Atheism Intelligent Design

Professional atheists combine with SUNY-Buffalo to offer a masters of education

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Paul Kurtz’s Center for Inquiry is partnering with SUNY-Buffalo (the State University of New York) to offer an Ed.M. in “scientific literacy” (which will include a whopping dose of Darwinism and an assault on ID). For a description of the degree, go to their website.

Below is a description of the program from an email I just received. In reading it, ask youself what would happen if Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, which is far less sectarian than the Center for Inquiry, were to partner with a state university to offer a program in “scientific literacy.” It’s okay for the Center for Inquiry to promote atheism in the name of science but anything that even gets close to theism, like design, is streng verboten. And that in a country that proclaims we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights . . .

Explore the methods and outlook of science as they intersect with public culture and public policy. Understand the elements of scientific literacy. Earn the new master’s degree in general education (Ed.M.) with an emphasis in Science and the Public, a cooperative initiative of the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education and the Center for Inquiry.

This unique two-year degree, offered entirely online, is ideal for students preparing for careers in research, science education, public policy, and science journalism, as well as further study in sociology, history and philosophy of science, science communication, education, or public administration.

Some of the courses required to complete this 33 credit hour master of education degree program include Scientific Writing; Informal Science Education; Science Curricula; Critical Thinking; History and Philosophy of Science; Science, Technology and Human Values; Research Ethics. Students interested in receiving a Certificate in Science and the Public, issued by the Center for Inquiry, need only complete the last four courses.

Science and the Public website: www.scienceandthepublic.org

For more information about the courses in this program, contact John Shook, Vice President for Research, at jshook@centerforinquiry.net.

Questions relating to the program and tuition costs may be directed to Dr. Xiufeng Liu at xliu5@buffalo.edu.

Questions relating to applications may be directed to the Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services at gseinfo@buffalo.edu or (716) 645-2110.

16 Replies to “Professional atheists combine with SUNY-Buffalo to offer a masters of education

  1. 1
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    Given the definition of specified complexity in the glossary of The Design of Life (an object or event that is both easy to describe and highly improbable), which of the following are the result of an intelligent design process:

    a. Aardvarks
    b. Ardwolves
    c. Aaron, brother of Moses
    d. Abaci
    e. Abbeys
    f. Abbots
    g. Abbreviations
    h. Abdomens
    i. Abducens nerves
    And so forth.

    It’s a long question.

  2. 2
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    That’s my “scientific literacy” test.

  3. 3
    Ahmed Aouin says:

    Is a hope Intelligent Desnig is to be part of this course?

    Congratulations Doktor Dembski!

  4. 4
    EndoplasmicMessenger says:

    It’s an online course. Let’s flood it with ID’ers. Then file a class action suite when they try to flunk us all!

  5. 5
    AussieID says:

    I remember when I was doing my Degree that one lecturer basically stated that to pass his subject you had to buy his book … and use it as the only frame of reference. I wonder what texts will be on offer in this course, and what would hapen to the student who dared question the party line?

    EndoplasmicMessenger may have an interesting bent on the issue, though few ID people would want to waste money on a degree that produces those who are trained NOT to think, NOT to question and forever carry the Darwin Youth flag.

    In my Masters in Education I actually questioned Darwinian processes and was given a fair hearing: HD in fact! I think with ‘public policy’ being as one of the important areas that this will address, you can certainly see how this advanced degree is trying to train the next group of naysayers for the future.

    I love where taxpayers’ money goes!

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Hi Dr. Dembski

    When will you publish a mathematical refutation of Darwinism?

    Or do you think this has already been accomplished?

    Hoyle, Wistar?

    Darwinism is dependent upon beneficial mutations.

    But what is the probability of a beneficial mutation?

    Assume that beneficial mutations are so infrequent as to be irrelevant.

    Then other mutations must be the source. So what is the probability that a formerly neutral or detrimental mutation will become beneficial?

    Is it a strictly “chance” proposition? IOW, are the claims that evolution is not a chance proposition, at least in probabalistic terms, false?

  7. 7
    jstanley01 says:

    This unique two-year degree, available completely online, is ideal for students preparing for careers in research, science education, public policy, and science journalism, as well as further study in sociology, history and philosophy of science, science communication, education, or public administration.

    And more from the website…

    CFI’s program Science and the Public is offered in collaboration with the State University of New York at Buffalo to advance research and education concerning the public understanding of science and its intersections with public policy, culture, and values.

    TRANSLATION: Graduates of our school will become experts at shilling for more money and more money to be confiscated from the taxpayers, in order to throw it down the rat hole of junk science…

  8. 8
    SCheesman says:

    Forgive me, but I can’t see anything in the quoted text which speaks directly about atheism, or is anti-ID, unless such phrases as “scientific literacy” are understood to mean philosophical naturalism. I’m of the opinion that here at UD we are promoting true scientific literacy.

    On the contrary, I expect the discussions might be quite lively and wide-ranging. Most of the topics are quite broad, and certainly things I would encourage anyone to learn about. Is there a conspiracy hidden in there?

