of evolution and the origin of species (Focus on Origins), especially Dr. Phillip Johnson. I am glad to see the theory of evolution being debated in sensible, civil debates, which consider the evidence logically on both sides. Thank you for offering this fascinating discussion. - Texas
6/22/2002 Your programming of debates/info regarding evolution and intelligent design are outstanding. I sure hope the program "From Big Bang To Biology" is repeated in the post June period. I only caught a part of Dr. Newman's presentation but it was intriguing. Thanks for such programs. California
6/21/2002 Excellent presentation of "From the Big Bang to Biology" Is it going to air again? -- Indiana
7/3/2002 On the Origin of Life was one of the most interesting programs I have seen on TV. Please call me back with more information. - Missouri
7/5/2002 I happened upon your interview with Dr. Michael Behe on From the Big Bang to Irreducible Complexity (your Focus on Origins series). Frankly I was surprised to find such balanced programming from the university. Interesting and well done. Thank you. I hope to catch it again this weekend. - Arizona
Of course UCTV got it's share of hate mail from our videos also, such as the one below, but they believed in the quality of our speakers and saw the value of teaching the controversy.
2/17/2002 It is impossible for me to believe that UCTV has broadcast such a program as "On Darwinism" with Phillip E. Johnson purporting to be a scientist. This person is a creationist, which by definition, relies on teaching from a book that is 2500 years old, and is based on folk tales that are a thousand years older than that. He is glib with words, and like most con men, can spin his "facts" to make you believe whatever he preaches. And that's exactly where he should be speaking from: the pulpit. You are a university, supposedly devoted to 'truth'. To give this subject the distinction of a public forum is, in my opinion, indefensible. Teach fables if you will, but not in the guise of science. - Florida
Unlocking the Mystery of Life and ICONS of Evolution Documentaries
We've never had the funding to produce a PBS style documentary on ID but thankfully someone else did. The Unlocking and ICONS documentaries were released last spring and now we have a tool for communicating the message of Intelligent Design and the problems with Darwinism to a wider audience. I have had elementary school students, high school science teachers,and science professionals rave about these products. If you have not seen, them yet, you must. If you have seen them, then you need to get them into the hands of others. I think these two videos are the single most powerful tools we have to introduce people to the issues and to get them thinking about the right questions.
Good news from Georgia and Ohio
If you been following the news you know that the State Board of Education in Ohio and the Cobb County School District in Georgia have been in the middle of a highly visible public battle on how evolution should or should not be taught in public schools.
After struggling for 10 months the Ohio standards committee added a one-sentence requirement for 10th graders: "Describe how scientists today continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory." Both sides called the new requirement a compromise to the various statements being considered. Evolution proponents called it a loophole through which creationists would try to get their ideas taught. Proponents of Intelligent Design hailed the decision as a step in the right direction to "teach the controversy." When asked why evolution was being treated differently than other science topics like gravity, one Board member responded that other areas of the standard did not get 20,000 public comments.
Meanwhile the Cobb County Board of Education unanimously approved an amended policy on September 26 in front of a standing room only crowd allowing "disputed views" to be taught in local classrooms after the ACLU challenged a biology text book insert that warned that evolution was a theory and not a fact. In both of these cases the local school district is stilled allowed some latitude in how the topic of origins is taught in the science classroom.
These two landmark decisions may seem like standard academic freedom statements, but the intense opposition from gatekeepers of public discourse through this whole process indicates a deeper cultural war is waging and the opponents of Darwinism have just won some important battles. The public is being educated on the issues and their voice is having an impact on public policy.
Increasing Number of Web visitors
We have continued to experience increasing traffic to our website at www.arn.org. We have over 2,000 visitors a day ordering products, reading news and articles, doing research for school papers, and interacting on our discussion forum. Phillip Johnson retired from writing the Wedge Update column this year, but Mark Hartwig has done a great job carrying on the column and keeping our visitors informed on important happenings in the Intelligent Design world.
Our student website (www.idurc.org) and has been attracting more student-written papers since we have been offering $5/page stipend for accepted articles (when you consider that $5 will still buy a couple of pieces of pizza, you can understand the success behind this program for students!). I'm excited when I see some of the quality work being done by high school and college students in the area of Intelligent Design. For some examples check out Heather Dehart's article on Academic Freedom in the Science Classroom or Tristan Abbey's article Ants in some pants (but no obscure dance all the way to France). We are also getting some interest in Science Fair projects on Intelligent Design from middle school students. We would love to have some more financial sponsors for commissioning student papers.
This past year we launched our RealScience-4-Kids Elementary school curriculum with the release of our Chemistry Level I unit. The feedback from the homeschool market has been very positive. Homeschoolers love the fact that they can teach their elementary age kids high school level science concepts without the bias of Darwinian philosophy. They also love the teacher's manual, which makes it simple to teach science, even for those with no science background, the simple hands-on kitchen experiments, and the critical thinking skills. And don't think RealScience-4-Kids is just for homeschoolers. Traditional schools have also been ordering our materials for use in the classroom setting.
YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE PART OF THE ARN SOLUTION
Now for the donation pitch. We've got several new items ready to role out, but with the tight economy and limited staff, we need your financial support to help make these exciting new products available. Here is a preview of some of the products we are ready to release with your help:
RealScience-4-Kids Biology Level I
Our Biology curriculum is in the final stages of production and we are planning to release it by the end of October. In order to keep the prices low ($34.95) and get the product to market sooner, we are releasing the Biology Unit in electronic pdf format on CD. If you have a curious 2nd-5th grader that is ready to learn about the fascinating world of the cell, then you will want to order our new Biology CD soon.
