I had a great time last night at the ID colloquium on the UC Irvine campus, and had the opportunity to meet Paul Nelson for the first time. He is an extraordinarily bright, articulate, insightful, and congenial fellow.
The thought-provoking and information-filled seminar was excellent in every way, and I was particularly impressed with the UC Irvine professors on the opposing side (Walter Fitch, Timothy Bradley and Gregory Weiss). The debate focused on science, logical inference from the evidence, and state-of-the-art scientific research — with, of course, occasional and inevitable detours into the philosophical and theological implications of the issues — but always in a very respectful and civilized manner. Would that the ID/Darwinism debate be this civilized and informative in general!
Special kudos must go to Arthur Asuncion and those at iDesign UCI for organizing the event. I’ve asked Arthur to write up a news release which I’ll post at UD, should he take me up on my offer.
I chatted with a number of UCI students, and the sense I got was that, in general, the students are open-minded about ID and interested. A couple of them commented that they feel some hostility from the faculty, although I did not get this message from the three professors mentioned above.
I did notice a preponderance of young Asian students. 🙂 I spoke with a couple of them (one a double major in biology and philosophy, the other a computer science major).
Those pesky Asian college students are asking too many questions that shouldn’t be asked!