Fair Fight Over Darwinism and Design in North Carolina

Bruce Chapman

When the controversy over Darwinism and intelligent design is debated on university campuses, the deck is usually stacked heavily against proponents of intelligent design. North Carolina State University has shown, however, that the topic can be debated with the fairness and civility that ought to characterize academic discussions. On Thursday, April 20, before a crowd of some 200 people, a biologist and philosopher defended intelligent design, and a biologist and philosopher defended Darwinism.

That debate continued Thursday night at N.C. State University before a crowd of almost 200 people. Sponsored by the NCSU and Wake chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, the debate featured four speakers — one scientist and one philosopher from both sides of the issue.

The North Carolina State University debate showed that it is possible to proceed on this toipic in a manner that accords with traditional academic freedom and mutual respect. The same goes for the way Tim Simmons reported it for the News Observer.
Forty years ago, the New Left political philosopher Herbert Marcuse argued that old fashioned liberal education and public discourse was wrong, that tolerance for varying views should be extended only to people on the Left. That stance seems to have won many advocates; author Chris Mooney is one example, and the editorial page editors of The Washington Post are another (on this issue, at least). Fortunately, saner heads prevailed in North Carolina.”

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.