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Illustra Media on YouTube

Illustra Media, which has produced such videos as UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF LIFE and THE PRIVILEGED PLANET, has these videos available on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/IllustraMedia

Baylor, Incoming President Kenneth Starr, and Intelligent Design

Incoming Baylor University President to honor Intelligent Design professor 12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, April 1, 2010 By GROMER JEFFERS Jr. | The Dallas Morning News | gjeffers@dallasnews.com   A change in leadership certainly makes a difference. Past recent administrations at Baylor University in Waco have maintained sensible policies protecting scientific integrity against those who would force their dogmatic religious beliefs on unsuspecting students paying top dollar for higher education. The previous administrations have resisted efforts by some professors in the so-called “Intelligent Design” movement who sought to distort the principles of modern science to include religious teachings tantamount to creationist fundamentalism. Dr. Bob Marks is one of these professors in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department who has caused friction Read More ›

Elaine Ecklund to speak at Rice

 The Science and Technology Policy Program of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Rice University in conjunction with the Institute for Urban Research Rice University cordially invite you to attend SCIENCE vs. RELIGION What Scientists Really Think a conversation and book signing with author Elaine Howard Ecklund, Ph.D. Director, Religion and Public Outreach, Institute for Urban Research, and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rice University Wednesday, April 7, 2010 7:00 pm Presentation Doré Commons James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University Books will be provided for sale courtesy of Brazos Bookstore.   In the wake of recent controversies over intelligent design and the ethics of stem cell research, the antagonism between science and religion might seem more unbridgeable Read More ›

Evolution, Theistic Evolution, and Intelligent Design

— Below is a beefed-up version of a piece I posted here at UD  earlier this year. The version below appeared at the Chuck Colson blog.

Evolution, Theistic Evolution, and Intelligent Design

By William Dembski

In 1993, well-known apologist William Lane Craig debated professional atheist Frank Zindler concerning the existence of the Christian God. The debate was published as a video by Zondervan in 1996 and is readily available at YouTube. The consensus among theists and atheists is that Craig won the debate. Still, Zindler presented there a challenge worth revisiting:

The most devastating thing, though, that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

Zindler’s objection to Original Sin and the Fall is the subject of my just-published book The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World (see www.godornot.com, which includes a $5,000 video contest connected with the book). What interests me here, however, is the logic that is supposed to take one from evolution to the death of Christianity—and presumably to the death of God generally.

By evolution Zindler means a Darwinian, materialistic form of it, one that gives no evidence of God and thus is compatible with atheism (this is, in fact, what is meant by evolution and how I’ll use the term in the sequel). But Zindler is not arguing for the mere compatibility of evolution with atheism; he is also claiming that evolution implies, as in rationally compels, atheism. This implication is widely touted by atheists. Richard Dawkins pushes it. Cornell historian of biology and atheist Will Provine will even call evolution “the greatest engine for atheism” ever devised.

To claim that evolution implies atheism is, however, logically unsound (even though sociological data supports the loss of faith as a result of teaching evolution). Theistic evolutionists such as Francis Collins, Denis Alexander, and Kenneth Miller provide a clear counterexample, showing that at least some well-established biologists think it’s possible for the two to be compatible. Moreover, there’s no evident contradiction between an evolutionary process bringing about the complexity and diversity of life and a god of some sort (deistic, Stoic, etc.?) providing the physical backdrop for evolution to operate.

The reverse implication, however, does seem to hold: atheism implies evolution (a gradualist, materialist form of evolution, the prime example being Darwinian). Read More ›

The Templeton Prize for Regress in Religion

The Templeton Prize used to encourage progress in religion. Truly impressive people like Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Stanley Jaki, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn once received this prize (go here for past winners). In the last decade, however, the Prize has been continually given to people inhabiting the Templeton Foundation’s inner circle, who promise to keep contemporary science inviolate and make sure that religion keeps its hands off. With Francisco Ayala’s receipt of the prize yesterday, the pattern continues. Ayala is as thorough-going a Darwinist as one will find. According to him, science and religion reside in air-tight compartments. So much for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. The New Scientist appreciates the point: Templeton prize is bad news for religion, not Read More ›

New Peer-Reviewed ID Paper — Deconstructing the Dawkins WEASEL

Winston Ewert, George Montañez, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II, “Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle,” Proceedings of the the 42nd Meeting of the Southeastern Symposium on System Theory, IEEE, University of Texas at Tyler, March 7-9, 2010, pp.290-297. Abstract: Abstract—Computer search often uses an oracle to determine the value of a proposed problem solution. Information is extracted from the oracle using repeated queries. Crafting a search algorithm to most efficiently extract this information is the job of the programmer. In many instances this is done using the programmer’s experience and knowledge of the problem being solved. For the Hamming oracle, we have the ability to assess the performance of various search algorithms using the currency Read More ›

What Have Butterflies Got to Do with Darwin? Part II

Bernard d’Abrera is a world-class lepidopterist who writes books that are largely about butterflies but also provide him a springboard for critiquing the sham that is Darwinism and also for promoting intelligent design. Below is a post that appeared here at UncommonDescent in 2005 on the first book that he was kind enough to send me (please read the review of that book linked to my designinference website). Just recently I received his latest, Butterflies of the Afrotropical Regions, Part III. As with all his books, the typesetting and photography (all his own) are superb. The really fun part for me, however, is the introductory material, where he goes after Darwin, Dawkins, the Smithsonian, and other assorted villains. This newest Read More ›

Winston Ewert — With pro-ID grad students like this, Darwinian profs don’t stand a chance

Graduate Student Challenges Avida in Scientific Paper   Click here to listen. On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin interviews Winston Ewert, a graduate student in computer science at Baylor University who recently co-authored a paper titled, “Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism,” in Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. Ewert shares how reading Richard Dawkins led him to his current research in evolutionary computation and his criticisms of the Avida Simulation. Listen in as Ewert explains the scientific research behind his paper, and find out why intelligent design is attracting the interest of graduate students. For more on intelligent design research, visit The Evolutionary Informatics Lab and Biologic Institute.  

Al Gore comes out of hiding

Part of Al Gore’s credibility problem is his blatant conflict of interest, having profitted enormously from pushing AGW. Fortunately, ID proponents can’t say that we’ve lined our coffers pursuing ID. Sure, Barbara Forrest, Eugenie Scott, and Ken Miller constantly proclaim the contrary — from their well-heeled positions, funded largely by public moneys. In any case, this just in regarding our former vice president: A Blizzard Of Lies From Al Gore Posted 03/01/2010 06:41 PM ET Climate Fraud: Al Gore resurfaces in an op-ed to say that nobody’s perfect, everybody makes mistakes and climate change is still real. And he has some oceanfront property in the Himalayas to sell you. If hyperbole and chutzpah had a child, it would be the opening Read More ›