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Raising Questions about Evolution in the Schools
Video Lecture and Q&A with Phillip E. Johnson

Formats: DVD

Item# V029
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In 2001, the Senate of the United States voted 91 to 8 on a resolution introduced by Senator Rick Santorum. The following wording for the resolution was suggested by Phillip Johnson:

"It is the sense of the Senate that (1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and (2) where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much controversy and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject."

In this thought-provoking lecture, Johnson describes the Santorum resolution and how it is intended to open up education, so that evidence both for and against evolution can be taught. He explores the question of what might happen if there were truly freedom of thought and expression in the schools. He also considers why the major science organizations are so upset at the idea that intellectual freedom might be extended to this subject.

Following the lecture is a lively 45 minute Question and Answer session in which several professors and students from the university put Professor Johnson and Intelligent Design theory to the test. Johnson addresses these questions:

  1. Would you be opposed to a Santorum-type amendment encouraging an open-minded examination of religion?
  2. How can evolution be wrong when so many intelligent people believe it?
  3. Aren't you confusing ontological naturalism with methodological naturalism?
  4. Did Darwin repudiate his own theory on his death bed?
  5. What is the relationship between Intelligent Design and the Bible?
  6. Could you give some examples of resources to help teach the controversy in a public high school?
  7. What are the consequences of Darwinian evolution on the meaning and purpose of live, and society in general?
  8. What do you propose to replace methodological naturalism with?
  9. How can creation be taught in the science classroom when it is not science?
  10. Is the controversy over teaching origins limited to biology or does it impact other scientific disciplines as well?
  11. Where do humans lie in the order of nature? Are they meant to preside over nature or to be a part of nature?
  12. Is promoting the Christian version of creation in the classroom just as much of a problem as promoting Darwinism?
  13. Are you trying to keep the Bible and creationism out of Intelligent Design?
  14. If your theory of Intelligent Design does not assume a theistic God then how would it uphold a moral or ethical structure any more than evolution would?
  15. Is there any empirical evidence that supports your theory of Intelligent Design?
  16. You spoke of evolution as being a philosophical or religious claim being made in the name of science. Can you tell me how Intelligent Design is not a philosophical or religious claim being made in the name of science?

This lecture was recorded before a large audience of students, faculty members, and community people at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, October 2003.

Produced by the University of California Television (UCTV)

Recommended for ages 14 - adult
Recommended for Public School, Private School and Homeschool use

Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Copyright 2003 Access Research Network


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