Amanda Townley new director at NCSE

Amanda Townley
Amanda Townley, incoming director of the National Center for Science Education. Copyright by Amanda Townley. Used with permission.

Amanda Townley is set to become the third director of the National Center for Science Education, succeeding present director Ann Reid and the “legendary” founder Eugenie Scott, according to an article by Jeffrey Mervis, posted today by the magazine Science. Dr. Townley, currently a professor of education at Georgia Southern University, is also President of the National Association of Biology Teachers. She will assume responsibility for a staff of 11 and an annual budget of $1.5 million in December.

Dr. Townley told Science that she had been brought up in a home that embraced young-earth creationism. When the biology teacher skipped the chapter on evolution, young Amanda took it upon herself to read that chapter and thought it made a lot of sense. She decided to become an evolutionary biologist and to teach evolutionary biology. Ultimately, she helped to develop a teaching strategy known as cultural and religious sensitivity, which “allows teachers and students to address their conflicting views before delving into the subject matter,” in the words of Mr. Mervis. Briefly, the teacher respects students’ views, and students are taught that their beliefs do not preclude accepting evolution. You may read more detail in the Science article and in an article by NCSE Director of Communications Paul Oh.

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New Edition of Dembski's Design Inference


Last year, I published a book called The Failures of Mathematical Anti-Evolutionism with Cambridge University Press. As the title suggests, I analyze all of the major mathematical arguments put forth by creationists and intelligent design (ID) proponents and find them all to be very poor. Inevitably, I devote a fair amount of space to William Dembski’s arguments.

So I naturally raised an eyebrow upon hearing that Dembski has now released a revised and expanded edition of his 1998 book The Design Inference, now coauthored with Winston Ewert. I wondered if he would have anything worthwhile to say in response to my book, and it was gratifying to see that my name shows up numerous times in the index. I will look forward to seeing what he has to say, once I have acquired a copy of the book. However, Dembski has posted an excerpt from the book’s Introduction, and I was delighted to see that, perhaps inadvertently, he has simply conceded two of the main points I raised against his ideas.

Martyn Iles Is Now Executive CEO of Answers in Genesis

Martyn Iles
Martyn Iles. Fair Use.

Martyn Iles, who first joined Answers in Genesis in May of this year, is now Executive CEO. Iles announced this development on his own Facebook page with, the next day, an identical emailing from Answers in Genesis to its supporters, and an article, Martin Iles: Answers in Genesis CEO, in Vision Christian Media, by Tony Davenport. The article is mainly devoted to Iles’s own statement, with a flattering headshot and minimal mention of Ken Ham.

Iles’s ascendance is very bad news indeed, not only because he is a formidable figure, but also because he is explicitly far more political than Ham ever revealed himself to be. On January 21, 2021, two weeks after the Capitol riot, Iles, who was still at that time managing director of the politically explicit Australian Christian Lobby, posted,