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Design and It's Critics

Design and Its Critics
Conference Audio Tapes

Concordia University, June 22-24, 2000

 

Biographies of Presenters


ALLEN, DIOGENES, Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Princeton Theological Seminary.

Dr. Allen received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He is a distinguished scholar in the field of the philosophy of religion, specializing in the philosophy of Leibniz and Simone Weil and the spirituality of Simone Weil, Blaise Pascal, and George Herbert. Outside the classroom, Dr. Allen serves on the board of directors of the Simone Weil Society. He is also a member of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and of the Leibniz Gesellschaft. He has produced a number of videotapes and study guides based on his books, including Temptation and Eight Deadly Thoughts, and regularly teaches adult education classes and leads retreats for churches. Among the projects he is currently working on are a book on success, and the entry for "philosophy" for The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought.

BEHE, MICHAEL, Professor of Biological Sciences, Lehigh University.

Michael J. Behe was graduated in 1974 from Drexel University in Philadelphia, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He did his graduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded the Ph.D. in 1978 for his dissertation research on sickle-cell disease. From 1978-1982 he did postdoctoral work on DNA structure at the National Institutes of Health. From 1982-85 he was Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Queens College in New York City, where he met his wife. In 1985 he moved to Lehigh University where he is currently Professor of Biochemistry. In his career he has authored over 40 technical papers and one book, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, which argues that living system at the molecular level are best explained as being the result of deliberate intelligent design. Darwin's Black Box has been widely reviewed, and was chosen the 1997 Book of the Year by Christianity Today. He and his wife reside near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with

their eight children.

COLLINS, ROBIN, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Messiah College.

After doing two years of graduate work in theoretical physics at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Collins went on to receive his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, 1993. His areas of Specialty are Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, and has published articles and book chapters in all these fields. Dr. Collins presently is on a one-year grant from the Pew Foundation to work on a book on how the basic physical structure of the universe points to a designer. The book is tentatively entitled: God, the Fine-tuning, and the Laws of Nature: the Case for Design from Physics and Cosmology.

DAVIS, EDWARD, Professor of the History of Science, Messiah College.

Dr. Davis has a B.S. in Physics (Drexel University, 1975) and a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science (Indiana, 1984). Though best known for his work on Robert Boyle, whose complete works he has edited with Michael Hunter, his main area of interest is Christianity and science since 1650, on which he has written widely in the professional literature. Dr. Davis' research on Boyle and theology and science in the 17th century has been aided by grants from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. His teaching and writing on religion and science has been recognized several times with grants and awards from the Lilly Foundation and the John M. Templeton Foundation. The National Science Foundation is supporting his current project on Protestant modernism and science in the 1920s.

Dembski, William, Associate Research Professor in the conceptual foundations of science at Baylor University and a senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture in Seattle.

A mathematician and a philosopher, William A. Dembski is director of Baylor’s Michael Polanyi Center, a research group that focuses on complexity and information theory and their implications for science and religious belief. Dr. Dembski previously taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a B.A. in psychology, a M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy, he also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. Dr. Dembski has published articles in mathematics, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author of three books. In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998), he examines the design argument in a post-Darwinian context and analyzes the connections linking chance, probability, and intelligent causation. His most recent book is Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, which appeared November 1999 with InterVarsity Press.

DeWolf , David K., Professor of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law.

Professor DeWolf received his B.A. from Stanford University (1971) and his J.D. from Yale Law School (1979). He is a former law clerk for Justice Stephen Bistline, Idaho Supreme Court. He has worked in private practice and taught as an Assistant Professor at

Oklahoma City University. Professor DeWolf has taught in the areas of Torts, Product Liability and Criminal Law and published in the areas of tort law and the First Amendment. His publications include Washington Tort Law & Practice, Washington Contract Law & Practice, Cases and Materials on the Law of Torts, and papers advocating pro-life legal decisions.

JOSEPHSON, BRIAN, Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge.

Prof. Josephson is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Nobel Laureate in Physics. He is currently Director of the Mind-Matter Unification Project. Dr. Josephson’s interests include the design principles of the nervous system, relational methods in science, paranormal phenomena, consciousness, Eastern philosophy, the question of the limits of conventional science, and the phenomenon of music.

Leslie, John, University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Guelph.

