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Monday, October 12, 2009

Sad story: Death of a scientist in small doses

Leading Darwinist Richard Dawkins Dodges Debates,

Refuses to Defend Evolution as The Greatest Show On Earth

Seattle – Richard Dawkins, the world’s leading public spokesman for Darwinian evolution and an advocate of the “new atheism,” has refused to debate Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, a prominent advocate of intelligent design and the author of the acclaimed Signature in the Cell (Harper One, 2009) in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.

“Richard Dawkins claims that the appearance of design in biology is an illusion and claims to have refuted the case for intelligent design,” says Dr. Meyer who received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge in England.

“But Dawkins assiduously avoids addressing the key evidence for intelligent design and won’t debate its leading proponents,” adds Dr. Meyer. “Dawkins says that there is no evidence for intelligent design in life, and yet he also acknowledges that neither he nor anyone else has an evolutionary explanation for the origin of the first living cell. We know now even the simplest forms of life are chock-full of digital code, complex information processing systems and other exquisite forms of nanotechnology.”

In Signature in the Cell (Harper One, 2009) in the Cell, Dr. Meyer shows that the digital code embedded in DNA points powerfully to a designing intelligence and helps unravel a mystery that Darwin did not address: how did the very first life begin?

Signature in the Cell has just entered its third printing according to publisher HarperOne, an imprint of Harper Collins, and has been endorsed by scientists around the world, including leading British geneticist Dr. Norman Nevin, Alastair Noble, Ph.D. chemistry, formerly Her Majesty’s Inspector of Schools for Science, Scotland, and Dr. Philip Skell, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Meyer challenged Dawkins to a debate when he saw that their speaking tours would cross paths this fall in Seattle and New York. Dawkins declined through his publicists, saying he does not debate “creationists.”

“Dawkins’ response is disingenuous,” said Meyer. “Creationists believe the earth is 10,000 years old and use the Bible as the basis for their views on the origins of life. I don’t think the earth is 10,000 years old and my case for intelligent design is based on scientific evidence.”

According to Discovery Institute, where Dr. Meyer directs the Center for Science & Culture, the debate challenge is a standing invitation for any time and place that is mutually agreeable to both participants.
Gosh, I really must find that feather I knock myself over with, defying the law of gravity - to the amazement of my neighbours - whenever I hear stuff like this.

Basically, after he stopped doing serious science and unwisely became a "professor of the public understanding of science", due to the unwise beneficence of a Microsoft billionaire, Dawkins committed himself to more and more to completely ridiculous positions: The selfish gene and the meme are part of the story.

Stuff for the popular press, not for science.

Dawkins won't debate because he can't, any more. Microsoft billionaires can't help him either.

Note: You can win a free copy of Signature by entering Uncommon Descent Contest 11.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

Darwinism and academic culture: ID film banned

Apparently, California's Science Centers refuses to show Darwin's Dilemma, about the Cambrian explosion , which was a big problem for Darwin.

He blamed the incomplete fossil record, but now that it is more complete, the significance of the explosion is all the more obvious.

Basically, almost all basic animal life forms came into existence about 550 million years ago and have pretty much developed from there. This is not good news if you are fronting a theory of evolution that depends on random, meaningless mutations (= Darwinism).

In fact, I remember a stupid Darwin lobbyist announcing that she had arguments against the "Cambrian explosion argument", only to be rebuked by mathematician David Berlinski, who pointed out that there is no Cambrian explosion argument. There is a Cambrian explosion, period. Deal with it or get lost, but please don't demand public or donor funding for your emotional problem with it. Anyway,
Today the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the California Science Center, a “department of the State of California,” cancelled the screening of Darwin’s Dilemma after the screening became public knowledge and the Center came under intense pressure to cancel, possibly from the Smithsonian Institution, with which they are affiliated. The Center’s IMAX Theater had been rented by a private group, the American Freedom Alliance, to hold the Los Angeles premiere of the film as part of a series of activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
This will help the American public believe that there is something to be said for Darwinism as surely as the Canadian Human Rights Commission's pretend Nazis convinced Canadians that there is something good to be said about the Commission. Like I have said before, there is fire all along the northern border, due to exercises in completely stupid, censorious, and intrusive government and its funded agencies that never address real issues.

Love it, hate it. Oh, way better you should hate it.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Intellectual freedom in Canada: News roundup

I haven't been posting recently, due to computer failure.

But, catching up, let me begin by talking about recent events in the fight for free speech in Canada.

Here's an update on Jennifer Lynch, who - I cannot believe - still works for the federal government.

I have no time for any racist, anti-Semite, Nazi, or Holocaust denier, but in her department, people pretended to be such persons (or actually are such persons and are hiding out there?). This much I know is true: Many people will not give money to the Conservative party (which currently forms a minority government in Canada) until both she and the legislation that enables her are gone with the wind.

Government needs principle as much as it needs power.

Meanwhile, hat tip, again, to the excellent Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council of Canada:

More stupid kvetching around To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel about racism in the southern United States that contains some offensive terms (as if you could write a novel about racism that did not contain any offensive terms). A sociology paper, maybe. Not a novel.

Since October 5, when the story broke, several journalists have filed news stories about the latest parent challenge to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird in public schools in Toronto.

For the Toronto Star, Kristin Rushowy reports; For the National Post, Natalie Alcoba reports; For the Toronto Sun, Don Peat reports here and here.

Just in: More context here. Why don't parents just tell their kids to get good marks and fight later?

Run out and buy the book, okay, before it ends up on a censor's index of non-government-approved ideas, even though it is a heartfelt plea for racial equality.

Just because some parent can't bear accurate dialogue or cultural context? Or maybe thinks his kid is too stupid to understand? Hey, we do provide remedial education here. We have a budget for that. You don't even need to tell the teacher. Chances are, the teacher's assessment is more accurate.

Here Carter tells me that the Toronto School Board is NOT going to kill a Mockingbird after all. Buy the book anyway.

With respect to racism, a friend asks me to remember Flannery O'Connor, and I do so now.

Carter also covered the recent appearance of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the House of Commons on the scandals associated with infamous Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Yes, yes, the scandals surround Canadian government's house Nazis and all that. Golly, the safest place you could be in Canada if you really were a Nazi would be the Canadian Human Rights Commission, where you could even get a salary and benefits. All you need do is say you didn't really mean it, but heck, that would be just as wise on the street in my own neighbourhood (though we can't offer a salary or benefits. Maybe a paramedic, though.).

CBC News reports; Janice Tibbetts for the National Post reports. Videos from radio host Rob Breakenridge ( Calgary, CHQR) provides videos of Steyn's and Levant's opening statements to the committee and a podcast of an interview with Steyn. Comments from Andrew Potter for the Ottawa Citizen and John Geddes for Macleans.

Here are links to Steyn's and Levant's testimonies.

Wait, there's more:

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard recently visited Canada and talked about his most famous cartoon (the turban with the ignited bomb), the importance of free expression, and the threat he faces from Muslim fanatics. In the National Post, Adrian Humphreys reports.

So far as I can see, lots of folk these days are wearing turbans with ignited bombs. Too bad the bombs so often go off in their own homes, harming or killing their families and friends.

By the way, speaking of real issues, here is one: An American journalist wrote to me wondering where constitutional rights had got to in Canada. He is being sued by McMaster University for his revelation that about 80 kg of nuclear material is missing.

I am glad the CN Tower isn't missing yet. I understand that it is on the behead list and I have a great view of it from Avenue Road.

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