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Monday, September 26, 2005

Announcement: O’Leary to speak at blogging conference

On October 14, at 10:30 a.m. at Biola University in Los Angeles, I will be leading a
breakout session at Godblogcon05, on blogging on the intelligent design controversy. If you’re there, do drop by and say hello.

According to the program, here is what I am doing,

The session will focus on intelligent design theory. What is ID, and what is it not, and how are blogs and the blogosphere helping a small group of ID advocates circumvent and frustrate a formidable intellectual orthodoxy?

One of my great regrets is that Canadian media prophet Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) never lived to see the blogosphere. McLuhan was considered obscure and cranky in the Sixties, largely for predicting the Internet:

Marshall McLuhan was the first person to popularize the concept of a global village and to consider its social effects. His insights were revolutionary at the time, and fundamentally changed how everyone has thought about media, technology, and communications ever since. McLuhan chose the insightful phrase "global village" to highlight his observation that an electronic nervous system (the media) was rapidly integrating the planet -- events in one part of the world could be experienced from other parts in real-time, which is what human experience was like when we lived in small villages.

The blogging conference goes on to say about me,
Canadian freelance journalist Denyse O’Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy, which won two Canadian Christian Writing Awards. She was named Recommended Canadian Author of the Year by Christian Booksellers Association Canada (2005).

O’Leary had predicted years ago that the intelligent design controversy would explode, and it did. She felt frustrated by the fact that she could not update her book until a second edition was arranged. To cover breaking news in the meantime and provide archives, in April 2005, she started a blog, The Post-Darwinist.

She promptly scooped the New York Times on the showing of ID-friendly film, The Privileged Planet at the Smithsonian in Washington. The Times made a mess of the coverage, but hey, getting stuff right that the legacy media get wrong is why blogs exist. O’Leary also contributes to group blogs, including the Canadian Christianity site, the site for Christian science magazine Crux, and the ID Report.

One thing I should stress is that, unlike some attendees at that conference, I don’t see my blog as an exercise in Christian apologetics. Indeed, if my purpose were Christian apologetics, I would not pick the intelligent design controversy to cover. I am fascinated by the decline of materialism, typefied by widespread public scoffing at its creation story, Darwinism. Had I been born twenty years earlier, I might have covered the decline of Marxism in the same intrigued way, but that show was largely over by the mid-Eighties.

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