Prof. Leslie earned a B. A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Oxford. This was followed by a M. Litt. in Literae Humaniores (a research degree in philosophy). His interests in philosophy include (I quote) "almost everything except the Pre-Socratics, Existentialism and Phenomenology". Specifically, he has worked in the areas of Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind and Ethics. He is particularly well-known for his work on cosmology and the fine-tuning argument, and for his neoplatonic theory that God or the world exists because this is what is ethically required. Prof. Leslie has received numerous awards, fellowships and visiting professorships. In 1997, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and after "taking advantage of the Special Early Retirement Plan which the University introduced to improve its finances" was made University Professor Emeritus in 1999. Prof.Leslie's works include a vast number of articles and the following books: Value and Existence, Universes, Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, and The End of the World: the Science and Ethics of Human Extinction. He is currently at work on a book provisionally entitled Infinite Minds.

MEYER, STEPHEN, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College, Senior Research Fellow at the Discovery Institute (Seattle), Director of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

Formerly a geo-physicist with the Atlantic Richfield Company, Prof. Meyer completed a Ph.D. dissertation in History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, on origin-of-life biology and the methodology of the historical sciences. He has contributed to several scholarly books and anthologies, including The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition: An Encyclopedia, Darwinism: Science or Philosophy, Of Pandas and People: The Central Question in Biological Origins, The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer, Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design, and Facets of Faith and Science: Interpreting God's Action in the World. In addition to his technical articles on design, Prof. Meyer has written many editorial features in newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has also appeared on national TV and radio programs such as Technopolitics, PBS’s Freedom Speaks, CNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, and National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation.

MILLER, KENNETH R., Professor of Biology at Brown University.

Dr. Miller has a Sc. B. in Biology from Brown University (1970), and a Ph.D. in Biology from University of Colorado (1974). He has taught at the University of Colorado, Harvard University and Brown University, where he has been full Professor since 1986. He is the recipient of numerous honors for teaching excellence. Dr. Miller is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Cell Biology, has been Chairman and Council Member of the ASCB, Editor of The Journal of Cell Science and General Editor of Advances in Cell Biology. Dr. Miller’s scientific interests include the structure, composition and function of biological membranes, electron microscopy and associated techniques and photosynthetic energy conversion. He has published a large number of technical scientific papers and essays, edited three volumes of Advances in Cell Biology and is author or co-author of several high school and college biology textbooks, including Biology: The Living Science and Biology: Discovering Life. Recently, Dr. Miller has produced a general audience work defending evolution and its compatibility with Christian faith and critiquing Intelligent Design: Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground between God and Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999).

Minnich, Scott, Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Idaho.

Dr. Minnich holds a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, was an Assistant Professor at Tulane University, and did postdoctoral research at Princeton University and Purdue University. His research interest is in temperature regulation of Y. enterocolitica gene expression, coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes. He has contributed to several published volumes in his field, and has published in technical journals, including Molecular Microbiology, the Journal of Molecular Biology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Microbiological Method, the Journal of Bacteriology, Applied Environmental Microbiology, Food Technology and the Journal of Food Protection.

Moss, Lenny, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Moss’s formal training began in the sciences while pursing philosophical interests mostly informally. His undergraduate degrees were in chemistry and biology. He then did a Ph.D. in Comparative Biochemistry at Berkeley where his research was concerned with the cell biology of mammary gland development and breast cancer. Dr. Moss then did several years of post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center where his research was concerned with the cell biology of human placental development. He then turned to formal training in philosophy at Northwestern University where his studies involved work in both social and political philosophy and in the philosophy of science. Dr. Moss’s dissertation and forthcoming book is entitled What Genes Can't Do (MIT Press). He spent a year as a "Genetic Science in Society Fellow" at the Medical School of the University of Utah and then a semester as a Visiting Professor in their Department of Philosophy. His present research interests at Notre Dame include work in the philosophy of biology, bioethics and

philosophical anthropology.

Nelson, Paul A., Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture, and editor of the journal Origins & Design.

