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Welcome to ARN-Announce
by Dennis Wagner

Number Thirty-Three, November 12, 2003

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.

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IN THIS ARN-ANNOUNCE:

  • Buy 2 DVD’s, Get 1 FREE!
    ARN Videos now available in DVD format. Until November 30, 2003 you can buy 2 two different DVDs and get one free
    Take advantage of this specially offer to buy Christmas gifts, or donate a DVD to your local school or library.
  • Two new books document the history and development of the Intelligent Design movement.
    Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design, by Tom WoodwardBy Design: Science and the Search for God, by Larry Witham
  • Texas Has its Cake and Eats it Too
    The Texas State Board of Education approves biology textbooks, but vows to fix errors about evolution
  • Of Panda’s and People back in print.
    A high school textbook supplement that critiques Darwinism and presents the argument for Intelligent Design
  • New Wedge Update Column by Mark Hartwig
    Those Annoying Discovery Polls

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Buy 2 DVDs, Get one FREE!
ARN Videos now available in DVD format.

Anyone who has visited a video rental store recently realizes the tide has finally turned from VHS to DVD. This point was made pretty clear to me when I was selling copies of Unlocking the Mystery of Life documentary at a lecture recently. I brought along 5 DVD and 5 VHS copies and went home with 5 VHS copies. That’s when I decided it was time to begin converting the ARN lecture, debate and interview videos to DVD format. Another problem solved by this conversion was international distribution. Many overseas customers were requesting PAL versions of our video that had to be custom made and were more expensive. With our DVD products we have set the Region code to 0, meaning our products will play in all regions around the world (the only exception is the Unlocking the Mystery of Life documentary which is only available in region 1 at the moment).

To celebrate the launching of our DVD products we are running a Buy 2, Get 1 FREE special this month only. Buy two different DVD products from the list below and get a third DVD product free. This is a great opportunity to build your ARN DVD collection, buy some holiday gifts, or donate some DVDs to your local library or school.

The current products available in DVD format include:

Of course I love all these products or they wouldn’t be in our catalog, but the sleeper in this group is Phil Johnson’s lecture at Darwinism on Trial (V002), which was one of his early lectures given at the University of California, Irvine. Up until now this has only been available as a more expensive study kit. However, many feel this was one of Johnson’s finest lectures and we have decided to also make it available as a stand alone DVD product.

Click on any of the products above to start your online order or to learn more about each DVD. After selecting two or more DVD products simply specify in the Comment field which DVD you would like for free and we will include it in your order (Do NOT select the free DVD from the catalog as you will be charged for it). If you forget to include your free request, do worry. Just call our office or send us an email and we will take care of it.


Two new books document the Intelligent Design movement:

Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design
by Thomas Woodward

By Design: Science and the Search for God
by Larry Witham

Intelligent Design is now officially a “movement.” How do I know? Two new books have been released this year documenting the history and development of the movement.

Doubts about Darwin is based on the doctoral dissertation by Tom Woodward in which he documents the rhetorical history and development of the ID movement. As a participant in the movement himself, Dr. Woodward provides an insider view of key events and personalities over the past twenty years. What readers will find most useful about this book is the succinct summary of key arguments and books by Michael Denton, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe and William Dembski. You could consider it the “Cliff Notes” of the Design Movement. Another fascinating aspect of the book is the description of key historical events like Phillip Johnson’s initial faculty colloquium at Berkeley where he first circulated and “tested” his Darwin on Trial manuscript, or the Campion Debate, a private meeting of twelve heavyweights to discuss the teaching of origins in the public schools, which turned in to a 4 hour emotionally-charged debate between Stephen Jay Gould and Phillip E. Johnson. Those attending called it a draw, but for Phillip Johnson, standing toe-to-toe in the ring for twelve rounds with Gould, and living to tell about, it was a major victory.

Readers will also find the 50 pages of research notes, bibliography and index extremely helpful for doing further reading and research. And be sure you don’t miss this footnote on the bottom of page 83: “In my October 2000 interview with David Raup, he said, reflecting on the Campion meeting: ‘Phil Johnson’s work is very good scholarship and, of course, this has been widely denied. He cannot be faulted; he did his homework and he understands 99 percent of evolutionary biology.’” This is an incredible statement from one of the leaders of the scientific establishment when the party line has been to try and marginalize Johnson as a lawyer who doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to evolutionary biology.

Here are a few public endorsements for Woodward’s book:

"Because of intelligent design's snowballing popularity, critics are now eager to rewrite its history. Thomas Woodward's rhetorical history of the Intelligent Design movement therefore comes at an opportune time, masterfully disentangling the scientific, philosophical, and cultural impulses that drive the movement." --William A. Dembski, author of No Free Lunch

"Thomas Woodward's Doubts about Darwin is a fascinating, faithful, and trenchant analysis of the critical role of rhetoric in the rise of the modern intelligent design movement. To understand the public battle over evolution, you must read this book." --Michael J. Behe, Department of Biology, Lehigh University

"Tom Woodward's book--a vigorous and lively history of the Intelligent Design movement--is must reading for parents, educators, scientists, and informed citizens. Woodward provides crucial insights into the rhetorical dynamics of the Design Movement and the reasons why it resonates both with scholars and the broader public." --John Angus Campbell, professor of communication, Memphis State University

"Know anyone who's curious about the Intelligent Design controversy? What's the fuss about? Who are the key players? What are they saying and why? Doubts About Darwin is not only the best available guide to the ID movement's brief but eventful history; it's probably also the best available primer on the issues and arguments at stake in the debate." --Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College

To order your copy of Doubts about Darwin go to: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=62

In contrast to Tom Woodward’s insider view of the development of the ID movement, Larry Witham provides us with a reporter’s view in his new book By Design: Science and the Search for God. Witham is the winner of national awards for reporting on religion and society, and has written on science and religion for Scientific American, Nature and Christian Century. He is author of five books, including Where Darwin Meets the Bible (Oxford).