  9. 9
    SCheesman says:

    OK, you really do have to go to the web site (link given above) to find the hidden message..,

  10. 10
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Though evolution is supposed to be the grand central unifying principle of biology, the course outline does not expressly mention evolution in a list of scientific topics:

    The 21st century will pose a number of extremely serious challenges to both the United States and the world at large. These challenges include those around energy, climate change, population growth, gene-based technologies (cloning, stem cells, GM foods, reproductive technologies, and artificial life creation), surveillance and privacy, etc.
    — from http://www.gse.buffalo.edu/programs/lai/31/

    Also, for comparison, the Institute for Creation Research is seeking Texas state accreditation for an online master of science degree program in science education — see
    http://www.texscience.org/revi.....ticles.htm

  11. 11
    SteveB says:

    Not much is hidden on the website. A few select quotations:

    If the naturalistic outlook is to supplant the ancient mythological narratives of the past, it needs a new institution devoted to its articulation and dramatization to the public. The Center for Inquiry is that institution.

    It also explores the fringes and borderlands of the sciences, attempting to separate promising research from irresponsible pseudosciences, such as “creation science” and astrology.

    The Council for Secular Humanism (CSH) promotes naturalism and secular values to the public, and stimulates critical inquiry into the foundations and social effects of the world religions.

  12. 12
    chuckhumphry says:

    Mung,

    “Dr. Dr. Rev.” William Dembski (DaveScot ought to remember the great title) has clearly published numerous books, philosophical writings and mathematical formulas on ID theory. Other mathematicians clearly do not accept his views due to a mean-streak of jealousy within the inner workings of mathematical circles. They try to point out flaws in his logic, but even though I do not understand all their arguments, I know that Dr. Dembski is right.

    However, I do agree with you: Dr. William Dembski, when will you publish another extensive mathematical deconstruction of Darwinism?

  13. 13
    gleaner63 says:

    …back in the 80’s saw a debate between Dr. Paul Kurtz and Christian Apologist Dr. Norman Geisler. Very interesting debate. A copy is available from the John Ankerberg website and some of it has been posted on YouTube.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    However, I do agree with you: Dr. William Dembski, when will you publish another extensive mathematical deconstruction of Darwinism?

    What I am looking for is a mathematical refutation of “the mathematics of Darwinism,” which is accessible to the average reader.

    There are, in my opinion, two significant Darwinian claims:

    The probability of a beneficial mutation.

    The probability of fixation.

    A book available to the common reader which shows these two foundational aspects of Darwinism to be either (a) false or (b) refuted by empirical observation would be devastating.

  15. 15
    Mung says:

    To follow up on my post above:

    If it is admitted that the probability/rate of beneficial mutations cannot account for present diversity, one is forced to conclude that either (a) Darwinism must be false or (b) non-beneficial mutations can be called upon to “miraculously” fill in the “gaps.”

    So what are the chances, what are the mathematical probabilities involved?

    If beneficial mutations are too rare to account for evolution, what then can account for it?

    If the burden is placed on neutral and/or slightly detrimental mutations, what is the likelihood that the situations should so change as to make these mutations “miraculously” beneficial?

    Dr. Dembski is a mathematician. Has he ever systematically examined the mathematics, the probabilities, underlying Darwinism?

    Are there problems with the mathematics of Darwinism which can be made accessible to the common man?

    If so, has this already been accomplished (In Dr. Dembski’s opinion), either in Wistar or in Hoyle?

    Believe me, I am not criticizing or questioning Dr. Dembski. My concern here is to point out a possible weakness in Darwinian theory and to question whether this weakness has been exploited to the extent that it is understandable to the common man.

    How devastating would it be to the Darwinian argument to disclose that Darwinian evolution requires a certain number of or probability of beneficial mutations whereas actual empirical evidence shows that the expectations (predictions) are completely at odds with reality?

  16. 16
    Phinehas says:

    “If the naturalistic outlook is to supplant the ancient mythological narratives of the past, it needs a new institution devoted to its articulation and dramatization to the public. The Center for Inquiry is that institution.”

    I don’t get this.

    From a strictly scientific naturalism perspective, I thought things like altruism and morality were to be understood in terms of evolutionary processes. In other words, they’ve hung around for many years because they are in some way selected for. It seems to me that a belief in God and all of those “ancient mythological narratives” associated with it should be viewed from the same sort of perspective in order to maintain consistency.

    So, how to parse the desire to replace these things with a naturalistic outlook? The belief in God appears to have been selected for over atheism if one looks to differential reproduction. Why try to contravene what appears to be a beneficial mutation? So then, what is motivating the desire to see naturalistic outlooks supplant anything.

    The Center for Inquiry expresses its beliefs as if it is on some kind of crusade for truth. But why? From the naturalism framework, Mother Nature cares about survivability, not truth. And how? If naturalism does end up sweeping across the population, why must such a thing be understood as truth prevailing while theism was just about mutations and survivability?

    In the end, isn’t all of this just about selfish genes? How are we to understand the Center for Inquiry’s motivation other than as a bald-faced attempt to promulgate their own genes through the population at the expense of theistic genes?

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