Salvador Cordova: Do you oppose the offering of courses on Intelligent Design and/or Creationism in the Philosophy and Religion Departments of secular universities?
Eugenie Scott: No.
They are quite appropriate for such courses. In general, in American universities, Religion departments offer scholarly analysis of religion, rather than devotional study, for which one would seek a seminary. Certainly the c/e controversy is a public controversy that bears studying as a public controversy (that’s why I wrote my book, after all!) Whether ID is a valid scientific or philosophical or theological approach can also be determined at the university level, and certainly is more appropriately determined there than by the local school board.
I think ID is more likely to be taught in philosophy and religion departments than in science departments
The above was from a public exchange Eugenie Scott and I had last year. I have no strong position on ID’s place in public school science classes, but I do have strong position on ID in the universities. This correspondence occurred after she and I were mentioned in the April 28, 2005 edition of Nature: Who has designs on your students minds?
The full correspondence can be found at the ideacenter website at : Part II : Correspondence Between Salvador Cordova and Dr. Eugenie Scott
Despite the fact her organization has been a major opponent of ID and creation science, and the fact her organization was involved in the Richard Sternberg affair, I was very much grateful for her courtesy in responding to me regarding ID in the universities. I was very flattered when she recognized me immediately when she came to give a talk at George Mason in December 2005. She’s a truly charming individual, and it’s too bad we’re on other sides of some bitterly fought issues.
Though I believe ID’s rightful place is eventually in the science curriculum, for the time being I would be glad to see it get a broader hearing in the universities under philosophy, religion, or special topics.
Some things have happened since that correspondence. I indicated to Dr. Scott that there were not complaints from students in our IDEA chapters regarding professors. That has since changed…