Eugenie Scott in Virginia

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For readers in Virginia, let me mention that NCSE Executive Director Eugenie Scott will be giving two talks this week in our neck of the woods.

On Wednesday, November 30 she will be at Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA, from 7:00-9:00 PM. More information can be obtained by writing to info@allianceforscience.org.

On Thursday, December 1 she will be speaking at the Fairfax campus of George Mason University, again at 7:00 PM, in the Johnson Center- Dewberry Hall South. Driving directions and parking information is available here.

Scott's full speaking schedule is available here.

I will be attending Wednesday's event. Sadly, a prior engagement will keep me away on Thursday.

29 Comments

I looked down the list of speaking engagements a bit, and saw something about the Greer-Heard Forum. The debaters are Dembski and Michael Ruse. I’ve read Ruse’s account of the Arkansas trial in the Science & Creationism essay collection edited by Ashley Montagu, and he comes across extremely well.

It ought to be a fine debate. I wish I could be there :)

The IDEA chapter of George Mason University extends a cordial welcome to Eugenie Scott.

Even though IDEA Center is pro-design, we applaud Eugenie’s support of the college courses exploring Intelligent Design and Creationism in universities.

My public correspondence with Eugenie Scott:

Eugenie Scott and Former President of IDEA GMU

Salvador: First of all, I do thank you for something you said in the article in Nature, “College professors need to be very aware of how they talk about things such as purpose, chance, cause and design…You should still be sensitive to the kids in your class.”

Eugenie: You might like to see an article I wrote on this in a truly obscure publication that scarcely anyone will find, but I think it makes some good points. I often lecture on the topic when I speak for university science departments. Here’s a reprint, so you don’t have to find the Paleontology Society Papers somewhere… http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/ar[…]0_1_1999.asp

Salvador: Along those lines, could you further clarify your position regarding the following question: “Do you oppose the offering of courses on Intelligent Design and/or Creationism in the Philosophy and Religion Departments of secular universities?”

Eugenie: No. They are quite appropriate for such courses. In general, in American universities, Religion departments offer scholarly analysis of religion, rather than devotional study, for which one would seek a seminary. Certainly the c/e controversy is a public controversy that bears studying as a public controversy (that’s why I wrote my book, after all!) Whether ID is a valid scientific or philosophical or theological approach can also be determined at the university level, and certainly is more appropriately determined there than by the local school board.

Salvador

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 54, byte 54 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Hey George Mason: I was curious to know if GMU’s non-discrimination policy means that the IDEA club is disowned by the GMU administration. Unfortunately, none of your links works for me.

Russell,

As far as I know, GMU’s IDEA club is in good standing with the university, in spite of its clear violation of GMU’s written discrimination policies. Only the GMU administration can tell you why this club continues to be sanctioned.

This is a subject that the GMU community should take up.

And sorry, those links are broken – use these:

www.gmu.edu/facstaff/policy/sexb.html www.gmu.edu/equity/discrimination_prohibiting.shtml www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/aA/discrimination.html

Hmmmm, since Cornell University has similar anti-discrimination policies, I wonder whether the new IDEA chapter at Cornell will face a similar problem.

Except that the anti-discrimination statement at the above GMU link reads:

George Mason is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution committed to the principle that access to study or employment opportunities afforded by the university, including all benefits and privileges, be accorded to each person-student, faculty, staff member, or applicant for employment or admission-on the basis on individual merit without regard to race, color, religion (employees), national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or age (except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification). [emphasis added]

Not sure what is implied by putting employees in parentheses after religion. Perhaps religious “discrimination” is OK for student-run groups at GMU?

Posted by qetzal on November 30, 2005 04:42 PM (e) (s)

Except that the anti-discrimination statement at the above GMU link reads:…

Perhaps religious “discrimination” is OK for student-run groups at GMU?

I should definitely think that it would be.

After all I expect that a students Muslim studies group would only allow Muslims to be “officers”. Seeing as ID is basically religious in nature; they should also have that right.

Hmmmm, since Cornell University has similar anti-discrimination policies, I wonder whether the new IDEA chapter at Cornell will face a similar problem.

Greetings from “godless Cornell”.

Members of the Cornell IDEA Club inform me they are not in compliance with that clear directive from the national IDEA Center organization. Oddly, they claim the national organization is aware of this noncompliance, and there was no talk of “renegade” status. That was about a month ago.

You can try contacting them via e-mail to see if there is any change in their compliance or status: [Enable javascript to see this email address.]

