Convocation on Intelligent Design Creationism with Robert Pennock

On, Tuesday, November 14th, 2006, Robert Pennock, author of “Tower of Babel, The Evidence Against the New Creationism” presented a lecture titled “The Ground Rules of Science: Why the Judge Ruled Intelligent Design Creationism Out of Court “ on the topic Intelligent Design as part of the Helen Edison Lecture Series [1]. Apparently, the lecture was attended by close to 5000 people, filling the beautiful RIMAC arena

Since the Sixth College sponsored the event, “[a]ll Sixth College students[ we]re strongly encouraged to attend the Convocation, and first-quarter CAT students [we]re required to attend. The 2006-2007 Council of Provosts Convocation Series is also open to the general public. “

As an ironic side note, it seems that Luskin’s confusion as to who was required to attend may have contributed to the full house.

UCSD-TV has scheduled the program for the following dates

12/11/2006, 8:00 PM pacific time zone 12/12/2006, 11:00 PM pacific time zone 12/15/2006, 7:00 PM pacific time zone 12/17/2006, 8:00 PM pacific time zone 12/26/2006, 10:00 PM pacific time zone 1/8/2007, 9:00 PM pacific time zone 1/9/2007, 11:00 PM pacific time zone 1/12/2007, 6:00 PM pacific time zone

Pennock’s background is quite impressive

Robert T. Pennock has studied the creationist movement for over 20 years, focusing especially on the intelligent design creationists since the early 1990’s. His book Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism has been positively reviewed in over 50 publications, both scientific and religious; the New York Review of Books called it “the best book on creationism in all its guise.” He also edited Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological and Scientific Perspectives, which is the most complete source book on the topic. In addition, he has published over a dozen scholarly articles on philosophical issues in the creationism debate and given well over a hundred invited talks on these subjects at universities and professional conferences both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Pennock has testified on the subject of creationism before State Boards of Education, assisted legislators in opposing intelligent design legislation, and given workshops for public school teachers to help them better teach about evolution and the nature of science. In September 2005, Dr. Pennock was called as an expert witness in the Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School Board case, which was tried in the US District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The suit tested the constitutionally of a policy that allowed the teaching of intelligent design creationism in a public school. He is the founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science, which works to defend and promote sound science education in Michigan.

Robert T. Pennock is a philosopher and a scientist. He graduated with honors in Biology and Philosophy from Earlham College and earned his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Michigan State University’s Lyman Briggs School of Science and Professor of Philosophy in the department of Philosophy. He is also a faculty member in MSU’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Behavior graduate program and in the Department of Computer Science, doing research on artificial life and evolutionary computation.

[1] The Helen Edison Lecture Series is the result of a major gift from the late Helen Edison, a San Diego philanthropist who supported numerous local, educational, cultural, and arts efforts. In accordance with the gift, the Helen Edison Lecture Series presents ongoing free public lectures on issues that advance humanitarian proposes and objectives. [2] Campus partners for this special event include Sixth College, Council of Provosts, the UCSD Division of biological Sciences, and Calit2.