1. Paul Nelson is such a cool and brilliant guy
2. I’ve never met him before
3. There are lots of extras at the event he is speaking at, such as:
William Lane Craig, Ph.D., D. Theol.
Thursday, November 16, 2006 7:30pm
Paul Nelson, Ph.D., Ã¢â‚¬Å“Intelligent Design in Three Easy StepsÃ¢â‚¬Â
Thursday, November 16, 2006 8:40pm
World Premiere of Lee StrobelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s film, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Case for a CreatorÃ¢â‚¬Â by Illustra Media
Friday, November 17, 2006 6:00pm
[ attendees get a free copy of their choice of Illustra Media’s other DvDs: Privileged Planet or Unlocking the Mystery of Life ]
J.P. Moreland, Ph.D.
Friday, November 17, 2006 7:30pm
Bruce Gordon, Ph.D., Ã¢â‚¬Å“String Theory and Cosmological Fine-TuningÃ¢â‚¬Â
Friday, November 17, 2006 8:40pm
Guillermo Gonzalez, Ph.D., Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Privileged PlanetÃ¢â‚¬Â
Saturday, November 18, 2006 12:55pm
Michael Behe, Ph.D., “Intelligent Design at the Foundation of Life”
Friday, November 18, 2006 2:40pm
The event will take place on a beautiful 43 acre 90-million dollar high-tech multi-media-equipped campus which has a cafe and Starbucks coffee store.
At Uncommon Descent we have highlighted the developments at the Vatican and within the Catholic Church which have been favorable to ID. I delight to report on the developments favorable to ID within conservative Evangelical Protestant circles, and thus I report on this event.
Contrary to the perception given by the media, ID has had some difficulty getting a warm reception in certain Evangelical circles, particularly the Creationist circles. It has been my personal desire to work at reaching and teaching Creationists. So these developments have been personally rewarding to see.
This is a Christian apologetics conference, but one thing of note is that it will explore science and history and the ideas and philosophies of OTHER religions. It is not about directly studying the Bible or some sort of Christian retreat. The conference has invited speakers who received PhD’s from respectable secular institutions ( 2 from Oxford, 1 for U Penn, 1 from U of Chicago, etc.). They are 22 highly regarded scholars in their field.
This conference is being hosted by a very influential mega-church which recently organized a Bible study to 100 members of the United States Congress. The conference is in McLean Virginia in Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington DC, home to the most educated population in the world (highest number of advanced degrees per capita) and home to the Silicon Valley of the East, and minutes from a community competing to become the Biotech Capital of the World. It is very typical to find scientists from NASA and NIH and other institutions in the churches of these communities (i.e. Francis Collins attends a church in nearby Bethesda). The conference is appropriately titled, “With All Your Mind”.
Though the host church is YEC friendly , there is a noticeable absence of any speaker from big name YEC organizations like AiG or ICR! This is news in and of itself!!! ID and its pro-Intellectual culture is now making serious inroads into Creationist circles.
In the secular colleges, ID-friendly speakers are invited to Christian events, AiG and ICR are almost universally ignored. This has been the case for a while. There is an important reason for this. AiG and ICR argue “from the authority of the Bible” in an anti-intellectual fashion, whereas modern defenders of the Christian faith will make their case from science and history and logic and often will only mention their deeply personal beliefs in passing. That is why I believe ID will be welcomed at such a conference and Bible pounding YECs will not. I do not think YEC militancy serves the Christian faith nor even the YEC cause in the end. And so, ironically, a YEC friendly church is hosting big name IDers, not big name YECs. This is news in and of itself.
To be fair, and in the interest of news reporting, some congregations in the surrounding area refused to participate and advertise the event because Michael Behe accepts common descent. Well, I say, it’s their loss if they wish to close their minds and not learn about important developments in biochemistry because Behe is not a Creationist. They can instead go to this event in Staunton Virginia: JMU Professor vs. AiG YEC, November 3 or Marshall Virginia: Mark Riddle (AiG), November 5 or Fairfax Virginia: Mark Riddle (AiG), November 6.
The Creationists of prior decades (with notable exceptions like A.E. Wilder-Smith) promoted their Christianity in an anti-intellectual way. This conference signifies a new direction. It emphasizes making the case for a creator by arguing history, empirical facts, and theoretical science. The speakers are good role models for young individuals who chose to study at good secular colleges where they had to engage a non-Christian world rather than have their beliefs remain unchallenged in insular enclaves.
I invite the readers of Uncommon Descent to register for the conference at:
Early registration gets you a $15.00 discount off of the $110 walk-in fee. You can also donate a little extra along with your admission fee. I donated $5.00.
Students 18 and under can attend for $20.
I look forward to meeting some of you.