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Cornell Students Protest President Rawlings’ Speech Condemning ID

Casey Luskin

The IDEA Club at Cornell sent me this today about the anti-ID statements made by Cornell President Hunter Rawlings during his recent state-of-the-campus-address. I first learned about this press release after reading about it in this article in the Cornell Daily Sun.


Contact: Hannah Maxson


Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, October 22 – The Intelligent Design Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Club at Cornell is deeply concerned with President Hunter Rawlings’ blatant disregard for the facts concerning Intelligent Design in Friday’s State of the University Address. In a speech usually reserved for current university business, he spent over two thirds of his time blasting the emerging Intelligent Design theory as anti-scientific and religious in an unscrupulous, unknowledgeable manner.

Intelligent Design (ID) is a scientific theory which holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution. It follows the principles of the scientific method, scorns the biases of either religion or naturalism, and attempts to follow all the available evidence to a valid conclusion. ID is testable and falsifiable, and so far its predictions have repeatedly been shown accurate.

The IDEA Club at Cornell holds that the problems with Neo-Darwinian evolution can no longer be ignored, and it is time for true research and debate about the issues surrounding the beginnings of life to take place at universities across the country.

Attacking ID as a non-scientist and without addressing its scientific claims, Rawlings states that it is religion masquerading as science and is a religious belief at its core. This gross misstatement is a disservice to unbiased discourse, besides being an insult to people of faith throughout America. Ad hominem attacks and confusing people’s religious beliefs with their scientific research is not befitting a university president. We would hope Rawlings will instead follow Cornell’s often lauded commitment to a free and open exchange of ideas.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.