Skip to comments.Intelligent design goes Ivy League: Cornell offers course despite president denouncing theory
Posted on 04/11/2006 10:34:58 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
Intelligent design goes Ivy League
Cornell offers course despite president denouncing theory
Posted: April 11, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Cornell University plans to offer a course this summer on intelligent design, using textbooks by leading proponents of the controversial theory of origins.
The Ivy League school's course "Evolution and Design: Is There Purpose in Nature?" aims to "sort out the various issues at play, and to come to clarity on how those issues can be integrated into the perspective of the natural sciences as a whole."
The announcement comes just half a year after Cornell President Hunter Rawlings III denounced intelligent design as a "religious belief masquerading as a secular idea."
Proponents of intelligent design say it draws on recent discoveries in physics, biochemistry and related disciplines that indicate some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. Supporters include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations worldwide.
Taught by senior lecturer Allen MacNeill of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department, Cornell's four-credit seminar course will use books such as "Debating Design," by William Dembski and Michael Ruse; and "Darwin's Black Box," by Michael Behe.
The university's Intelligent Design Evolution Awareness club said that while it's been on the opposite side of MacNeill in many debates, it has appreciated his "commitment to the ideal of the university as a free market-place of ideas."
"We have found him always ready to go out of his way to encourage diversity of thought, and his former students speak highly of his fairness," the group said. "We look forward to a course where careful examination of the issues and critical thinking is encouraged."
Intelligent design has been virtually shut out of public high schools across the nation. In December, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' gave a stinging rebuke to a Dover, Pa., school board policy that required students of a ninth-grade biology class to hear a one-minute statement that says evolution is a theory, and intelligent design "is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view."
Jones determined Dover board members violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on congressional establishment of religion and charged that several members lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs.
"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy," Jones wrote. "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."
"Freepdays for April"
what does that part mean?
"Freepdays for April"
what does that part mean?
"There is no such attack from the right. None. Nowhere. If you're looking for one, look toward Harvard,"
the presence of attacks from the left does not in any way disprove attacks from conservatives - you can see them in this thread.
> Your Darwin is safe in the hallowed halls of academia.
Darwin himself is long dead and buried. Darwin's discovery of the facts of evolution, however, cannot be destroyed or swept under the rug, no matter how much the supernaturalists might want to.
But each person can still decide what they want to believe, in spite of your "facts".
> For centuries we have lead the way in science and technology despite having the most believers and your dreaded ignoramuses of the Bible Belt etc...
For centuries, we have been leading the way in scientific advancement because we've been leading the way *from* supernatural explanations *to* natural ones. Now there are those who want to reverse that trend.
Absolutely! You are free to disregard any physical evidence you like. Just don't demand that everybody else must disregard it.
"Darwin himself is long dead and buried. Darwin's discovery of the facts of evolution, however, cannot be destroyed or swept under the rug, no matter how much the supernaturalists might want to."
Name calling from either side is not helpful.
Also, people who believe in God can have well founded reasons to believe - without examining those reasons it makes no sense to dis them
> each person can still decide what they want to believe
Indeed. People can indeed choose to believe in utter superstitious rubbish. And in a way, that's for the best. We need stratification in society. While some will choose to discover facts and will go to the stars, some will choose to disbelieve facts, and will serve a useful role scrubbing toilets and sweeping the streets, and wondering why it is that their prayers aren't curing their diseases.
For centuries, we have been leading the way in scientific advancement because we've been leading the way *from* supernatural explanations *to* natural ones. Now there are those who want to reverse that trend."
There is not the conflict between belief in God and a physical understanding of the world that you seem to see.
People who cannot see that God wants us to understand the world are people I feel need to grow in their understanding rather than being objects for scorn.
> Name calling from either side is not helpful.
It's not? How, then, do we hold a debate if we are not allowed to call things what they are? You've got your naturalists and your supernaturalists in this debate.