Posted by qetzal on November 30, 2005 04:42 PM (e) (s)

Except that the anti-discrimination statement at the above GMU link reads:…

Perhaps religious “discrimination” is OK for student-run groups at GMU?

I should definitely think that it would be.

After all, I expect that a students Muslim studies group would only allow Muslims to be “officers”. Seeing as ID is basically religious in nature; they should also have that right.

BTW, the faculty advisor for the Cornell IDEA Club is an engineer.

I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock.

Hey, the Club at Nebraska-Lincoln is named Intelligent Design Theorists of Nebraska. With all those theorists on the job, I wonder if they’ve come up with an actual theory yet.

Even though IDEA Center is pro-design, we applaud Eugenie’s support of the college courses exploring Intelligent Design and Creationism in universities.

Except for university courses in Kansas.

Hey Sal, the last dozen or so times you were here, you ran away without answering four simple questions I’ve asked of you. So I’ll ask again. And again and again and again and again, every time you show up here, until you either answer or run away. I want every lurker who comes in here to see that you are nothing but an evasive dishonest coward.

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

And, as I think we’ve wondered before, if ID was truthful in claiming to be science rather than really being religion:

Why exactly does Sal’s national IDEA outfit require the local IDEA-chapter officers to declare themselves to be Christian?

Chew on that big bambu for a while, Sal, and let us know in the unlikely event that you actually come up with a sensible thought that you’d like to share.

Why exactly does Sal’s national IDEA outfit require the local IDEA-chapter officers to declare themselves to be Christian?

For the same reason, I suppose, that ICR refused to allow anyone but Biblical-literalist Christians as members, at the same time they were trying to declare in court that creationism was “science”.

Once again, we see that ID is nothing but recycled ICR boilerplate. Including all the stupid stuff.

Even earthworms can learn from unpleasant experiences. Creationists, apparently, aren’t that bright.

Posted by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank on November 30, 2005 08:35 PM (e) (s) … For the same reason, I suppose, that ICR refused to allow anyone but Biblical-literalist Christians as members, at the same time they were trying to declare in court that creationism was “science”.

Once again, we see that ID is nothing but recycled ICR boilerplate. Including all the stupid stuff…

What do people mean by ICR and IICR?

“ICR” = Institute for Creation Research, one of the older “scientific” creationism pushers.

RBH

As RBH said, “ICR” stands for “Institute for Creation Research”. I’m not sure what “IICR” means; at a first guess, perhaps it might stand for “If I Correctly Recall”?

‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank wrote:

Even earthworms can learn from unpleasant experiences. Creationists, apparently, aren’t that bright.

Alas, you might as well try to teach your dog quantum mechanics.

The problem is 64 Percent Say Religion ‘Under Attack’: http://www.nbc17.com/family/5384269/detail.html

800 adults were polled, (I hope they did the poll at a Baptist church and it’s skewed) 47 percent favored organized prayer in public school, 56 percent wanted creationism taught alongside evolution and 64 percent want religious symbols such as the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings.

I’m amused by the idea that science is “attacking” religion. To paraphrase Linus Torvalds*, “Really, we’re not out to destroy fundamentalist religions. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.”

*Interestingly, there are quite a few other parallels between the Open Source movements and science as a whole, particularly in terms of methodology (“many eyes make all bugs shallow” vs. “sign your soul away and we’ll let you in on our secrets”). The major difference is that, with software, there’s generally no definitive right or wrong solution to aim for.

800 adults were polled, (I hope they did the poll at a Baptist church and it’s skewed) 47 percent favored organized prayer in public school, 56 percent wanted creationism taught alongside evolution and 64 percent want religious symbols such as the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings.

Pfffft. A higher percentage than that supported segregation back in the 60’s. (shrug)

Fortunately for us all, under US constitutional law, it doesn’t matter a rat’s patootie what everyone wants or doesn’t want. It’s illegal for the government to support religion. ANY religion. Period. Game over. End of discussion.

I (the former IDEA club president) and the current president of the IDEA club plus several members went to Eugenie’s talk.

She was really nice to our side. Didn’t portray us as complemetely wicked or evil or ignorant.…She did portray us as being rather slick cultural engineers…She encouraged sensitivity to people of faith.

I have her book on creationism vs evolution. I went up to get her autograph, and immediately she said, “Salvador!”. I was very flattered she knew who I was even though we never met. I was honored to meet her. She said she recognized me from the article in Nature (I, the young earth creationist, was in the cover story of the April 28, 2005 edition). Hehehe!