Dr. Nelson received a B.A. in philosophy (with a minor in evolutionary biology) from the University of Pittsburgh (1984), and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago (1998). He has been a research fellow of the Pascal Center for Advanced Studies in Faith & Science (Ancaster, Ontario), and is currently a member of the board of directors of Access Research Network, a non-profit science information service. Dr. Nelson has published articles in such journals as Biology & Philosophy, Zygon, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, and Touchstone, and chapters in the anthologies Mere Creation (IV Press, 1998) and Facets of Faith and Science (University Press of America, 1996). His dissertation on the theory of common descent will be published shortly, under the title "On Common Descent," as volume 16 of the series Evolutionary Monographs (University of Chicago). Dr. Nelson’s research interests include the theory of intelligent design, the relationship between developmental biology and our understanding of the history of life, and the role of theology in biological reasoning. He is married (to a pediatrician) and has two daughters, ages 8 and 6.

NORD, WARREN A., Director of the Program in the Humanities and

Human Values.

Warren A. Nord received his BA from the University of Minnesota and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 1979 he has been Director of the Program in the Humanities and Human Values and has taught the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of education in the philosophy department at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is the author of two dozen articles in scholarly and professional journals, and two books: Religion and American Education: Rethinking a National Dilemma (1995), the most comprehensive study to date of historical, philosophical, constitutional, and pedagogical issues relating to religion and both K-12 and higher education; and Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum (1998) [with Charles C. Haynes], which maps constitutionally and pedagogically sound ways of integrating the study of religion into the K-12 curriculum. Dr. Nord is currently writing a book on the nature of liberal education, particularly as it relates to how and why we should educate students about morality, politics, and religion.

Numbers, Ronald L., Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine and chair of the Department of the History of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has taught for over a quarter-century.

Professor Numbers has written or edited more than two dozen books, including, most recently, The Creationists (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), Darwinism Comes to America (Harvard University Press, 1998), and Disseminating Darwinism: The Role of Place, Race, Religion, and Gender (Cambridge University Press, 1999), coedited with John Stenhouse. For five years (1989-1993) he edited Isis, the flagship journal of the history of science. He is writing a history of science in America (for Cambridge University Press), editing a series of monographs on the history of medicine, science, and religion for the Johns Hopkins University Press, and coediting, with David Lindberg, the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science. He is the immediate past president of the American Society of Church History and the current president of the History of Science Society. A former Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the International Academy of the History of Science.

O'CONNOR, ROBERT, Associate Professor and chair of the Philosophy Department at Wheaton College, IL.

He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. O' Connor's interests range over philosophy of science, science and religion, and religious epistemology. His publications in the area related to this conference include "Science on Trial: Exploring the Rationality of Methodological Naturalism" (Perspective on Science and Christian Faith, 49, March, 1997), a critical assessment of the claim forwarded by Intelligent Design theorists that Christian scientists ought to repudiate the restrictions of methodological naturalism. The presentation for this conference comes from a monograph he is preparing entitled, "Redeeming Science: The Christian Calling in the Community of Scientists." His primary focus is in developing an understanding of religious belief that places it on a par with scientific beliefs for both sharing a similar methodology and having a similar kind of evidential base.

RATZSCH, DEL, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College.

Dr. Ratzsch received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the author of Philosophy of Science and The Battle of Beginnings and was a contributor to the volume Mere Creation. He has sought to relate science and religion in a way that is philosophically informed, scientifically defensible and theologically meaningful. Dr. Ratzsch's most recent book is Science and its Limits (IVP, 2000), which will be followed by Nature, Design, and Science (forthcoming, SUNY Press).

Reardon, Patrick Henry, Pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church in Chicago and Senior Editor of Touchstone magazine.

Fr. Reardon, a former professor at several colleges and seminaries, was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, St.Tikhon Orthodox Seminary, and the Collegio di Sant Anselmo and Pontificio Instituto Biblico (both in Rome, Italy). He is the author of about 150 articles in various journals and books, published on three continents, and over 100 book reviews.

Roberts, (Rev) Michael, Vicar of Chirk, Church in Wales.

