Presented without (much) comment


I am late to the party on this one (mistakingly thought it was next week). I’m just pasting in the only info I have from an email I was forwarded. All online info I’ve been able to find on this comes from ID websites and is the same cut n’ paste job. (No link love from SCS! Although we could nofollow, as per the excellent advice of Skeptools. Great site! Do read!)

Grill the ID Scientist

Tuesday, June 9
7 PM, University of Pittsburgh Campus (room TBA)

A network of scientists known as the Intelligent Design (ID) community continues to question basic tenets of Darwinism and origin-of-life scenarios. Not only are their views controversial in scientific circles — many in the evangelical world, who might be expected to embrace ID, are also not sold on the value of the ID program.

This event brings together a panel of scientists associated with the ID movement. After a short presentation, the bulk of the evening will be given to questions from the audience. This event is aimed primarily at researchers, graduate students and advanced undergrad students in the sciences. It is open to anyone, but participants must register in advance by sending email to snoke @pitt.edu. In the event of limited seating, preference will be given to grad students and researchers in the life sciences.

Panel:

– Doug Axe, Biologic Institute (formerly of Cambridge University)
— Michael Behe, Lehigh University
— Ann Gauger, Biologic Institute
— David Keller, University of New Mexico
— John Sanford, Cornell University

+ others TBA

moderated by David Snoke, University of Pittsburgh

This is tomorrow night, and is sadly not an actual BBQ. If you want to go, it seems like you’ll need to contact Dr. Snoke.

I’d love to hear some reports from those who attend!

[Hat-tip to DF for the info.]

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4 Responses to Presented without (much) comment

  1. Eliza says:

    Wow! Alexis and Bill, I am regretting not going.

    The YEC –> Nihilism chart is a slide I might not have been able to control my laughter on though! My hat is off to you both for sitting through it.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    Oh and here’s a link to the E. coli Long-term Experimental Evolution Project Site. It’s fascinating!

  2. Alexis says:

    Well, it seems that Darwinism (they hardly acknowledged “evolution by natural selection”) is a theory shot full of holes and logical leaps of faith. That’s why thousands of scientists at national and international conferences are so cautious not to let out the least hint that there might be any problems with the theory. The panelists’ enthusiasm for ID reminded me of a revival meeting, and Ann Gauger reminded me of Becky Fischer from the documentary ‘Jesus Camp”.

    Young earth creationist John Sanford had a chart of evolutionary positions with YEC on one end and nihilism (yes nihilism!) on the other. He had started out in the middle but after finding christ (was christ ever lost?) he looked at the nihilism end and decided “I didn’t want to go there” and so moved over to the YEC end.

    All of the panelists were in microbiology or bioengineering. These relatively new fields are still developing the tools to probe the workings of the cell’s internal structures, but since we haven’t found all of the answers yet, they are irreducibly complex, therefore they must have been designed. Of course, many of the irreducibly complex structures Behe cites in his book have been debunked (several before the ink was dry).

    Due to the many question that were asked we ran a half hour overtime, and questions about the absolutely stupidly designed systems in larger animals were not asked.

    Gauger pointed out that the origins of life have not be adequately described, and told of an experiment where 50,000 generations of e. coli were bred in lab flasks over 50 years with only small evolutionary changes noted. it was not pointed out that nature had 4 billion years and an entire planet for life to come about and evolve, making her 50 years and 50,000 generations seem paltry.

    The panelists were well prepared, and able to speak well within their disciplines. They were also able to pull the discussions back to their narrow field whenever a questioner tried to expand it. Basically I think if you had come in on one side of the argument or the other, you would leave on the same side. If you were in the middle, I don’t think you would be persuaded.

  3. BillK says:

    It was an interesting event, if somewhat frustrating. They spouted the usual canards (“Darwinism” is all about random changes). But what was especially frustrating was their insistence that they were only interested on promoting true science, that all of their efforts are targeted to seeking the truth, and that the Evolution “establishment” isn’t being honest by stifling their “science”. In light of the “Wedge Document” and the strategy that it outlined, I find their assurances to be disingenuous if not downright specious. To borrow and paraphrase an expression used by President Obama, you can put all the lipstick that you want on this pig but it is still a pig.

    It seems to me (but I’m just an uneducated dummy) that if they were really interested in pursuing science, they would actually try to solve the so-called problems they claim to have found with evolutionary theory instead of making that giant leap to “god did it”. What they are doing is taking a foregone conclusion (the existence of their imaginary friend) and then trying to find evidence to support it. I don’t think that’s the way that science is done, although I’m just a dummy. But doing science is not really in their agenda, is it? And you do have to respect the religious zealots for their tenacity and single-mindedness of purpose to infiltrate their way to the inside of the scientific community to attack it from within.

    One of the panelists (John Stanford) is a self-admitted Young Earth creationist, which means that he rejects much more than just evolution. What a whack job. Maybe he has a scientific hypothesis about satan or some other imaginary goblin running around burying dinosaur bones. Or how our telescopes are controlled by things that go bump in the night and the earth (you know – the flat one) really is the center of the universe. (I have to wonder how he feels about dashing babies heads against the stones?)

    But the bottom line is that they are all theists, and the bottom line for them is that this is an opportunity to promote their ridiculous sky fairy – to hell with the science.

  4. DF says:

    I haven’t looked up the panelists’ specialties, but Snokes is in the department of Physics and Astronomy, not biology. Gee, go figure.

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