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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Intelligent design and popular culture: Darwin activism hits Toronto

I was out doing errands today, and what do you know? The Toronto city parking pay kiosks in my neighbourhood were plastered with signs advertising, “Intelligent Design: War on Science”, and a whole bunch of other stuff we should supposedly all rush down to see at the Brunswick Theatre.

Yeah really. Intelligent design’s war on science? How about: Creeps’ war on public property? That’s more like it!

If anyone catches these people, they should be made to remove all that stuff at their own trouble and expense. If they can’t afford regular advertising, that’s most likely because their cause isn’t popular. Unpopularity does not give them a right to deface public property.

Or am I whistling down the wind here? Is the point that Darwin’s brownshirts can do whatever they please?

Also, recently at the Mindful Hack, O’Leary’s blog on neuroscience issues:

Does quantum physics really say goodbye to reality?

The weak point of mysticism

Does advanced technology mean loss of spirituality? Not that you would notice.

My other blog is the Mindful Hack, which keeps tabs on neuroscience and the mind.

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.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

Animations of life inside the cell, indexed, for your convenience.

My review of sci-fi great Rob Sawyer’s novel, The Calculating God , which addresses the concept of intelligent design. My reviews of movies relevant to the intelligent deisgn controversy.

My recent series on the spate of anti-God books, teen blasphemy challenge, et cetera, and the mounting anxiety of materialist atheists that lies behind it.

My review of Francis Collins’ book The Language of God , my backgrounder about peer review issues, or the evolutionary biologist’s opinion that all students friendly to intelligent design should be flunked.

Lists of theoretical and applied scientists who doubt Darwin and of academic ID publications.

My U of Toronto talk on why there is an intelligent design controversy, or my talk on media coverage of the controversy at the University of Minnesota.

A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove’s critique of Darwinism.

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Intelligent design a BIG threat in Canada?: Well, how about an intriguing question, not a threat?

Apparently, a group called the Secular Alliance is sponsoring a meet at the MedSci building in downtown Toronto on the University of Toronto Campus on Thursday March 22, 2007, on the subject: "God and Evolution: Is Intelligent Design Ruining Science Education?"
Dr. Brian Alters, who directs McGill University?s Evolution Education Research Centre, made headlines when the SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) rejected his grant application because he did not give ?adequate justification for the assumption in the proposal that the theory of Evolution, and not Intelligent Design Theory, was correct?. (See coverage by the Montreal Gazette and NCSE.) Dr. Dan Brooks researches evolutionary biology and biodiversity at the University of Toronto, and is currently working on a new academic journal focusing on evolution. (See his homepage and two bios.)


My own comments on Alters' attempted raid on the public purse are here.
If you want to understand why the intelligent design controversy cannot go away, read By Design or by Chance?.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Intelligent design, Darwinism, and creationism in Canada: Online course riles BC teachers' federation

Here's one from back in early September, but it reveals something interesting. According to CKNW news, in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC)
Heritage Christian Online School has to 800 public and independent schools around BC promoting their website at bconlineschool.ca.

and their biology course discusses beliefs other than Darwinism. (A recnet regulation change permitted online schools in the province. The Federation wants the government to stop them:
"They're being offered courses that are religious in nature, that simply shouldn't happen, it isn't consistent with the purpose of public schools."
and of course they want the government to step in.

The course description for Biology 11 a la Christianese is
Description:

Biology 11 will inspire students in the complexities and beauties of God\'s creation.
The aim of the government learning outcomes is to teach evolution starting with an abiotic soup and continuing through to the emergence of man. This course is designed not only for the student to become fully aware of what evolutionist thinking entails but to systematically address each argument by pointing out its weaknesses as it is presented. By contrasting Creationism and Evolution, students will develop a scientifically sound way of looking at our world, that is based Biblical truth.

I'd be concerned too, because I think this is a sell job for creationism, rather than an invitation to students to think critically. But I wonder whether the same teachers' federation would show as much concern for blatant promotions of materialism in a biology text? See the thinkquote below.

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