The recent Guardian story that the Pope may be about to endorse intelligent design as a scientific theory is way off the mark, I believe. There clearly is more media interest in this weekend’s meeting than the annual reunion of the pope’s former theology students ordinarily would warrant, even given this year’s special topic. But there will be a lively discussion. Various opinions will be heard. And I suppose you can expect a lot of uninformed spin afterwards. But don’t expect some definitive new Vatican declaration on science questions. (Granted, I COULD BE SURPRISED!)
Over at Uncommon Descent, William Dembski has highlighted a video we’ve been watching and talking about here in the Discovery offices for a while now — Pearl Jam’s 1998 “Do The Evolution.” Technically, it’s a brilliant video, animated by award winning artist Todd McFarlane. It takes the viewer through the history of mankind, starting from the origin of the first life.
In a recent book review in Nature, Jerry Coyne had unkind words for a questioner who raised his hand after Coyne gave a talk against intelligent design at the Alaska Bar Association. Coyne wrote: After lecturing this spring to the Alaska Bar Association on the debate over intelligent design and evolution, I was approached at the podium by a young lawyer. The tight-lipped smile, close-cropped hair and maniacal gleam in his eyes told me that he was probably a creationist out for blood. I was not wrong. (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, Vol 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006), emphasis Read More ›
David Berlinski submitted the following letter to Science regarding “Public Acceptance of Evolution” (by Jon D. Miller, Eugenie C. Scott, and Shinji Okamoto, in Science, Vol 313: 765-766, 08-11-06). It appears Science chose not to publish it: Alarmed by the fact that “one in three American adults firmly rejects the concept of evolution,” Jon D. Miller, Eugenie C. Scott and Shinji Okamoto have suggested that the source of their disbelief may be found in their religious convictions. But when the authors pass from the concept of evolution to a specific evolutionary claim, those religiously-based objections seem to reflect nothing more than skeptical good sense. “Human beings, as we know them,” Miller, Scott and Okamoto write, “developed from earlier species of Read More ›
[Editor’s Note: A single article combining all ten installments of this response to Barbara Forrest can be found here, at “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account.” The individual installments may be seen here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.] Barbara Forrest is a philosopher and was an expert witness against intelligent design in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial. Since she has recently posted her take on the Kitzmiller trial here, I have had the pleasure of responding by constructing a ten-part response. The pleasure is mine because of the interesting comments from Forrest, including affirmatively calling ID-proponents labels such as “creationists,” “legal mincemeat,” “jaw-droppingly stupid,” “evangelical Read More ›