Welcome to ARN-Announce
Number Four, March 2000

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.



This is the fourth issue of ARN-Announce. It describes many of the new articles, books, videos and other resources on Intelligent Design that have been added to the ARN Web site since December 1999. If you only have time to checkout one item in this issue, jump immediately to the new ARN Discussion Forum on Design for the latest news, reviews and debates on evidence for 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 (


We are pleased to announce the second interview video in our Focus on the Origin of Life series. The first interview was with Dean Kenyon, Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. It was Kenyonís book, Biological Predestination, that stirred Charles Thaxton to write his landmark book with Bradley and Olsen, The Mystery of Lifeís Origin: Reassessing Current Theories. And it was Kenyonís interactions with Thaxton while he was writing Mystery that caused Kenyon to reevaluate many of the assumptions underlying a materialistic origin of life theory. Focus on the Origin of Life: An Interview with Dr. Charles Thaxton challenges the assumption that time, chance, and natural processes are sufficient to explain the origin of life.

Thaxton received his Ph.D. in chemistry form Iowa State University. He was a postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard for two years where he studied the history and philosophy of science. He had a postdoctoral appointment for three years in the molecular biology laboratory at Brandeis University. To test drive this new video product go to our online video clips shown below. Here you can sample a few of the 30 questions that Dr. Thaxton addresses in the video. A word of caution. If you are using a dial up modem, go to the Quicktime Plug-In Settings and set the Connection Speed to 28.8 modem. This will deliver the audio portion only at a reasonable speed. If you are one of the lucky ones to have cable modem, DSL or high bandwidth network connection, you should be able to view the full video.

For those who love to dive into a topic or those who are teaching a class that touches on origin of life issues we have put together a video study kit. We have added the Thaxton interview to our Focus on the Origin of Life Video Study Kit. For only $44.95 you will receive the Thaxton Interview, the Kenyon Interview and a copy of the Mystery of Lifeís Origin book by Thaxton. This is a savings of $12 over the individual prices.

To order the video Focus on the Origin of Life: An Interview with Dr. Charles Thaxton (V014) for $19.95 go to

To order the Focus on the Origin of Life Study Kit (V007SK) for $44.95 go to

To view video clip samples of the interviews with Thaxton and Kenyon go to

NEW BOOK FOR TEENS: "Whatís Darwin Got To Do With It?"

We often get asked "What is the best book for young people who are interested in understanding the difference between Intelligent Design and Darwinism?" Now we have an answer: Whatís Darwin Go To Do With It: A Friendly Conversation About Evolution. In cartoon format Professor Teller, an advocate of Darwinism, and Professor Questor, who presents evidence for intelligent design in nature, duke it out in a friendly, informative and fun debate. Authors Robert C. Newman and John L. Wiester combine with illustrators Janet and Jonathan Moneymaker to cover a wide range of topics. After carefully defining terms, topics covered include artificial selection, peppered moths, mutation and natural selection, the pandaís thumb, fossil evidence, and information content in DNA. The authors conclude with background information and additional resources as a jumping off point for those who want to dive deeper into the details. But donít be fooled into thinking this book is only for kids. Anyone seeking a quick overview of key issues in the debate will find this book useful. Robert C. Newman and John L. Wiester, InterVarsity Press, 2000, paperback, 146 pp. Item# B032; $9.99

To order this product go to


One of the authors of the book mentioned above is Robert C. Newman and we are adding him to the featured authors section of our web site. Dr. Newman is one of those rare birds with one foot firmly planted in science (Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from Cornell University) and the other in theology (Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology). Thus he brings keen insight from both science and theology to the question of origins. In this issue we are featuring two of his papers and we will be adding more in the future:

Artificial Life and Cellular Automata. Artificial Life (AL) is a rather new scientific discipline, which didnít really get going until the 1980s. Unlike biology, it seeks to study life not out in nature or in the laboratory, but in the computer. Cellular Automata is the formal name for self-reproducing machines. Computer scientists as far back as John von Neumann felt if they could create a self-reproducing machine, it would shed some light on how life might have originated through natural processes. In this insightful article, Newman reviews the history of Cellular Automata research including von Neumann, computer viruses, Richard Dawkinís computer programs, and Thomas Rayís impressive Tierra experiment that goes beyond just trying to simulate a reproducing organism and tries to simulate the entire primal soup environment. Although research is still continuing, Newman concludes that at the moment, Artificial Life looks more like an argument for design in nature than for a universe without it.

