Gems from Father Neuhaus

Richard John Neuhaus, the one-time Lutheran pastor/philosopher who became a Catholic priest (he didn’t just “evolve” into it, however), edits First Things magazine with the kind of scholarship and grace one might hope to find in a particularly sparkling discussion over dinner with an old college friend. His “While we’re at it” column is especially sought out each month for Fr. Neuhaus’ take on topical events. This month he has some tough things to say to the science community that seems to think it is a royal priesthood itself, set above even legitimate criticism. Landing on the fiasco of South Korean cloning claims that were pumped up by those supposedly flawless “peer reviewed science journals” until the story of the Read More ›

Did the New York Times suppress the results of its own investigation into Darwin’s scientific critics in order to promote a stereotype?

New questions are being raised about the accuracy of the New York Times’ article on scientific critics of neo-Darwinism last week, spurred by an amazing admission by Times’ reporter Ken Chang that only a small minority of the scientists he interviewed actually fit his story’s stereotyped description of Darwin’s critics. While Chang’s story conveys the clear impression that scientists who support Discovery’s Dissent from Darwin statement are motivated by religion rather than science, Chang has now admitted in an interview that 75% or more of the scientists he interviewed did not fit this description. In other words, Chang and his editors selectively reported the results of their own investigation to convey the exact opposite of what they found. It turns Read More ›

Black and White: There’s no ID under the Kansas Science Standards

Jack Krebs has kindly posted on Pandas Thumb a response to my challenge that someone provide some kind of evidence supporting the notion that the Kansas Science Standards open the door to teaching ID. I greatly appreciate that Mr. Krebs contacted me personally to inform me of his post and kindly invited me to respond. My initial challenge posed an exceedingly low standard to be met, as I wanted to see what people would say in response. I give Mr. Krebs credit: he has made probably the strongest argument possible in favor of the notion that the Kansas Science Standards (KSS) open the door to teaching ID. If this is the strongest argument possible, then I’m fairly confident that the Read More ›

Jack Krebs’ Approach to Statutory Interpretation

In Jack Krebs’ post at Pandasthumb, he takes Casey Luskin up on a challenge to show that the Kansas Science Education Standards somehow “sanction the teaching” of intelligent design. (Luskin has now responded as well.) According to Krebs, “the standards do say to teach ID” (emphasis his). Unfortunately for Krebs, his reading of the Kansas standards is an exercise in torturing a text to say what one desires, instead of respecting the plain meaning of the text. To make his case Krebs relies on a flawed chain of inferences which, at best, would establish that the standards merely permit teaching about some intelligent design ideas. Krebs makes two big errors. First, he completely fails to explain why the standards include Read More ›

Another Catholic Prelate Speaks Out

In this Catholic News Agency article about the statement of Kansas Archbishop Naumann, it is clear that the Archbishop understands the policy issue: both ID and Darwinian materialism have a philosophical base (theoretical science does have, folks), so you can’t rule out one and retain the other just because you prefer it. Either keep both out, he says, out or let both in. Sensibly, Archbishop Naumann thinks students would be best served by acknowledging the place of philosophy in science (it is philosophy, after all, that defines science) and stop using an invidious reading of the First Amendment to disallow ID because of its theistic implications, while ignoring the atheistic implications of Darwinism.