She autographed her book and I promised to do what I could to share the book with the club. Eugenie and our club have been in the national news together: National Public Radio, November 10, 2005

In that report on Sternberg, our club is mentioned. We had Jessica Young, the biology senior saying, “evolution is being shoved down your throat everyday.” Well, her bio professor heard the report and played the interview for her class and required her and her class to attend the Eugenie’s talk. The irony of it all.…

All in all, it was nice to see we IDists were not fully vilified in the talk. We were presented as generally slick, but not too evil, with the exception Jonathan Wells. She used the word “reprehensible” to describe Johnathan Well’s writings. That was the most negative thing she said of us IDists all night. She actually had a part in her talk about “the Positive things about ID”.….

She pointed out her disagreements with William Dembski and Michael Behe. She just pointed out that she felt they were wrong. She did not describe either of them as reprensible or dishonest.

The highlight of the talk was when quoted someone (I don’t recall the name):

for every PhD, there is and equal and opposite PhD

then showed a picture of Ricahrd Dawkins and one of Michael Behe.

Salvador

ooohhh you old tart Sal smooooth as a rat with a gold tooth.

The difference, Sal, is that Dawkins got an eduction. Behe just got his BS Piled Higher and Deeper.

And proved it, too, in Dover, for all the world to see, and some of the world to understand.

hugs, Shirley Knott

Well now Sal you may need help for a ‘Count’.

1. DI/ID no science yet or for the last xx number of years nothing in the pipeline except tautology solipsism and deusexmachina stuff.

2. Removed by you from comparative religion

Now what does that leave Sal

Politics, Psychology or Philosophy

Now since Eugenie did portray you as being rather slick cultural engineers.

That would put you firmly into the Politics basket right ?

Now lets see what would comparative political studies reveal ?

lets check the elements cultural engineers -yup philosophy “Magical reality”

so “Social Magical Realism” ? let me see where else around the world has a system like that ? ?? …hmmmmm ?

Maybe you should get that dropped from political studies as well …just a thought. Now you *could* tell the ‘Count’ that the enchanted Dulcinea is really an ugly peasant but since he …umm has a problem (giggle). Oh that’s right you just love the glamor, the flash, the rapture of the spotlight you will keep going for ever. Delicious Sal, please don’t stop.

That was a masterpiece of Not Answering The Question, Sal. Egregious even for you.

Sal, the charge has been made that there is a requirement that IDEA chapter officers MUST be Christian. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but if it is, don’t you think it seriously undermines the claims by ID proponents that ID is not religious in nature, and fosters at least a perception (rightly or wrongly) that ID is indeed a primarily religious idea? I hope you can clear this up for me. I’m interested because I hear an IDEA club has formed at Cornell University, where I went to school as a biology major.

She did not describe either of them as reprensible or dishonest.

She was being polite.

But hey Sal, now that you’re back, some questions for you:

1. What is the scientific theory of intelligent design, and how do we test it using the scientific method?

2. According to this scientific theory of intelligent design, how old is the earth, and did humans descend from apelike primates or did they not?

3. what, precisely, about “evolution” is any more “materialistic” than weather forecasting, accident investigation, or medicine?

4. do you repudiate the extremist views of the primary funder of the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture, Howard Ahmanson, and if so, why do you keep taking his money anyway? And if you, unlike most other IDers, are not sucking at Ahmanson’s teats, I’d still like to know if you repudiate his extremist views.

5. Why are you undermining your own side by proclaiming here that ID is all about defeating “atheism” and “anti-religion”, while your side is desperately trying to argue in court that ID has nothing at all whatsoever to do with religion or religious apologetics? Are your fellow IDers just lying under oath when they testify to that, Sal?

MrDarwin Wrote:

Sal, the charge has been made that there is a requirement that IDEA chapter officers MUST be Christian. I have no idea whether this is true or not, but if it is, don’t you think it seriously undermines the claims by ID proponents that ID is not religious in nature, and fosters at least a perception (rightly or wrongly) that ID is indeed a primarily religious idea? I hope you can clear this up for me. I’m interested because I hear an IDEA club has formed at Cornell University, where I went to school as a biology major.

That requirement is plainly stated on the IDEA Center web site. You can see my comment 60815, above concerning the Cornell club’s lack of compliance.

All that remains is getting an actual answer from Salvador for your direct question, concerning his opinion. Good luck with that.

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This page contains a single entry by Jason Rosenhouse published on November 29, 2005 6:47 PM.

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