> people who believe in God can have well founded reasons to believe - without examining those reasons it makes no sense to dis them
Nobody is dissing those who believe in some god or other. However, it's fully appropiate to dis those who believe that their god created a universe full of fraudulent evidence for the purposes of fooling that gods creations.
> There is not the conflict between belief in God and a physical understanding of the world that you seem to see.
Your barkign upm the wrong tree. It's the supernaturalists who cannot see natural explanations for things who are the ones who have an inability to see.
> God wants us to understand the world
POssibly. If so, God gave Man the ability to reason and use science to discover how things work. Those who reject reason and science would thus be rejecting God.
I think it will go a lot deeper than that. You can support ID all you want, but there are these pesky things called facts that get in the way. If they want to go down the road of irriducible complexity, then that will open the door to all these metabolic pathways and the whole realm of genetics and biochemistry, including cutting edge research. Even ID cannot answer the question of the origin of the necessary complexity of the designer. Since ID claims evidence of design is everywhere base simply on how complicated things are, then those same arguments must be applied to what they describe as a designer.
>.Your barkign upm the wrong tree. It's the supernaturalists who cannot see natural explanations for things who are the ones who have an inability to see.<<
It is at least a two sided problem... you have a contribution too...
>>POssibly. If so, God gave Man the ability to reason and use science to discover how things work. Those who reject reason and science would thus be rejecting God.<<
I would not have put it that way - I would have said their vision of God is too small if they think he can be harmed or disrespected by using our talents to examine the world and trying to understand how it works.
> you have a contribution too...
Indeed. They're called "facts." The things that remain whether you believe in them or not.
> I would not have put it that way
These are people who not only think they understand the mind of God, but also think they can order God and his creation around.
Boy won't *they* be surprised when they find themselves standing before Crom...
I haven't seen where anyone at Cornell demanded anything. I believe the class is an elective, is it not?
What exactly is your meaning for "cruel"? From where does your idea of "cruelty" originate?
You are so amusing. I actually look forward to reading your posts on this subject. Lots of laughs.
"Those who reject reason and science would thus be rejecting God."
So you don't reject God? I never thought you did really.
Possibly from the same inner sense of right and wrong that leads you to call God good.
> It would seem you have anti-religious feelings.
Only with respects to those religious beliefs that stand in stark opposition to the facts.
> But if you want to make a positive contribution you should refrain from being condescending and hostile and indulging in name calling - that is not the way to advance your position.
Take it up with the superanturalists. They are the true experts at name-calling.
Flaws in others do not reduce your own responsibility nor mine.
> So you don't reject God?
The important point, though: It's no great shakes for a Christian, say, to reject, say, Shiva as a valid explanation for something or other. But those Christians who insist on geocentrism or creationism are rejecting their *own* god. Rather bizarre.
No, but they make for great entertainment.
Is there *anything* funnier than a creationist? Well, the geocentrists, probably, but they are pretty rare. Though we do have some here at FR, disturbingly.
"Freepday" is the day you joined FR. It's a bit like a birthday or anniversary. The only folks included, however, are those who take part in these debates.
Not a problem. Your name will be on the list in August.
"Not a problem. Your name will be on the list in August."
Aha - Immortality at last. :)
At least until I drop dead...
Dimensio: What textbooks are still promoting Haeckel's fraud and what is fraudulent about the peppered moth photographs?
OK, here's your answer...for starters...
