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Darwinism, Post-Modernism, and the Summer Seminars

David Klinghoffer

Does this sound familiar? It should.

Blogger Rod Dreher posts a very interesting conversation between Roger Scruton and Jordan Peterson. Scruton powerfully summarizes what was once the approach in teaching literature and the humanities generally. A professor wished to share great work that he or she loved, pass that along to students and help them appreciate it too.

Now, in post-modern fashion, it’s the opposite: teaching young people to despise great work as reflecting benighted attitudes of the past. Rod notes that even in elementary school, kids are taught to read in a deconstructive manner. Again, not to love, but to hate what they could not make themselves, with the despair that brings.

Of course, as readers of Evolution News will know, it’s the same way with biology. While historically belonging to the pre-modern 19th century, Darwinian evolution teaches what amounts to the deconstruction of what was understood before to be the great design of biology. Today, the most aggressive neo-Darwinists lead the way in teaching the public to despise the genius behind life’s most beautiful inventions. As Jerry Coyne noted in his Washington Post review of Michael Behe’s book Darwin Devolves, “these systems … embody an absurd, Rube Goldberg-like complexity that makes no sense as the handiwork of an engineer but makes perfect sense as a product of a long and unguided historical process.”

As Behe aptly replied here, “We all anxiously await the unveiling of Coyne’s superior designs for a clotting cascade and a flagellum.”

Yes, We Cover the Costs

This brings me to the Summer Seminars on Intelligent Design, for which undergraduates and graduate students now have exactly one week left to apply. Imagine being a student in the classroom of another biologist and antagonist of Michael Behe, Professor Nathan Lents. Dr. Lents came to my attention with his book Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, which preaches the lousy design of the human body. Like Coyne, presumably Lents could have done it all better himself. This, unfortunately, is this dominant style of thinking in biology courses at U.S. universities.

As a student, where would you turn for a radically different view, the classical one that wishes to understand and appreciate the design of life? If you seek that out on your own campus, you’re almost certain to be disappointed. The only remedy, and I’m not exaggerating, is Discovery Institute’s Summer Seminars, in which top ID scientists and scholars — Meyer, Behe, Axe, Sternberg, Marks, Gauger, Wells, Nelson, West, Gonzalez, Richards, Miller, et al. — counter the materialism that’s the norm in university science instruction. In biology and cosmology, they counter it with better science.

One of the remarkable things about the Summer Seminars, July 5 to 13 here in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, is that Discovery Institute covers all the costs, including air travel as needed. That’s right, we cover ALL the costs of this unique program. The only downside is the deadline, which is coming up on April 2. Thinking of applying? Better get on that right away. More information and a simple application are here. There are tracks focusing respectively on the science of ID and the philosophical, cultural implications. Or if you’re not a student, let a student know about this opportunity now.

Thank you to our wonderful donors for making this possible!

Photos from the 2018 Summer Seminars, by Daniel Reeves: Robert Marks, Richard Sternberg, Michael Behe (top to bottom).