Custom Search

Friday, October 07, 2005

Intelligent design and popular culture: Museum docents to be trained to respond to "creationists"

Apparently, some members of the public are beginning to challenge museums, which philosopher of evolution Michael Ruse has identified as promoting a religion of Darwinism:

Evolution after Darwin had set itself up to be something more than science. It was a popular science, the science of the marketplace and the museum, and it was a religion—whether this be purely secular or blended in with a form of liberal Christianity … When believers in other religions turned around and scratched, you may regret the action but you can understand it—and your sympathy for the victim is attenuated. (Michael Ruse, The Evolution Wars: A Guide to the Debates (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000), p. 114.)
Acording to Science Daily:

Now museum lecturers and docents say they are being frequently confronted by small groups of creationists eager to vocally challenge evolution, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Apparently, staff at six museums will be offered training in responding to this situation. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Warren Allmon, director of the Paleontological Research Institute, an affiliate of Cornell University, said he encourages his staff to emphasize the fact that science museums live by the rules of science, and all science knowledge is provisional -- subject to being revised when better answers are discovered, the Times reported.

Okay, does that mean that the public will ever be told about situations where Darwinist icons have been challenged? Or does it just mean that the docents will be taught a patter about all science knowledge being provisional?

What I find interesting is that for years science boffins crabbed that the public did not care about science. Now they do. So now the boffins seem to be in panic mode. Some folk are not easily pleased.

The Museum of the Earth at Ithaca, New York, offers its guide online. In it we read,

Modern creationism frequently focuses on what its advocates describe as scientific evidence for creationist interpretations, labeled most often as "creation science" or, most recently, "intelligent design theory". Although it is perfectly legitimate for a person to hold and promote creationist beliefs, there is no scientific evidence for such beliefs, and they are not scientific by any reasonable definition of science, a point repeatedly affirmed by state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, just how that guide, written by Warren Allmon himself, is going to do anything but anger people who know the facts about the intelligent design challenge to Darwinism/naturalism, is beyond me. (Note: If you click on the Museum of the Earth link, you may not be able to use your back browser button to get back here.)

See also the original New York Times story. (Note: If you click on that link, be sure to click on the html version if you think you might want to come back here using your back browser button.)

Student IDEA and IDURC clubs: Some students are not easily intimidated

In the previous post, I said, "What blows me away is the belief that students will not soon realize that this is all happening because the Darwinists have not made a good case, and are therefore enforcing their philosophy of origins by authority alone." Looks like that's already happening. I have been told that the IDEA Club at Berkeley will be profiled on National Public Radio.

According to "Tom", a student member,

Our chapter will be hosting free video screenings and guest lectures from a wide variety of scholars, so stay tuned. As Berkeley students, we encourage you to exercise your freedom of speech and academic inquiry. We know that you can think for yourself, so don’t settle for misconceived second opinions about ID. We want to help you move beyond the politics, and invite you to investigate the primary scholarship and decide for yourself.

Incidentally, there are other IDEA clubs, whose headquarters is the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center (IDEA:)

The Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting intelligent design theory and fostering good - spirited discussion and a better understanding over intelligent design theory and the creation - evolution issue among students, educators, churches, and anyone else interested.

There are also similar IDURC clubs (Intelligent Design Undergraduate Research Center), "a community of students interested in intelligent design and evolutionary theory, whose motto is "Free minds ask questions."

Yes, free minds do ask questions. And, when it comes to public orthodoxies such as Darwinism, that are enforced by suppression of dissent, my best advice is, when in doubt ... DOUBT!

George Mason University: Forbids lecturer to teach evolution, after mentioning intelligent design

George Mason University Carolyn Crocker of George Mason University was barred from teaching both Darwinian evolution and intelligent design.
From Nature:

Caroline Crocker says that she hadn't meant to start a controversy when she mentioned intelligent design while teaching her second-year cell-biology course at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, last semester. But many of her colleagues say that the soft-spoken molecular biologist, who received a PhD in immunopharmacology from the University of Southampton, UK, has gone too far. Sitting in an empty teaching lab, Crocker tells how she has been barred by her department from teaching both evolution and intelligent design. "It's an infringement of academic freedom," she says. She is appealing the case to a grievance committee.
What blows me away is the belief that students will not soon realize that this is all happening because the Darwinists have not made a good case, and are therefore enforcing their philosophy of origins by authority alone.

I have added this story to my running list of stories in which a person who is found to be in possession of possible evidence against materialism/naturalism/Darwinism is subject to harassment and persecution. I will also provide a blog service note link to the running list, for reference.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.
Blog policy note: This blog does not intentionally accept fully anonymous Comments, Comments with language unsuited to an intellectual discussion, URLs posted without comment, or defamatory statements. Defamatory statement: A statement that would be actionable if anyone took the author seriously. For example, someone may say "O’Leary is a crummy journalist"; that’s a matter of opinion and I don’t know who would care. But if they say, "O’Leary was convicted of grand theft auto in 1983," well that’s just plain false, and probably actionable, if the author were taken seriously. Also, due to time constraints, the moderator rarely responds to comments, and usually only about blog service issues.

Who links to me?