SMU Faculty Dodges Intelligent Design Debate

Robert L. Crowther, II

Late yesterday we received notice that the Anthropology department at SMU will not take us up on our invitation for a public dialogue about intelligent design and Darwinian evolution.
Robert Kemper, chair of the Anthropology department writes:

Thank you for your invitation to participate in the Friday night session of your conference. We appreciate your recognition of the value of dialogue on issues that have such opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately, previously scheduled events and prior commitments prevent our department from taking advantage of this opportunity. We nevertheless remain committed to public understanding of these issues, and to providing the public with information to make intelligent choices.

We’ve yet to hear from the other science departments at SMU that we invited.
It’s interesting that these professors are willing to air their complaints and objections in public forums where there is no way for them to be “heatedly debated and discussed.”

This isn’t unusual. In 2005 the Kansas state board of education invited scientists from all over the world to come and present evidence supporting Darwinian evolution as well as evidence that challenges it. You’ll remember that this was highly publicized public event with lots of advance notice. Yet not one single Darwinist had the courage to come and defend the Darwinian viewpoint. Not one. Instead, they sent an attorney who questioned the scientists challenging Darwinian evolution but refused to be questioned himself.
In their opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News yesterday, some SMU science faculty tried to explain how science is done.

In science, progress depends on experimentation and observation using the scientific method. The evidence and reports are usually heatedly debated and discussed, sometimes for years and even decades. Consensus is reached in a nondemocratic way. If the hypothesis is not supported by the evidence, it is rejected.

Really? “Heatedly debated and discussed,” well no, not in this instance. And, If the hypothesis is not supported by the evidence, it is rejected. Again, that’s not been true of Darwinism. Many of the alleged pieces of evidence proving the “fact” of evolution repeatedly have been shown to lack any basis in reality (Haeckel’s embryo drawings, peppered moths, Miller-Urey experiment, etc.), and yet Darwinian evolution is not being rejected on a wide scale. Yet.
At the Darwin vs. Design conference, scientists will be presenting empirical evidence based on observation that supports the theory of intelligent design. Dr. Stephen Meyer will explain how the digital code embedded in DNA is evidence supporting ID. Dr. Michael Behe will explain how the amazing nanotechnology–the molecular machines–are evidence supporting ID. And Dr. Jay Richards will show how the constants of the laws of physics and the incredibly precise fine-tuning of the universe is evidence supporting ID.
How is presenting this information, to an audience that wants to learn about it, in any way a danger to science? It isn’t, unless you are a dogmatic Darwinist who can’t abide any viewpoint but your own.
Then the profs go off on a wild tangent like some sort of conspiracy theorists.

The organization behind the event, the Discovery Institute, is clear in its agenda: It states that what the SMU science faculty believes to be so useful (science) is a danger to conservative Christianity and should be replaced by its mystical world view.

This is just simply a lie. No one affiliated with Discovery Institute has ever said any such thing. Some scientists, afraid to debate the merits of Darwinian evolution instead turn to making up inane assertions like this one.

Robert Crowther

Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and 20 years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing and media relations specialist. From 1994-2000 he was the Director of Public and Media Relations for Discovery Institute overseeing most aspects of communications for each of the Institute's major programs. In addition to handling public and media relations he managed the Institute's first three books to press, Justice Matters by Roberta Katz, Speaking of George Gilder edited by Frank Gregorsky, and The End of Money by Richard Rahn.