Intelligent Design

The biggest ID event to date — sponsored by medical doctors

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On Friday evening, September 29, 2006, several of us (Mike Behe, Jonathan Wells, Ralph Seelke and I — I was a last minute add on) spoke to a crowd of almost 4,000 people at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa, usually devoted to sports events such as basketball games. The event was sponsored by Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI). It was organized by Tom Woodward (author of Doubts About Darwin), Rich Akin, and some hard-working volunteers.

The audience consisted mainly of people interested in learning about ID — students, faculty, and parents. There were a few Darwinists present, who contented themselves largely with handing out leaflets (“ID Is Not Science”) and shouting “Darwin” as they skulked out of the Sun Dome. True to form, the USF biology department officially boycotted the event, which was carried live on a local radio station.

For more information go to http://www.pssiinternational.com/save_the_date.htm.

24 Replies to “The biggest ID event to date — sponsored by medical doctors

  1. 1
    Scott says:

    lol @ the evangelizing Darwinists.

    Gimme that old time religion and don’t bother me with the facts.

  2. 2
    PhilVaz says:

    I was there. About half full, so 4000 is about right. Keep the Church booths away from the Discovery Institute booth next time if this is “all about science” as DI rep Todd Norquist told me. But anyway, it was enjoyable. I recorded it all. Some of the questions were somewhat challenging. I missed the St. Pete Radisson hotel meeting, but here is the entire Sun Dome talks (2:50:50)

    http://www.bringyou.to/IDUSF09292006.mp3

    Darn I missed the leafletting Darwinists, I must have got there too early.

    Phil P

  3. 3
    todd says:

    💡 okay people, this is the age of distributed information – where is the podcast video/audio of this event or when will it be available? 😯

  4. 4
    todd says:

    Sweet Serendipity Phil! 8)

  5. 5
    todd says:

    I found this page, if anyone is wondering.

  6. 6
    leebowman says:

    The sponsoring organization, PSSI, also known as Darwin Dissenters, lists 149 members on their website, a number that will likely rapidly increase, and states:

    “As medical doctors we are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the origination and complexity of life … ”
    Go here for more:
    http://pssiinternational.com/

    And not surprisingly, here’s what a Skeptics group from Florida had to say about the event:

    “The Christian Right is once again assaulting science and reality with primitive superstition and illogic ..”
    Go here for more:
    http://ga1.org/center_for_inqu.....id=2277616

    They’re also raising ire in other groups, like the Florida Citizens for Science, who asked their members to show up in numbers, and who inquired online as to how to meet the challenge. Here’s some of the member responses:

    “Well, it concerns me that some quack doctors are using their credentials to persuade others to dispute evolution as a foundational scientific truth. Evolution is supported by vast evidence from many diverse scientific fields. Intelligent Design is supported by philosophy and theology…”

    “Here is a thought. Let’s find a biologist who could dress up as Charles Darwin and give an impassioned defense of evolution in front of the Sun Dome right before the event starts. I do not know if we can find a biologist who has some acting ability so that it would be entertaining as well as informative. It would certainly attract the attention of the media and get our point across forcefully.”

    “Yes, I’ll come on 9-29. Physicians, I’ve read, often have a god complex. They really do think they know everything. In this case, they’re using their medical reputations for a fraud.”
    (more):
    http://www.flcfs.org/wp/?p=234

    PSSI should have a video file of the event up soon.

  7. 7
    scordova says:

    Phil,

    You said ID is “all about science”. Can you provide a set of verbatim quotes from major ID leaders who use exactly those words?

    The premises of ID can be formulated from purely scientific premises and it may have metaphysical implications (as stated by Behe and Minnich in Unlocking Mystery of Life).

    Can you provide a verbatim quote by a major ID leader who says, “ID is all about science”?

  8. 8
    JasonTheGreek says:

    Lee- I think this proves one thing. Darwin is, indeed, a saint to many in the Darwinian camp. They adore the man so much, you’d think he was their god.

    Darwin day, Darwinism, darwin defenders. The thought that these people worship the man in some sense actually sort of creeps me out. Dress like Darwin and speak outside the convention? Weeeeeird.

  9. 9
    Patrick says:

    Now if one of them showed up as the Flying Spaghetti Monster that’d be pretty cool…if just to see the costume.

  10. 10
    Mats says:

    The way that militant Darwinists defend their theory is not the way people would defend a normal scientific theory. Clearly, Darwin means much more to them that they are willing to admit.

    The way they went on shouting “Darwin!” is hilarious.

  11. 11
    PhilVaz says:

    scordova: “You said ID is ‘all about science’. Can you provide a set of verbatim quotes from major ID leaders who use exactly those words?”