New ARN Video: On the Theory of Evolution, Panel Discussion with Jonathan Wells, Michael Ruse, and Bruce Tiffney
We are preparing to roll out another ARN video featuring Jonathan Wells. This is a panel discussion that took place at the University of California at Santa Barbara and includes the always-entertaining Michael Ruse, Endowed Chair in Philosophy at Florida State University, and UCSB Geology Professor Bruce Tiffney. In this panel discussion the participants examine 1) the nature, aims, and limitations of science, 2) the contemporary status of evolution as a scientific theory, and 3) the political dimensions of contemporary discussions and debates of evolution in American education.
New ARN Video: Interview with John Angus Campbell on the Rhetoric of Charles Darwin
As soon as we have funds we also plan to release an interview video with John Angus Campbell. Dr. Campbell is currently professor of Speech Communication at the University of Memphis. Formerly, he headed the department of Speech at the University of Washington where he taught rhetoric for nearly twenty years. In his research, he has specialized in the study of the rhetoric of science. He has published numerous technical articles analyzing the rhetorical strategy of Darwin's Origin of Species and is widely regarded as the world's foremost expert on this subject. In this engaging interview Campbell explains why Darwin's Origin of Species had such an impact. Campbell dissects various chapters in the book and explains that it was Darwin's rhetorical brilliance that won over his readers, more than the scientific evidence.
New High School Physics Textbook from ARN: Natural Philosophy - A Survey of Physics and Western Thought
David Snoke is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh. Several years ago he was asked by a homeschool group to teach a physics course for high schoolers. What started as a single class has turned into a new high school textbook and a new integrated approach to teaching physics. Not only does the book answer the question "What should every educated person know about physics, assuming that he or she never studies physics again," but it does so in an integrated fashion presenting some advanced topics of philosophy and theology along the way. Homeschoolers and private schools will be immediately drawn to this approach-even public schools may find this approach a refreshing break from the standard faire (asking their students to read the theology sections at home on their own time!). We are in the final stages of proofing this 500+ page manuscript and with some financial support, hope to have it out in the near future.
Online Edition of the Origins & Design Journal
Believe it or not we do have another issue of Origins & Design ready to publish. But rising printing and postage costs are forcing us to consider making this an online journal. If you are a paid subscriber you should be hearing from us soon on how to access your online copy of the new issue. Again with some funding help we hope to get this publication out more often.
Now's the time give your donation to ARN, get these projects on their way, and get a copy of Phillip Johnson's new book in your hands.
Phillip Johnson helped shape the Intelligent Design movement by teaching people how to ask the right questions. The ID movement is not about having all the answers. It's about teaching people how to ask all the right questions. In his newest book just released, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate, 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.
We need your financial support at this time to keep our projects moving forward and to continue having a positive impact on the origins debate. A donation of any amount will be a great help. For those who are able to donate $50 or more at this time we would like to send you a copy of Phillip Johnson's new book in appreciation for your support. For the past year we have had a small group support the work at ARN with monthly donations. If you are able to join our regular givers with a monthly donation it would be a great encouragement to our staff at this time. I know many of you may be out of work at the moment or on a fixed income and not able to donate at this time. That's OK. It would also be a great encouragement to our staff to hear how the work at ARN has had a positive impact on you or someone you know. Take a moment to write us a note or email.
Just to give you some concrete ideas about how your donation can help at ARN, here are estimates of a few of our expenses:
- $50 - daily cost to respond to emails and letters
- $75 - maximum cost to commission a student paper
- $100 - daily cost to support and enhance our website for 2,000 daily visitors
- $250 - monthly phone expenses
- $500 - one time cost to advertise RealScience-4-Kids curriculum
- $1,500 - cost to send out a printed announcement to those on our list
- $5,000 - cost to produce a new lecture video
- $5,000 - cost to produce an online version of the Origins & Design journal
There are three easy ways you can send a tax-deductible donation to us:
1. Secure Online Donation with credit card. To donate online with your credit card simply click the link below
and provide the requested information. If you are donating $50 or more and would like a copy of Phillip Johnson new book, please write "Send The Right Questions" in the comment field.
2. Call our toll free number at 1-888-259-7102 and leave us a message with your credit card information and request for the book. This is a dedicated voice messaging system for ARN that only is only accessible by our staff. You may leave your information or request that one of our staff call you back.
3. Put a check in the mail. Send a check made out to ARN to P.O. Box 38069, Colorado Springs, CO 80937. If you would like the book add that to the memo field on your check.
ARN is a 501(c)3 Educational non-profit. All donations in excess of services or goods provided in return are considered tax-deductible by the IRS. Contact your tax advisor for futher information. A receipt will be mailed for all donations.
I hope you have enjoyed this long-winded update on what's happening at ARN and we hope to hear from you soon.
ON-LINE ORDERING AVAILABLE FOR ARN PRODUCTS
All of the ARN products can be ordered through our web catalog store with secure credit card ordering. Read a detailed description of each product and add as many copies as you would like to the electronic shopping cart. When you have finished, select the type of shipping (Priority for faster delivery, or Standard for lowest cost) and send the order. If you provide your email address, you will receive an email receipt of your. Place your order today online at www.arn.org (click the products links on the top menu bar). If you have any problems or questions, or would rather place your order by phone, call our toll free number at 1-888-259-7102 and our staff will be happy to assist you.
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
ARN-Announce is written by Dennis Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Access Research Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing accessible information on science, technology and society issues from an Intelligent Design perspective.
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