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Friday, October 20, 2006

Blogging from Minneapolis: Recent ID controversy news of interest

I am in Minneapolis where, courtesy of the McLaurin Institute, I gave a talk last night, co-presenting with Muslim ID proponent, Mustafa Akyol, at the journalism school.

The following won't contain many links, as I am not at my workstation, but here's some stuff to watch:

- Arch-Darwinist Richard Dawkins seems to have gotten hammered on Irish radio last week by well-known Irish commentator and journalist David Quinn. One listener remarked, "Dawkins is a formidable debater, but David Quinn absolutely embarrassed him – he had Dawkins on the ropes from the outset. It is a rare moment when Dawkins is left speechless and is well worth listening to." The debate starts at 7min 57 seconds lasts about 18 min. Go here and scroll down to October 9, 2006. Here’sPart II of the transcript.

My own view is that, now that Dawkins has chosen to devote his time to producing anti-religious media instead of providing support for ultra-Darwinism, he is of immeasurable help to the intelligent design guys.

- An activist librarian has succeeded in getting the book of essays by fans and foes centred on the impact of Phillip Johnson, the godfather of the ID guys, reclassified from the life sciences section to the religion section in a library, which she and some others consider a big victory.
I registered a complaint at the reference desk pointing out that ID is thinly veiled creationism and more appropriately belongs in the religion section or social science. (Unfortunately, the Dewey system does not have section for crackpot theories.) I pointed out that neither assertions of a flat earth nor a swiss cheese moon belongs in the science section.
In the inglorious tradition of activist librarians, she thinks she has done her duty by organizing the library according to her own understanding of the world - narrow, but firm. Activist librarians always fail. They used to hide books on sex, but reshuffling ID books is for those who have moved beyond that, I guess.

An ID advocate friend remarked, on hearing of the librarian's breathless escapade,
"This reveals something deeply troubling about our adversaries. They believe that by merely labeling something such and such makes it so. It's as if putting a skirt on a table can turn it into Reese Witherspoon.

This is not surprising. Those who think that something can come from nothing believe they reverse the favor in the direction of any reality they don't find pleasing.
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?

My U of Toronto talk on why there is an intelligent design controversy.

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.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being granted tenure at Baylor after a long struggle - even after helping in a small way to destroy the Baylor Bears' ancient glory - in the opinion of a hyper sportswriter.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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