    I was quoting Todd Norquist of the DI. He told me this is about science or “all about science” and that “there is a controversy” because “just look at these pictures of Haeckel’s faked embryos.” I said: “No, that’s just a mistake that needs to be corrected. There is no controversy about evolution in the science community.” And off we went for about 30 minutes.

    I got to speak with Drs. Behe and Wells for about 20 seconds since there were people lining up behind me. It was fun. I support ID in the lower-case sense of Vatican Council I and Romans 1:19-20. Not so sure about the UPPER-CASE sense.

    http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/philos.htm

    Phil Porvaznik

  12. 12
    scordova says:

    Phil,

    Please give me a quotation from the literature of a major ID proponent.

    Do you have a verbatim quote in writing by a major ID proponent who said, “Intelligent Design is all about science”.

    Did Todd Norquist say, “Intelligent Design is ALL about science”?

  13. 13
    crandaddy says:

    There were a few Darwinists present, who contented themselves largely with handing out leaflets (”ID Is Not Science”) and shouting “Darwin” as they skulked out of the Sun Dome.

    Does this impress anybody else as being eerily similar to evangelistic behavior. Compare this behavior to missionaries passing out tracts about salvation and shouting “Jesus”.

  14. 14
    PhilVaz says:

    scordova: “Did Todd Norquist say,’Intelligent Design is ALL about science’? ”

    That’s what I remember. We talked about the following in about 30 minutes right before the Wells and Behe talks in the Sun Dome, at the DI booth. These are not direct quotes (I didn’t record the conversation) but from notes I made after I got home. I’ll probably write a short article dealing with each of them for my site. The “homework” has already been done by TalkOrigins and PandasThumb, and I’ll be sure to read both sides.

    Todd Norquist (“Community Liaison” for the DI, Email Todd@discovery.org) and I discussed:

    “Peppered moths don’t rest on tree trunks in the wild.”

    “There is no ‘tree of life’ as Darwin predicted.”

    “Haeckel’s faked Embryo drawings proves there is a controversy on evolution.”

    “There is no answer to ‘information’ in DNA, thus intelligence is required.”

    “The Discovery Institute’s claims on I.D. are all about science” — i.e. they are scientific claims and scientifically accurate

    We talked about the “600 Scientists” list who are skeptical about evolution and natural selection vs. “Project Steve”

    I mentioned the stack of papers and books placed in front of Behe at the Dover Trial on the evolution of the immune system

    Logic problems with Ken Miller’s response to the TTSS being part of the BF, and Miller’s response to Behe’s mousetrap example.

    A Scott Minnich paper shows TTSS comes from the BF, not the other way (this one I might not have recalled correctly, but I think that’s what Todd said)

    That “PandasThumb.org has no trained scientists or biologists who contribute to their blog.” (again not a direct quote, but I’m pretty sure that’s what Todd said)

    I mentioned Vatican Council I on intelligent design, that it is dogma in the Catholic Church, but this is lower case id.

    Anyway, it was fun.

    Phil P

  15. 15
    scordova says:

    Phil,

    I have contacted the Discovery Institute and informed them you are claiming to quote Todd Norquist.

    I was informed by sources there that Todd may or may not be available to respond here.

    In the meantime I point out your quote is second hand and there is no opprotunity for us to even verify the context of the quote.

    If you suggest that a DI representative says “ID is all about science” and then suggest that the statement is somehow disingenuous because ID may have metaphysical or religious implications (as Behen and Minnich point out in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, I invite you not post here at UD again.

    Again, I invite you to post were there is a verbatim quote in writing by a major ID proponent in ID literature who said, “ID is all about science” with the context and reference.

  16. 16
    PhilVaz says:

    scordova: “I have contacted the Discovery Institute and informed them you are claiming to quote Todd Norquist. ”

    The “design inference” is a scientific inference and based on scientific principles. That’s all he probably meant by I.D. is all about science. Of course there are metaphysical or theological implications, no one’s denying that. Not even the Catholic Church which accepts lower-case i.d. (Romans 1:19-20; and similar words in Wisdom chapter 13).

    Fine, throw me out of the blog. Ban me. Todd is getting his material basically from Wells and Behe, so I’ll probably write something responding to the statements in their books. Then my evolution-creation-ID section will be complete.

    No need to get upset, I am basically on your guys side, and like to toss in a little comment here and there when you blog on the Pope. I rarely post in here in case you didn’t notice. I do the same at PandasThumb or the Infidels and rarely post there. I would be upset if you banned me from the Catholic Answers boards though. Hee hee. But go ahead and ban me here, if you must.

    http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/philos.htm

    Phil P

  17. 17
    scordova says:

    Phil wrote in comment #2:

    Keep the Church booths away from the Discovery Institute booth next time if this is “all about science” as DI rep Todd Norquist told me.

    Phil wrote in comment #16:

    The “design inference” is a scientific inference and based on scientific principles. That’s all he probably meant by I.D. is all about science. Of course there are metaphysical or theological implications, no one’s denying that.

