I know that my own children, who are of middle and high school ages, have a rather, shall we say, incomplete understanding of the theory of intelligent design. Why would that be, considering that their dad is immersed in the subject? Well, in part because the science is challenging and the books for the most part are not written with kids, even smart kids, in mind. Nor are many of the lectures and videos you can listen to or watch.
Parents have brought this fact to our attention. So at last year’s Westminster Conference, in Philadelphia, we experimented with a separate youth track. It was such a wonderful success that we are doing the same thing at this month’s Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, January 25 in Denton, TX.
Teleology Without Tears
It will be led by Daniel Reeves, Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Science & Culture. Biochemist Michael Behe, author most recently of Darwin Devolves, will offer a presentation. So will protein chemist Douglas Axe, author of Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed. Their topics:
- “One Big Question — What Intelligent Design Can and Can’t Answer” (Reeves)
- “Beyond ‘Survival of the Fittest’ — How Life Is Much More Beautiful” (Axe)
- “Darwin vs. the Borg — The Nanotechnology of Life” (Behe)
The audience will learn, in a fun, humorous, interactive, and age-appropriate way, what intelligent design encompasses and what it doesn’t, what Darwinian fitness means and why it can’t explain the wonders of life, including the molecular machinery, unknown to Darwin himself, that points in its dramatic fashion to purpose — teleology — in biology. They will also learn what teleology means! The program is tailored for intermediate school students and high schoolers.
ID’s Original Edition
Daniel Reeves and I were talking just now and we agreed that we had not before heard of a conference with a separate track for young people. Did we invent it? I don’t know, but it’s a great idea. So we will hope to see you, and your family, in Dallas. There is still time to register here. (Find a tentative schedule here.) At last count, there were attendees currently registered from 29 states. Not bad.
The full-day conference includes lunch. While kids are otherwise occupied, their parents will enjoy speakers including Behe, Axe, Stephen Meyer, and John West. A highlight will be a discussion with the authors of what I’ve called ID’s “original edition,” The Mystery of Life’s Origin, biochemist Charles Thaxton, materials scientist Walter Bradley, and geochemist Roger Olsen.
Their 1984 book launched the ID revolution, and it will very shortly get a fantastic new, expanded edition from Discovery Institute Press, to be published on January 27. You can get your own copy ahead of time at the Dallas Conference!
Photo: Daniel Reeves teaching at ID Education Day in Seattle, by Nathan Jacobson.