It’s a familiar scene — a classroom full of students, most in their early twenties, their fingers flying over laptop keyboards as a lecture races on. Their agile minds soak in the dense material presented by an engagingly brilliant Ph. D. — but this is like nothing they teach in college.
This is the CSC Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, an intensive study program for college juniors, seniors and graduate students interested in ID. In just nine days, students from around the world gain exposure to the science of intelligent design theory, both in the classroom and the science lab.
This year the program runs from July 8-16, but the deadline to apply is quickly approaching.
While Darwinism maintains a monopoly on America’s science classrooms, these students testify to the growing number of young scientists who aren’t satisfied with the way Darwinist professors refuse to address the problems with Darwin’s theory and the strengths of intelligent design.
Of course, this is part of what makes the discussion in that Seattle classroom unique: students awakening to a more full understanding of the relationship between science and nature are able to experience a broad perspective of intelligent design theory, many for the first time. Not only that, but they learn it all firsthand from some of the key scientists and policy experts at Discovery Institute, including Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, Ann Gauger, Wesley J. Smith, David Klinghoffer, Richard Sternberg, Jonathan Witt, Jonathan Wells, Casey Luskin, Jay Richards, and John West.
This year, in addition to the seminar focusing on ID in the natural sciences, the Center for Science and Culture announces the new C. S. Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society, which will explore the growing impact of science on politics, economics, social policy, bioethics, theology, and the arts.
The CSC Seminar on Intelligent Design in the Natural Sciences will explore cutting-edge ID work in fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology, developmental biology, paleontology, computational biology, ID-theoretic mathematics, cosmology, physics, and the history and philosophy of science. This seminar is open to students who intend to pursue graduate studies in the natural sciences or the philosophy of science. (Click here for details and to apply.)
The C. S. Lewis Fellows Program is an inspiration from the work of its namesake, particularly The Abolition of Man and That Hideous Strength, where Lewis foresaw the dangers of both scientism and technocracy. (Click here for details and to apply.)
Past participants have noted that what most encouraged and excited them about the seminar was the intellectual integrity they were finally seeing in scientists and instructors, Ph.D.s who seriously considered their questions rather than trying to shut down provocative discussion. Once they discovered science unrestrained by dogmatism, a torrent of excitement rushed through their class sessions.
“It was like taking a drink from a fire hydrant,” one student said. The schedule is a demanding one, packed with lectures and readings. The material covered in the course goes far beyond an overview and into the technical discussion of intelligent design and Neo-Darwinism. Students learn from Discovery scientists about methods of design detection, the intricacies of DNA and information processing in the cell, quantum theory and materialist metaphysics, and the moral implications of Darwinism.
The experience is eye-opening for many. One student already very familiar with intelligent design said of the seminar, “For the first time, I was astounded.”
Another said she had never before considered the metaphysical implications of Darwinism and intelligent design. Few, if any, had ever heard of the “scientific” eugenics crusade of the 20th century.
Besides giving students a thorough education in the science and philosophy of intelligent design, the program also prepares students for the challenges they likely face in their careers as pro-ID scientists. Students hear from Douglas Axe and Richard Sternberg, scientists who were persecuted by their employers for supporting ID, and the message is clear: it is dangerous to stand as a part of the ID movement, but we have been there, and we’re here to make the way easier for you.
This free study program is the open door for students who want to join the new scientific revolution. The inspiration and advice from those who know the field, the relationships and networks they build with other students there, and the depth and breadth of knowledge and direction they’re given equip the next generation of leaders in intelligent design.
Discovery Institute will pay expenses for students who are accepted into these programs (travel, lodging, meals, books and other course materials), but the deadline for applications is April 22, 2011.