Each of these recent textbooks reproduces uncritically Ernst Haeckel's series of embryos (which were found to be fraudulent during Haeckel's lifetime over a hundred years ago) :
1. Alton Biggs, Chris Kapicka & Linda Landgren. Biology: The Dynamics of Life (Westerville, OH: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1998). ISBN 0-02-8254331-7
2. Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology. Third Edition (Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1998). ISBN 0-87893-189-9
3. Burton S. Gutman, Biology (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1999). ISBN 0-697-22366-3
4. Sylvia Mader, Biology, Sixth Edition (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1998). ISBN 0-697-34080-5
5. Kenneth R. Miller & Joseph Levine, Biology, Fifth Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000). ISBN 0-13-436265-9
6. Peter H. Raven & George B. Johnson, Biology, Fifth Edition (Boston: WCB/McGraw-Hill, 1999). ISBN 0-697-35353-2
7. William D. Schraer & Herbert J. Stoltze, Biology: The Study of Life, Seventh Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 21999.) ISBN 0-13-435086-3
8. Cecie Starr & Ralph Taggart, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, Eighth Edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Comany, 1998). ISBN 0-534-530001-X
Good enough for ya? Heh.
Actually I'd like to give you citations for textbooks published more recently than the year 2000; but the paper that was the source for this info was itself published in 2000. However, I trust you will agree with me that these textbooks are "recent."
May I quote someone you perhaps admire, Stephen Jay Gould, on the subject of textbooks continuing to promote Haeckel's lie?
Harvard evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that Haeckel's drawings of vertebrate embryos "exaggerated the similarites by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases -- in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent -- simply copied the same figure over and over again."...
"We do, I think, have the right," Gould wrote in 2000, "to be both astonished and ashamed by the century of mindless recycling that has led to the persistence of these drawings in a large number, if not a majority, of modern textbooks."
Dimensio, I have to leave the computer and don't have time to address the peppered moths fraud now. But I'm sure you know how to do a google search.
Really? Then perhaps your critical reading skills are as good as your grammar and punctuation.
Or I move from the left column to the right.
"The theory of evolution has never purported to explain the origin of life. I do not understand the relevance."
Common Descent rests squarely on a specific view of the origin of life. As Gordon has pointed out, when you remove that assumption, you do not get common ancestry -- sometimes even up to the family level of taxa (which is where creationists put it as well -- though I'm sure for the most part Gordon would put the origin of monophyly a little higher taxonomically than creationists would):
Also, Darwinism requires the animal to continue to create massive amounts of information by haphazard changes. This has likewise been shown to be in error, as many of the changes in genetics proceed according to planned, structured mechanisms, which direct genetic changes to useful areas.
Again, Darwinism says "no teleology". Evidence says "yes, much teleology".
"This is an appeal to ignorance."
Can you name another category of causation besides necessity, chance, and agency? If not, then this is not an argument from ignorance, it is an argument from knowledge. Otherwise, we would have to uproot the entire scientific enterprise as being an "appeal to ignorance" since every induction we ever do is based on the fact that we know of no other way certain events occur.
Again, if you know of another category of causation, please let me know. As the paper I referenced points out, chance and necessity are insufficient causes.
That is a lie. Evolutionists dropped that claim when the scientific evidence clearly established, even to evolutionists, that the whole primordial soup idea was impossible.
I suggest people check out the discussion on Telic Thoughts.
There is that, too, but you'll still be "immortal."
Immortalized, perhaps. Not quite the same thing. ;-)
What's that old Woody Allen quip? "I don't want to be immortal through my works. I want to be immortal through not dying."
I took biology in 1959 and was given something pretty close to the modern interpretation of Haeckel.
Would you prefer books to present photographs rather than drawings?
"If, as you say, common descent "rests squarely on a specific view of the origin of life", then only one of the above hypothesis can be true for common descent to have occured."
Bzzzzzzzt. Wrong. Bad logic, try again.
My point was that if you remove assumptions about the origin of life, then your assumptions don't require you to posit monophyly. Then all you have is the evidence. Incidentally, as the paper I referenced points out, the evidence doesn't require it, either, and actually speaks against it in many ways.
Again, without specific assumptions about the origin of life, there is no reason to assume monophyly. That is not the same thing as saying that only one set of assumptions will get you monophyly. The point is that if you don't make origin-of-life assumptions, you do not get monophyly from the data.