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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Announcement: ID school lobby adds Muslim to its board

IDNet, the network of Kansans lobbying for "institutional objectivity in origins science" (= quit promoting Darwinism as the creation story of atheism in the public school system), has added Turkish Muslim Mustafa Akyol to its Board of Directors. Akyol's primary intrest is combatting Islamic political extremism but he has written extensively on the intelligent design controversy for Muslim and secular publications, and he also maintains a Web site, the White Path

(Note: "White Path" is the literal meaning of Akyol's surname in Turkish.)

IDnet, under lawyer John Calvert, has made a worldwide public issue out of the fact that Darwinism is a compulsory philosophy in education. Indeed, IDNet has managed to co-opt the voices of thousands of sneery journalists who know just enough to get it all wrong.

That guarantees that many more people know that there is resistance than otherwise. It's been a fascinating process to watch, best of all because the sneeries are so conceited that it never occurs to them that their readers may be taking away a very different message from the one they are offering.

Here's the press release:

IDnet Adds Muslim Journalist to its Board of Directors

Shawnee Mission, KS. - Today IDnet announced that it elected Mustafa Akyol, M.S. to its Board of Directors.

Akyol is a Muslim journalist educated at the University of Istanbul where he obtained a BS in international relations and an MS in history. He has lectured around the world against scientific materialism and Islamic extremism and terrorism. He believes an objective approach to origins science is a way for institutions of science and democratic governments to promote the best science while remaining religiously neutral as between theistic and non-theistic religions.

"We met Mustafa at one of our annual symposia while he was working for an Islamic ID organization. We were impressed, so we invited him to present at a conference at the University of Minnesota in 2003. He is very dedicated to the idea of peace among those holding diverse religious views. This is important not only to the issue of terrorism, but also to the cultural war between materialistic and theistic religions and beliefs," said John Calvert, a managing director of IDnet."

"Mustafa is a cool, young guy," said Jack Cashill, an IDnet director and the author of numerous books and videos, the latest being "Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters have Hijacked American Culture." "He understands that we will discover our shared human interests through respectful dialogue and intelligent discourse ."

IDnet currently has offices in Kansas City, Albuquerque, Minneapolis and Cincinnati. The Ohio office was reopened on October 15, by Roddy Bullock, J.D., a lawyer and author of The Cave Painting, a work of fiction about intelligent design and materialism.


Intelligent Design network, inc. is a nonprofit national organization that seeks institutional objectivity in origins science. Intelligent design is a scientific disagreement with claims that the apparent design of certain natural phenomena is an illusion that can be adequately explained by random mutation and natural selection. Objectivity is necessary because many institutions systematically suppress any objective consideration of that disagreement.

I have corresponded with Akyol and find him to be a thoughtful young man who will bring valuable perspectives on the issues.

Rumour control: Akyol is not associated with Harun Yahya's Turkish creationist group.

Are you looking for the following stories?

"Academic Freedom Watch : Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that 'intelligent design isn't science'?".

How to freak out your bio prof? What happened when a student bypassed the usual route of getting frogs drunk and dropping them down the chancellor’s robes, and tried questioning Darwinism instead.

Joseph, Cardinal Schonborn is not backing down from his contention that Darwinism is incompatible with Catholic faith, and Pope Benedict XVI probably thinks that’s just fine. Major US media have been trying to reach rewrite for months, with no success.

Museum tour guides to be trained to "respond" to those who question Darwinism. Read this item for an example of what at least one museum hopes to have them say.

UPDATED Announcement: American Enterprise Institute offers free public forum on teaching intelligent design in schools

The American Enterprise Institute is holding a daylong event in Washington, on Friday, October 21, featuring both sides:

What should public schools teach about life's origins? This debate erupted anew over the summer after President George W. Bush and Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) endorsed the teaching of intelligent design (ID)—the theory that intelligent causes are responsible for the origin of the universe and of life in all its diversity. Proponents of teaching alternatives to evolution are now lobbying state legislatures and pressing school districts to incorporate ID into science curricula. Alarmed scientists and educators see ID as a disguised form of creationism and a direct attack on the scientific method and critical thinking. Is intelligent design religion or science? What should we teach in schools? Would the teaching of intelligent design violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause? Panelists at this day-long AEI conference will discuss these and other questions.

Many faves I recognize will speak, including Paul Nelson, Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, Lawrence Krauss, John Calvert, and Mark Ryland.

I have e-mailed AEI to ask what the event costs (not clear from their online publicity), and will update when I get a reply. It would be well worth attending if you live in the area.

UPDATE!: The event is FREE! AEI's Joe Manzari wrote back to say: "ID event at AEI is for free and open to the public. We encourage people to register online before so we can get a rough estimate of how many to expect (for seating purposes--plus you get a name tag when you come if you register J."

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.
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