    Not even the Catholic Church which accepts lower-case i.d. (Romans 1:19-20; and similar words in Wisdom chapter 13).

    Nice to see you’ve come around. No reason to keep the church booths away.

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    Keep the church booths away!!! It gives the impression that ID is a conversion attempt. Every time ID is associated with religion it takes a step backwards as science and the Discovery Institute looks disingenuous.

    If Behe and Wells are being paid by religious organizations then no matter what they say or show will get a fair hearing. If they are not getting paid by them, then keep religious organizations away.

    Or are we saying that ID is out of the closet and is really a stealth religious movement and Judge Jones was 100% correct.

  19. 19
    Patrick says:

    Religious groups are always going to be involved to a certain extent since ID gives epistemic support in the form of greater explanatory power for their theology. Heck, are we supposed to tell Bill to stop discussing theology every so often on his own blog?

  20. 20
    Ekstasis says:

    Member of Florida Citizens for Science, as quoted above:

    “Physicians, I’ve read, often have a god complex. They really do think they know everything. In this case, they’re using their medical reputations for a fraud.”
    (more):

    So, the Materialists are now taking shots at doctors! Oh yes, these nefarious individuals that help cure diseases and bind up wounds have a “god complex”.

    These individuals who know, from real life experience, more about how the human body functions than anyone else on the planet, have the audacity to hold opinions on whether all this could have come about by time and chance. Why, they need to sit down and keep their mouths shut while others spin endless speculative tales of undirected accidental occurrences with nary a shred of evidence.

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    Patrick,

    I don’t disagree with you about the implications. But when church organizations hang out at a supposedly science events, then the science loses. Religious groups can discuss ID all they want in their own places but when ID is supported by them, then the science is tainted.

    How can you argue with someone who says that ID is not science but religiously inspired when these religious groups are supporting the main venues where ID is discussed.

    Would you expect to find church organizations at any other science forums? Keep them away. It makes the job more difficult.

  22. 22
    scordova says:

    Jerry wrote:

    Keep the church booths away!!! It gives the impression that ID is a conversion attempt.

    Jerry,

    I understand your sentiments, but given that Darwinist were permitted to be handing out pro-Darwin leaflets at the event, I think it would be hard to discourage the involvement of religiously minded fold wanting to set up a booths.

    Furthermore, I think it would be hard to get 4000 people to gather into a sundome for an event that had no personal relevance to them. The scientific questions involved, as Dawkins said, “monumental”. To a good number of people out there, the scientific hypothesis of ID is compelling because of it’s metaphysical implications. From a marketing standpoint (and ID needs money and talent from private individuals), this makes sense. ID’s not going to be getting government research money any time soon, and neither will it be getting the blessing of University science departments controlled by Darwinists who refuse to be objective about the evidence.

    Informing private citizens like physicians, vetrinarians, independent biotechnologists, independent researchers, engineers etc. is a more promising avenue, imho.

    The ID movement can either try to appease critics who will never be appeased, or reach out to those willing to study the discipline with deep interest.

    And finally, if a scientific audience is so prejudiced by the peripheral issues to the science of ID, that they can not objectively evaluate the evidence for itself, perhaps those aren’t the kind of folk ID wants to court anyway.

  23. 23
    scordova says:

    How can you argue with someone who says that ID is not science but religiously inspired when these religious groups are supporting the main venues where ID is discussed.

    I don’t argue with them, they hardly deserve an ounce of time trying to persuade. If religious inspiration were a litmus test against good science, one would have to reject most of known science since the discipline of science had strong roots in Christian theology.

  24. 24
    ToddNorquist says:

    Greetings, I don’ t have a lot to say here but I’d like to note that I did NOT say that “PandasThumb.org has no trained scientists or biologists who contribute to their blog.” Phil badly misquoted me there. He also misquoted me when he claimed I said that “There is no answer to ‘information’ in DNA, thus intelligence is required.” I never used these words, nor the meaning conveyed here of an argument from ignorance. Apostrophes around the word INFORMATION are, of course, his (I believe the ‘information’ is totally real). Intelligent design is a positive argument based on the canon of everyday experience of cause-and-effect relationships of the world. To date, intelligence is the only known source for the generation of large amounts of useful information. I most certaintly did not cast ID as a negative argument as Phil suggests.

    Finally, I’d be surprised if Phil could quote me accurately because he was continuously interrupting my answers to his questions during our conversation. This made it a very unusual conversation, to say the least. In fact, I had to ask him to stop interrupting me at least three times, and that number was in no way indicative of how many times he interrupted me. I kindly asked Phil to contact me if he had more questions, but I did not ask him to post my e-mail address and a play-by-play of our conversation, which at points misrepresents my words. That’s all I have to say here and I’m happy to communicate with anyone who has more questions.

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