Witham’s approach is to document the development of the two inter-related movements of the “science-religion dialogue” and Intelligent Design. He does this through an impressive list of first-person interviews including: Paul Davies, John Leslie, Allan Sandage, George Coyne, Charles Thaxton, Dennis Wagner (hey that’s me!), Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jon Buell, Phillip Johnson, Bruce Chapman, John West, Guillermo Gonzalez, Stephen Jay Gould, Francis Collins, W. Ford Doolittle, Paul Nelson, John Polinghorne, and Robert Newman. ARN’s emergence in the mid 70’s as the student organization “Students for Origins Research” is described on page 116 and accurately reflects my interview with Witham, which confirms my assumption that he is a careful reporter of the facts.

Endorsements for By Design include:

“In a highly engaging style, Larry Witham recounts the history of the intelligent design movement. He shows how ideas and personalities mix to challenge deep scientific presumptions.” – Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry, Lehigh University

“Witham presents an entertaining and informative summary of the history and positions of the major protagonists in the debates and controversies in the dialogue between science and religion. This book is a delight to read and would make a good introductory text for students desiring a current overview.” – Walter Shropshire Jr., United Methodist minister and retired physicist, Smithsonian Institution

To order your copy of By Design go to: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=63

Note: Starting this month we will be offering our new products for a "Suggested Donation". We have decided to move away from the retail model and more toward a donation model which is more consistent with our non-profit mission. Our suggested donations will usually be close to the published price for the item. I'm sure you can find the items cheaper somewhere else in cyberspace, but we hope the "value-add" provided by ARN motivates you to acquire the products from us and support the work being done here. Any amount you pay for an item above the "Fair market value" is considered a donation by the IRS and may be eligible for a tax-deduction. Please consult your tax advisor for details.


The Texas State Board of Education approves biology textbooks, but vows to fix errors about evolution

In a case that has both sides claiming victory, the Texas State Board of Education has adopted a series of high school biology textbooks that had been criticized for inaccuracies involving evolution. The board voted 11-4 on Nov. 7 to adopt improved texts for the next seven years, which evolutionists claimed as a major victory.

Still, the Seattle-based Discovery Institute noted a number of board members indicated remaining factual errors must be fixed before the books will be placed in students' hands. "This is real progress in the cause of science education reform," said Bruce Chapman, president of the institute which cooperated with a Texas citizen network in challenging the books. "We were already happy that a number of embarrassing errors that overstate the evidence for evolutionary theory were being fixed.

"We were also hoping that the board would require textbooks to include coverage of the peer-reviewed scientific weaknesses of evolutionary theory," Chapman added. "Unfortunately, there wasn't a majority on the board willing to enforce that. However, finally fixing these errors is an important first step to improving the accuracy of science education about evolutionary theory." Read the full Associated Press story here and the Baptist Press Story here.


Of Pandas and People available again

As the textbook situation in Texas indicates, many people are still unhappy with how the topic of origins is covered in our public school biology textbooks. Although the publishers will be forced to fix the outright errors about evolution, no effort will be made to cover peer-reviewed criticisms of neo-Darwinian theory. And of course no textbook is yet willing to present the alternative of Intelligent Design. The only option available is the biology textbook supplement Of Pandas and People originally published by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics in 1989 and now available in the improved Second Edition and Fifth printing. The book had been out of print for the past several months and we are happy to announce that it is back in stock. This book is designed for use in public schools and has gone through extensive scientific review and public school field testing. Private schools and homeschoolers will also find this a valuable resource. The following topics are covered:

  • User’s Guide to the Book
  • Introduction
  • Overview
  • Chapter 1: The Origin of Life
  • Chapter 2: Genetics and Macroevolution
  • Chapter 3: The Origin of Species
  • Chapter 4: The Fossil Record
  • Chapter 5: Homology
  • Chapter 6: Biochemical Similarities
  • Glossary
  • A Note to Teachers
  • Index

The Overview has been written as a 40 page easy-to-read summary of the entire book, chapter by chapter. The individual chapters are called Excursions which allow the student to delve into deeper technical detail on each subject. Each chapter also provides and Intelligent Design perspective on the topic as well as suggested resources for further reading.

If you have a high school student interested in science, I would consider this a “must read” book. In fact anyone interested in the origins debate will find this a valuable resource with its clear presentation of the essential arguments and beautiful color illustrations.

To order Of Pandas and People go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=18


Wedge Update: Those Annoying Discovery Polls

Mark Hartwig

It looks like the Darwinist camp has had a hard time responding to a series of polls commissioned by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, the leading organization of the Intelligent Design movement. The polls, including a national poll in 2001 and several state polls in 2002 and 2003, have shown overwhelming support for teaching evidence both for and against Darwin’s theory of evolution in public school classrooms, as Mark Hartwig explains in the latest Wedge Update Column.


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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


ARN-ANNOUNCE IS PRODUCED BY ACCESS RESEARCH NETWORK

ARN-Announce is written by Dennis Wagner (dwagner@arn.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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11.12.03