Los Alamos: Science and Intelligent Design to be discussed Tuesday

The Los Alamos Monitor announces a presentation starting at 7PM in the Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos. The presentation will address intelligent design and the scientific method and has been sponsored by the New Mexico Academy of Science and the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education.

Efforts exist to make the scientific method evolve into something different, specifically in regards to the theory of evolution. During a presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Fuller Lodge, Francis Slakey of Georgetown University will work to spread awareness about these efforts.

The presentation is free to the public and the New Mexico Academy of Science and the Coalition for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education are sponsoring the lecture.

Slakey, in his presentation, will address Intelligent Design and its effect on the scientific method.

Alan Hurd, director of the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center at Los Alamos National Laboratory, explained the scientific method involves creating a hypothesis and testing it. If something cannot be verified, then it is not covered by the scientific method, he said.

Intelligent Design was created to circumvent the scientific method in order to resolve questions about humans’ origins. If evolution is happening, Intelligent Design suggests that it is being guided by a supernatural intelligence.

In a press release, Slakey states, “Science is rarely a talent of kings and governments. When King Solomon built his temple, he declared that pi equals three. Three thousand years later, the Kansas Board of Education eliminated all reference to the Big Bang from the state’s curriculum. And over the past five years more than 20 states have developed legislation that would dilute the teaching of science and promote intelligent design in public schools. This talk will examine the rise of the Intelligent Design movement and describe the response of a coalition of science societies.”

Hurd recommended that parents who have children enrolled in school should attend the presentation because Intelligent Design could affect the curriculum that students are taught. Additionally, he said people who on principle are concerned about “not so scientific” explanations of the universe attend the lecture.

After the talk, coffee and cookies will be served and participants can meet with Slakey. Slakey will also bring his lecture to LANL at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Lujan Center.

Slakey holds an endowed position at Georgetown University where he is the Upjohn Lecturer in physics and biology and the co-director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest. He is also the Associate Director of Public Affairs for the American Physical Society (APS), the leading membership organization of physicists from national laboratories, universities and industry.

He oversees all legislative affairs for the APS, specializing in the areas of defense and nuclear policy.

Slakey’s technical publications have received more than 400 citations. He has also written widely on science policy issues, publishing more than 50 articles for the popular press including The New York Times, Washington Post and Scientific American.

He has served in advisory positions for a diverse set of organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Geographic and the Creative Coalition Society - the political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. He is a Fellow of the APS, a MacArthur Scholar and a Lemelson Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Slakey became the 28th American to summit Mt. Everest in an unguided expedition that was the subject of the movie “Beyond the Summit,” narrated by Sharon Stone. After a climb in the jungles of Indonesia, he completed his ascents of the highest mountain on every continent.

In recognition, he carried the Olympic torch from the steps of the U.S. Capitol as part of the 2002 Olympic Games.