Beliefs and Physics: Some Lessons from the Ancient Greeks. Newman presents a brief sketch of ancient Greek physics from Thales to Aristotle and identifies a strong interaction between metaphysical belief and the practice of physics. This interaction worked in both directions, as metaphysical views suggested (and inhibited) questions and approaches to the physical realm, and physical observations and experiments favored or disfavored various metaphysical views. Some lessons are suggested concerning how we should view current theories in modern physics.

To view these articles by Robert Newman, go to the ARN Web site at:

To view a sneak preview of a video interview with Bob Newman that we plan to release soon go to


Up until now the ARN web site has been a one way information source. We post resources there and you read them. We have taken a step forward toward becoming an interactive community with the recent addition of the ARN Intelligent Design Discussion Forum. Using the latest in discussion forum software (Ultimate Bulletin Board) we launched the discussion forum on February 25th and in the first two weeks alone we had 150 messages posted on 25 topics. This will be a moderated forum where the focus will be on evidence and its interpretation. Name calling, mud slinging and unsubstantiated statements will not be tolerated. However, we donít control the content of every message and you will have to judge who the valuable contributors are over time.

Some interesting threads on "muscles as molecular and metabolic machines", "an analysis of Clare Stevens rebuttal of Behe", and "Intelligent Design in School" are taking off. We allow and encourage all viewpoints to post, but all messages must meet our criteria of politeness and sincerity. Although its exciting to watch a couple of biology professors duke it out in one of the threads, donít let that discourage you from asking a "dumb" question. Everyone is welcome from beginner to professional. Anyone can review the forum messages and those who register can post. To visit the forum click the forum button on the top of our home page or go to:


Two impressive conferences are scheduled in the coming months on design and naturalism.

The Nature of Nature: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Role of Naturalism in Science. April 12-15, 2000, Baylor University.

This conference is less than a month away and is being sponsored by the Michael Polanyi Center for the Understanding and Advancement of Science. Scientists, philosophers and theologians will come together to consider the question: "Is the universe self-contained or does it require something beyond itself to explain its existence and internal function?"

A few of the presenters include Steven Weinberg, Everett Mendelsohn, Ronald Numbers, Robert Koons, Henry Schaefer, Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Howard Van Till, Alvin Plantinga, Dallas Willard, William Dembski, William Lane Craig, and David Berlinski.

The registration fee is $105 for non-students and $60 for students. For more information go to:

Design and Its Critics, June 22-24, 2000, Concordia University.

This conference includes a well-known list of proponents and opponents for Intelligent Design. Session topics include: "Is Design a Good Idea for Science?", "Design in the Biological Sciences", "Design in the Physical Sciences", "Design in the Public School Science Classroom", "How to Detect Design", "Designís Philosophical Bona Fides" and "Prospects for Design."

Presentors include Michael Behe, Ken Miller, John Leslie, David DeWolf, Eugenie Scott, Michael Ruse, Patrick Henry Reardon, William Dembski, Paul Nelson and others.

The registration fee is $175 for non-students and $100 for students with a $25 discount before April 1. For more information go to:


We would like to welcome Elton and Mary Wolter as the newest staff members at Access Research Network. They will be taking charge of the customer service aspect of our activities, fulfilling your product arnproducts and managing the mail, email, phone and fax. Eltonís background includes over 20 years experience as an oil geologist and office manager including seven years as an oil exploration specialist in Indonesia. The Wolters are planning to attend both the Baylor and Concordia conferences, so if you are there, be sure to look them up and introduce yourself. If you would like to meet them online first go to:


Donít forget you can now order all of the ARN products 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 Book Rate for lowest cost) and send the order. If you provide your email address, you will receive an email receipt of your order within minutes. Place your order today at: 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 Elton or Mary will be happy to assist you.


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