Even though this article comes to us courtesy of the The Gospel Herald, it gives a rather straightforward account of the recent uproar at Southern Methodist University over an intelligent design conference. Click here for the article.
In brief, a very conservative Christian group called the "Discovery Institute" is hosting an intelligent design conference this weekend at Southern Methodist University (SMU). In late march the anthropology, biology, and geology departments sent similar letters signed by the faculty objecting to the event. The letter from the Anthropology department read, "These are conferences of and for believers and their sympathetic recruits. They have no place on an academic campus." In response to this critism, the event's organizers invited the professors to speak which they just recently declined.
The fact that this conference is occuring at all is, of course, troubling in itself. But occurring, it is. The question then is whether it is appropriate to be held at an institution of higher learning.
It is understandable that the science professors were so incensed the presence of such a conference that clearly undermines some very basic principles upon which their entire fields rest. Clearly research has been conducted and scholarship advanced all under the basic principle that evolution is a fact. To have to defend this position would be as if the math department, after publishing for years on incredibly complex theories, was asked to host a conference asserting that 2+2 was not equal to 4. Why should these professors be asked to denigrate themselves by joining a pseudo-scientific "debate" that really is only a debate to a select group of religious fanatics?
Also, check out my Amazon Book Review of Darwin's Autobiography here.
One last "Also", Here are some cool Youtube videos that I found.
Richard Dawkins interviews the Bishop of Oxford
A BBC Newsnight Report from December 4, 2006 about the debate between Evolution and Intelligent Design