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For Seattle Intelligent Design Education Day, This Teacher Had a Brilliant Idea

David Klinghoffer | @d_klinghoffer

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Last week’s ID Education Day in Seattle was a big success, despite competing with snow days and teacher strikes. Some 175+ students from private and home schools, along with educators and parents, enjoyed presentations by Discovery Institute physicist Brian Miller and biologist Jonathan Wells, Center for Science & Culture Educational Outreach Coordinator Daniel Reeves — and Michael Behe, author of Darwin Devolves, joining the event via Skype. 

Students commented that it was like being invited into Behe’s Lehigh University workplace— office hours with Professor Behe. From the corkboard behind him, with various papers pinned to it, you could try to discern the subjects of future projects for the famed biochemist.

Educational Outreach Coordinator Daniel Reeves welcomes students to ID Education Day.

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Brian Miller discusses the “Fine-Tuning of the Universe and Our Planet for Life.”

We’ve learned from surveying past participants that the Q&A session is often the most popular part of Education Day. Yet despite leaving plenty of time for that, Daniel Reeves as the moderator still had to cut the questions short.

Some of the most interesting of those came from students at a Spokane private school whose teacher values the opportunity to hear contrasting views on important subjects. This educator had a brilliant idea: Bring his students out to Seattle for two days. On the first day, arrange for them to meet with evolutionary biologists at the University of Washington. Let the evolutionists do their best to counter the argument that biology gives evidence of design. The UW professors knew the kids would be talking with ID scientists the next day and suggested some good challenges to pose to the intelligent design rascals.

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A student poses a question.

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A slide from Dr. Miller’s presentation.

The students did a good job of conveying the pointed queries, creating a sort of virtual debate via messenger. They asked about gaps in the fossil record, Richard Lenski’s experiments, macro- versus micro-evolution, and more. Now they’ll have to come back next year and tell the UW biologists what the ID folks said in response to their challenges. Kudos to their teacher. It would simplify things, though, if evolutionists were more willing to engage in face-to-face dialogue with their ID counterparts

The students also had a chance to preview some forthcoming entries in a YouTube series being produced by a gifted Hollywood partner of ours. The videos were a great hit. More on that another time.

Photo credit: Nathan Jacobson.