He gained his M.A in geology at Oriel College, Oxford University, spent 3 years in Africa (Uganda and South Africa) as an exploration geologist. Between Africa and Durham he studied briefly at L'Abri under Schaeffer, which sparked his interest in Christianity and evolution. He studied theology at Durham obtaining a B.A.and was ordained into the Anglican Church in 1974. He spent 13 years in parishes in Liverpool before moving to be Vicar of Chirk, near Llangollen in 1987. Chirk is an ex-mining village and Fanny, Darwin's first girl-friend, is buried in the chancel of his church. Michael is a keen mountain walker and has written articles on science and religion: one on "Darwin Doubt's about Design" (Science and Christian Belief, 1997) received a Templeton Award in 1997, another compares Buckland and Behe in PSCF 1999 and forthcoming are articles tracing the Gap Theory back to 1600 and earlier, as well as on Genesis and Geology in the early 19th century. He has also studied Darwin's geology (and also Henslow and Sedgwick) in Shropshire and Wales from 1831 to 1842. So far he has published 4 articles on Darwin's geology and is half way through! In March 2000 he was historicial advisor for the BBC TV with Steve Jones (Almost like a Whale) explaining Darwin's geology in Snowdonia, but his advice was not taken! He is a part-time tutor with the Open University. He is a member of Christians in Science and the History of Geology Group of the Geological Society of London. He is married to Andrea and they have two almost-grown-up children.

RUSE, MICHAEL, Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph.

Dr. Ruse received his B.A. in Philosophy and Mathematics from Bristol University, an M.A. in philosophy from McMaster University and his Ph.D. from Bristol University. He has been full Professor of Philosophy at Guelph since 1974. Dr. Ruse is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received numerous visiting professorships, fellowships and grants. Dr. Ruse's many publications include The Philosophy of Biology, Sociobiology: Sense or Nonsense?, The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw, Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies, Taking Darwin Seriously: A Naturalistic Approach to Philosophy, The Philosophy of Biology (ed.) and But is it Science? The Philosophical Question in the Evolution/Creation Controversy. His most recent works include Mystery of Mysteries: Is Evolution a Social Construction? and Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion (forthcoming). Dr. Ruse is also on the editorial board for major journals such as Zygon, Philosophy of Science and Quarterly Review of Biology. On a more public level, Dr. Ruse has appeared on television programmes, including Firing Line, and was a witness for the ACLU in the 1981 Arkansas hearings which overturned a Creation Science law.

SHERMER, MICHAEL, Publisher, Skeptic magazine, Director, Skeptics Society, Adjunct Professor, Occidental College.

Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, his M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate School. He is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, the director of the Skeptics Society, the host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at Caltech, and the host/producer of the Fox Family television series, Exploring the Unknown. His latest book is How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science, that presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God. He is also the author of Why People Believe Weird Things that was widely and positively reviewed and was on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list as well as the New Sciences science books bestseller list in England. His analysis and debunking of Holocaust denial can be found in his book Denying History, co-authored with Alex Grobman. Dr. Shermer is also the author of Teach Your Child Science and co-authored Teach Your Child Math and Mathemagics with Arthur Benjamin. He has his own radio show, SCIENCE TALK, on Wednesdays from 6-7pm on KPCC, 89.3FM, the NPR affiliate for Southern California, with over a quarter of a million listeners. Since his creation of the Skeptics Society, Skeptic magazine, and the Skeptics Lecture Series at Caltech, he has appeared on many television programs, including Charlie Rose, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Oprah, Sally, Lezza, and Unsolved Mysteries.

SMITH, KELLY C., Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religion at Clemson University.

Dr. Smith received his M.S. in Zoology in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1994, both from Duke University. He has an active research program in Philosophy of Science and Applied Ethics, focusing on three major areas: 1) The Philosophy of Developmental Biology, about which he is currently writing a book proposal for Cambridge University Press, 2) The concept of genetic causation and disease, including ethical issues surrounding genetic testing, on which he has published widely, and 3) The Evolution/Creationism debate and related issues concerning the relationship between science and religion, which brings him to this conference.

STAUNE, JEAN, Founder and General Secretary of the Interdisciplinary University of Paris, Assistant Professor in the Philosophy of Sciences at the MBA of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (School of Higher Business Studies) and member of the John Templeton Foundation Board of Advisors.

Professor Staune has a degree from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences, a DEA of Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural Sciences and a DESS from the Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (Institute of Business Administration) at the University of Paris. His research focuses on the philosophical and social implications of new scientific discoveries, on the links between Science and Religion and on the way to synthesize and popularize the conceptual revolutions which have occurred during this century. Professor Staune is director of the collection The Time of Science, and directed publication of Man in Front of Science and a CD ROM entitled Questions for a World in Mutation.


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