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Dear Friends of ARN,
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to present a few snapshots of what’s been happening around the world with Intelligent Design:
Des Moines , Washington : “You should be ashamed of yourself ... what you're doing is criminal!” That was the response student Josh Dill received from a biology professor at Highline Community College in Washington State when he booked a room at the college to show the videos Unlocking the Mystery of Life and Icons of Evolution. Later the professor met with Josh privately to insist that he was a dishonest person and should have at least offered a preamble to the videos telling students not to bring these questions into the classroom.
Ithaca , New York : “This morning, though, I want to address a matter of great significance to Cornell and to the country as a whole, a matter with fundamental educational, intellectual, and political implications. This matter has become so urgent that I feel it imperative to make it the central subject of my State of the University Address.” What was the matter of great significance President Hunter Rawlings III was speaking of? Intelligent Design. What was his answer? To declare that Intelligent Design was not a valid scientific pursuit, and to refocus Cornell’s vast intellectual resources to help our modern culture return to rationalism.
Moscow ,Idaho: “At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution may occur in faculty-approved curricula in religion, sociology, philosophy, political science, or similar courses. However, teaching of such views is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.” These were the words of Timothy P. White, President of the University of Idaho. Evidently academic freedom does not apply to the sciences at this university where Intelligent Design proponent Dr. Scott Minnich teaches and performs scientific research on the E. coli bacteria.
Ames , Iowa: “We, the undersigned faculty members at Iowa State University, reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor. Advocates of Intelligent Design claim that the position of our planet and the complexity of particular life forms and processes are such that they may only be explained by the existence of a creator or designer of the universe. However, such claims are premised on (1) the arbitrary selection of features claimed to be engineered by a designer; (2) unverifiable conclusions about the wishes and desires of that designer; and (3) an abandonment by science of methodological naturalism. Methodological naturalism, the view that natural phenomena can be explained without reference to supernatural beings or events, is the foundation of the natural sciences. The history of science contains many instances where complex natural phenomena were eventually understood only by adherence to methodological naturalism.” Is it just a coincidence that ID proponent Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez teaches astronomy and performs research at Iowa State?
Bethlehem , Pennsylvania : “The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and academic function. This commitment carries with it unwavering support for academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. It also demands the utmost respect for the scientific method, integrity in the conduct of research, and recognition that the validity of any scientific model comes only as a result of rational hypothesis testing, sound experimentation, and findings that can be replicated by others. The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Professor Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “Intelligent Design.” While we respect Professor Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that Intelligent Design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.”
Washington, D.C.: “The former editor of a scientific journal has filed a complaint against the Smithsonian Institution, charging that he was discriminated against on the basis of perceived religious and political beliefs, because of an article he published that challenged the Darwinian theory of evolution. Mr. Sternberg said his troubles started after the appearance of the August 2004 issue of the journal, which included a peer-reviewed article by Stephen C. Meyer. The article, titled, ‘The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,’ made the case for a theory known as Intelligent Design, or ID. ‘I was singled out for harassment and threats on the basis that they think I’m a creationist,’ said Richard Sternberg, who filed the complaint with the federal Office of Special Counsel. Mr. Sternberg says he was penalized by the museum’s Department of Zoology, which limited his access to research collections and told him his associateship at the museum would not be renewed because no one could be found to sponsor him for another three-year term.”
Desperate times require desperate measures and it is apparent from these statements, and many others like them this past year, that the gatekeepers of science are desperate to protect Darwinism from the challenge of free inquiry. What has caused this flurry of proclamations? A school board in Dover, PA wanted a statement read to students before they studied evolution, informing them that evolution is the prevalent theory, but if they want to learn about another theory called Intelligent Design, they could find a book about it in the library. Another cause of the Darwinian proclamations was a science education committee in Kansas that changed the science standards so that it was legal to teach scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution. Other factors include a few of the following events:
Washington , D.C. : President Bush said he believes schools should discuss “Intelligent Design” alongside evolution, when teaching students about the creation of life. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said. “You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”
Vatican City : Pope Benedict XVI reminded the world that faith can "awaken the drowsy reason" to know once again, independent of faith, that the universe was created. In impromptu comments at the end of a Wednesday audience he described the natural world as "this intelligent design" ( questo progetto intelligente) and rejected the pseudo-scientific idea that the history of the universe was random and directionless.
Prague , Czech Republic: Nearly 700 people from 18 nations gathered in Eastern Europe for a conference on “ Darwin and Design” organized by Dr. Charles Thaxton. Held in the large hall where the Czech Communist Party used to meet, the conference featured seven speakers from five countries: Stephen C. Meyer (USA), Jonathan Wells (USA), Charles Thaxton (USA), David Berlinski ( France), John C. Lennox (UK), Cees Dekker (The Netherlands), and Dalibor Krupka ( Slovakia). The proceedings were chaired by Peter Verner, a Czech chemist. Most attendees were scientists and lay people from the Czech Republic and neighboring countries such as Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and Poland. Others came from much farther away. A substantial number approached the speakers wondering how they could set up organizations to promote ID in their homelands. It clearly demonstrated that the Intelligent Design controversy is not just an American phenomenon.
Guadalajara , Mexico: Dr. Paul Nelson, ARN Board member and Discovery Institute Fellow, lectured on Intelligent Design at the beautiful campus of the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG), the oldest and most distinguished private university in Mexico. It was a tremendous event (packed auditorium) with all the intellectual freedom and institutional support that one could want. The next day, the university biologists escorted Dr. Nelson to a resort hotel owned by the UAG on Lake Chapala in the mountains of Jalisco, where they enjoyed a lively seminar on the problems with macroevolution, and where Dr. Nelson again enjoyed support and intellectual freedom currently unimaginable in the United States.
More details on many of these storiescan be found on our website at www.arn.org. We have recently reorganized our home page so that those new to Intelligent Design can easily find the introductory materials, as well as the scientific details. We continue to produce new video lectures documenting the ongoing debate and the growing intellectual dissatisfaction with the worldview of naturalism. This year we also launched an online apparel and merchandise store to help popularize Intelligent Design Theory in a fun way. Check out our new line of T-shirts, coffee mugs, caps, and calendars at www.cafepress.com/accessresearch.
We would like to thank those who have been supporting ARN over the years, as well as those who have just discovered Intelligent Design and ARN. If you would like to help us continue our product and website development this coming year with a tax-deductible donation of $25, or more, we would like to thank you with a copy of our new 11” x 17” ID wall calendar featuring a high-resolution model of the E. coli biological rotary motor printed in stunning color with a simple phrase that sums it all up: “Intelligent Design Theory: If it looks designed, maybe it is.”
All of the ARN products can be ordered through our web catalog store with secure credit card ordering. There you will find a description of each product and you may add as many products as you would like to the electronic shopping cart. The suggested donation for each item includes USPS Media Mail for North American orders, which typically arrive in 5-7 days. Overseas prices include Foreign Surface shipping which may take 4-8 weeks. For faster shipping please include an additional donation and request either USPS Priority or Foreign Air. If you provide your email address, you will receive an email receipt of your order. 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 (or leave your order on our voice mail system if we are out of the office).
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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