Some SMU Faculty May Need a Refresher Course on What Their University Stands For

A helpful correspondent directed us to the following statement on the website of Southern Methodist University, the location of the upcoming Darwin v. Design conference this Friday and Saturday: Founded in 1911 by what is now The United Methodist Church, SMU opened in 1915 with support from Dallas leaders. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to freedom of inquiry. (emphasis added) SMU faculty who want the Darwin v. Design conference banned from their campus might benefit from re-reading—and heeding—this statement.

My, How Times Have Changed

Fifteen years ago debating intelligent design at SMU was done with “no intimidation” and “no censorship.” So, a decade and a half ago, intelligent design was discussed on campus allegedly without threat of censorship. How many times has that happened since then? Not so many. The truth of this may be hard for some at SMU to grasp because, frankly, truth is something a bit more elusive, according to SMU professor Ronald Wetherington in a piece published in the SMU Daily Campus. Truth, according to Wetherington, “grows and changes.” Perhaps it is subjective to the consensus of the era? Regardless of what professor Wetherington thinks about science, truth, or intelligent design, at the end of the day there is still Read More ›

Darwin’s Theory and Cancer

Darwinist blogger Orac recently took issue with my observation that Darwin’s theory plays no important role in medicine. Orac, a surgical oncologist, insisted that Darwin’s theory is very helpful in modern cancer research. He wrote:

Alex Rosenberg’s “Darwinian Reductionism” Under Fire

The May-June 2007 issue of American Scientist contains John Dupré‘s review of Darwinian Reductionism: Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology by Alex Rosenberg. Dupré fears that Rosenberg’s adherence to strict physicalist reductionism (“Darwinian Reductionism”), where “everything is ultimately determined by what happens at the physical level–and that this entails that the mind is ‘nothing but’ the brain,” is based upon a failure to understand why most philosophers of biology have abandoned such reductionism rather than a new revelation. As Dupré points out, most philosophers have abandoned this view because, among other reasons, genes have a “many/many” relationship with phenotype. More specifically, his [Rosenberg’s] portrayal of the genome as a program directing development, which is the centerpiece of Read More ›

Chapman and West in The Dallas Morning News: Why not Debate?

This morning’s Dallas Morning News features a bold op-ed by Bruce Chapman and John West calling for critics at SMU to employ the method of Charles Darwin himself: engage in the discussion. The article, “Are the Darwinists afraid to debate us,” is a response to the SMU science professors who called on their university to ban the conference from campus. Rather than “ludicrously comparing ID proponents to faith healers or even Holocaust-deniers,” as one columnist did last week, Chapman and West suggest that critics of intelligent design “engage ID scholars in a serious discussion.” They pointedly ask, “what is so frightening about allowing it [the evidence for design] to be heard at SMU?”