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Report of Ken Miller’s Talk against Intelligent Design at the University of Kansas

Casey Luskin

Ken Miller recently presented at the University of Kansas against intelligent design, discussing Kansas evolution education and promoting theology as he promoted his theistic evolutionist viewpoint. Indeed, P.Z. Myers has been attacking Ken Miller for promoting his theistic evolutionist views during the talk. For another critical view of Miller’s talk, I’d like to share an e-mail recently sent to me by an ID-friendly attendee who saw Miller’s lecture:

E-mail report sent to me by a friendly attendee of Miller’s talk:

The thing that bothered me the most about Miller’s presentation was that he repeatedly stated that “In ’99, the Kansas Board of Education took evolution out of the standards”. He even said at one point that they were planning to “take evolution out of the curriculum”. That is blatantly untrue.

I am very familiar with how the ’99 fiasco went down. I’ve read portions of the ’99 standards, the standards prior to ’99, and the new standards. Before ’99, evolution was only mentioned in approximately two lines of the standards. No one “took evolution out of the standards” in ’99 because prior to ’99 it had never been included. That certainly didn’t mean that evolution was not taught in Kansas!!

Both the board and the standards committee recommended a set of standards. The standards committee added all kinds of macroevolutionary statements to the set of standards they recommended, but the board preferred to let the districts handle how those issues would be addressed so they did not include as much evolutionary content in the set of standards that they recommended. But, certainly, no one proposed to “take evolution out of the curriculum”. That is a blatantly false accusation. Obviously, that would be a big deal to Miller if it actually occurred because he is the guy writing the textbooks!

Miller made it sound as though ID is a done deal now that Judge Jones has declared ID creationism. He was very clever in how he presented his case to the college crowd. He worked them just right, with lots of humor and derogatory comments about DI fellows. He poked fun of Johnson, Dembski, Behe, and others ~at length~. This seemed like bragging and gloating, and was most uncollegelial.

He also said that the bacterial flagellum has been determined to have arisen through evolutionary processes. He proclaimed that Behe’s book is outdated because of this fact. This is sheer nonsense, as I’ve read the responses from the DI regarding this bogus claim.

In the last 20 minutes, Miller finally confronted the difficult question. How does one accept Darwinism and hold to a particular religious faith? He gave Dawkins rave reviews and declared his science to be impeccable and his books outstanding.

But…. Miller tells us…. the difference between he and Dawkins is that Dawkins believes the universe is a singularly random and meaningless place which arose without the aid of a designer, and Miller holds the opposing view. That was pretty much it. No explanation whatsoever as to why he believes a designer exists, especially in light of the fact that he does not acknowledge that we can observe design in nature.

So essentially, both Dawkins and Miller see no evidence of design, and their philosophy as to how evolution works is the same, yet Dawkins follows that evidence and declares the world is without a designer and Miller claims to believe there is a designer. Bizarre. So Miller apparently, like most TE’s, holds to his religious beliefs on faith ~alone~. That’s the problems with TE’s – they can give you no reason whatsoever as to why they believe what they do in regard to their religious beliefs other than they take it all on faith.

Keep up the good work…

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.



Ken Miller