Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

U of T intelligent design course generates huge rage? Why?


Apparently, a vast fracas started on the Small Dead Animals blog, sparked by some alarmblog comments about my course in the intelligent design controversy starting this coming Tuesday evening at the University of Toronto. I posted this response.

I'm a student at St Michael's taking a M.Th. Unfortunately, I only come down for classes on Thursdays so I will not be able to attend the course. I heard on ETWN that the Catholic church educates more people globally than any other entity. What a difference it would be if the church decided to teach ID with evolution. No wonder the atheist are worried. The vitriol in their comments make me wonder if John 3:20 is accurate here: "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." Peter
I thought this course was at University of Toronto not St. Michaels. jerry
While, yes, she could have tried for getting it under the biology department that's pretty much like asking for a fight... Patrick
Now I'm getting even more confused than usual, which is saying something. This is a course being taught in a department of "Scripture, Spirituality, and Pastoral Care" in a university that proudly identifies itself as seeking "to be Canada's leading English-speaking Catholic University." Shouldn't there be a big backlash against this on the part of design theorists, on the grounds that intelligent design is pure science, not theology? Since, after all, that is why it deserves to be taught alongside evolution in science classrooms? Or is the reasoning here that any university presence for ID is a good thing, regardless of the department or university? (i.e. there's no such thing as bad PR?) Carl Sachs
It is almost best to ignore these mud-slinging duels. They all seem to devolve into theist/atheist name-calling diatribes pandering to the lowest level. The few positive and informative comments stood out like breaths of fresh air (thank-you "ex-liberal"). Must go and shower. The level of discourse generally found at this site is a tonic to such offal. SCheesman
Take heart, Denyse. They are panicking because you are encroaching on their vaunted "science". They won't be happy until you are relegated to teaching some low-rent survey course in a theology department backwater. rrf
The course generates rage because you are presenting origins without assuming naturalism in advance. For the typical Darwinin, that is heresy. In their worldview, if you don't assume naturalism when delaing with origins, you are being "unscientific". They don't seem to understand that their "naturalistic" assumption is itself unscientific (untestable, unfalsifiable, etc, etc). Mats
Hi Denyse: I just love your course outline:
Session 1. The Big Bang: Blowing up a safe, tidy cosmology Session 2. From molecules to man: How did it happen? Session 3. Creationists: Are they crazy or what? Session 4. The universe: Bottom up or top down? . . . . Either mind comes from matter or matter from mind. What difference does either view make to our understanding of consciousness and free will? Session 5. Intelligent design: What the ID proponents actually say (and don’t say) Session 6. Why media routinely flub key events in the controversy
All I would add -- and maybe you don't have the available time, is a session on responding, perhaps through student presentations -- with maybe an invited expert or two to comment. [Perhaps picking the three or four best term papers and forming a panel . . .?] Is there a parallel web-presence for the course, maybe also having the students make an internally available Wiki, incorporating their term papers etc? Then, post course you could allow adjustment in light of the grading and final discussions and then put up the Wiki publicly? What do you think? GEM of TKI PS: I am currently groping towards a model for doing this sort of thing . . . kairosfocus
Somebody posted something about it on pandasthumb.org a few days ago. John Kelly

Leave a Reply