Dembski’s students sent into the crucible of Darwinism, at SMU!


Oh, the sermons they’ll be able to preach!

We learn from a couple of sources that Bill Dembski has assigned his students in two different classes at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary to try to crash a program honoring Charles Darwin and evolution theory at nearby Southern Methodist University, on Thursday, September 24.

Fall 2009

Christian Apologetics (SWBTS #PHILO 4373 – Fall 2009)

<> New as of 09.16.09! Dear Class, I want to share with you a few things: (1) For extra credit I’d like you to go to SMU on September 24th. On that day there are two back-to-back events at SMU celebrating Darwin — go to smu.edu/smunews/darwin/events.asp and scroll down to September 24th. I don’t want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you’ll find there.

*     *     *     *     *

Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Evolution (SWBTS #PHILO 2483 – Fall 2009)

<> New as of 09.16.09! Dear Class, I want to share with you a few things: (1) For extra credit I’d like you to go to SMU on September 24th. On that day there are two back-to-back events at SMU celebrating Darwin — go to smu.edu/smunews/darwin/events.asp and scroll down to September 24th. I don’t want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you’ll find there.

You gotta wonder just what would happen if one of those abused students were to actually pay attention to the science, turn honest, and become a defender of science and Darwin.  SWBTS students are not required to swear to honesty, however, so it’s unlikely they will turn (not at the tuitions they pay!).

SMU’s Year of Darwin programs feature the NOVA episode on the Pennsylvania trial on evolution and intelligent design.  The NOVA piece will be screened, and discussions will include the Honorable John E. Jones, the federal judge who presided over the trial and has since been maligned unfairly by Dembski and other religionists who reject the views of science.  Other lecturers include reporter Laurie Lebo and the team that produced the NOVA episode:

Sept. 24, 2009

Reception 10 a.m.

Lecture 10:30 a.m.

DeGolyer Library

The Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and The Friends of KERA Invite the public to a special event in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th birthday of its author, Charles Darwin. Featured speakers will be Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, and Melanie Wallace, senior series producer of NOVA. Please RSVP to 214-768-3225 or cruppi@smu.edu, Complimentary Valet Parking.
Sept. 24, 2009

4-6 p.m.

O’Donnell Hall

Owen Art Center

Screening of “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” a NOVA documentary. Introduction by Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA, who received an honorary degree from SMU in 2008.
Sept. 24, 2009

Reception 6-7 p.m.

Panel 7-8:30 p.m.

Caruth Auditorium

Owen Art Center

A panel discussion on the legal, ethical and journalistic issues surrounding the making of NOVA’s documentary film, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial. Participants include John E. Jones, the federal judge who barred a Dover, Pa., public school district in 2005 from teaching “intelligent design”; Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace, NOVA producers of the documentary; plaintiff’s council Eric Rothschild; and Laurie Lebo, author of The Devil in Dover.
Sept. 25, 2009

10:30 a.m. – noon

Karcher Auditorium

Storey Hall

“Intelligent Design in the Classroom,” a panel discussion on First Amendment issues featuring Judge John E. Jones III, Eric Rothschild (Pepper Hamilton, LLP), Hiram Sasser (Liberty Legal Institute) and Lackland Bloom, SMU’s Dedman School of Law.
Sept. 25, 2009

10-11:30 a.m.

3531 Garson

Owens Art Center

Master class on Documentary Film Making, taught by Paula Apsell and Melanie Wallace of NOVA. Strictly by RSVP (to Teri Trevino, trevinot@mail.smu.edu)
Sept. 25, 2009

2-3 p.m.

Hughes-Trigg Forum

Lauri Lebo will speak on “From Dover to Texas: Reporting on Extremist Views in a Fair and Balanced World” followed by a book signing of her book, The Devil in Dover.

I have attended sessions around Dallas where Dembski and other ID creationists were the featured speakers.  We know one thing for certain:  Dembski’s students will be given a more polite and mannerly reception at SMU than Dembski and his crew give scientists and critics at their own sessions.  For years, since 1991 at least, SMU has allowed Dembski and his accomplices to use the facilities and good offices of SMU to promote their anti-science screeds, though Dembski’s views are not shared by Methodists, and are contrary to positions taken by the Methodist General Assembly.

It is impossible to imagine that SWBTS would allow Methodists to do the same thing, teaching and promoting science and especially evolution theory, at the seminary.

SMU’s program is open to the public (go to the SMU site above to see more events set over the next few months).

Dembski is teaching apologetics.  Creationist apologists are not licensed, and generally cannot be sued for pedagogical or theological malpractice, even by their students.  Standards for apologetics don’t exist.  Scientists, on the other hand, are subject to peer review, and if using federal funds, prosecution should they tell falsehoods.

Nota bene: SMU’s lectures on Darwin’s Evolving Legacy are available on video, on-line.  See the wonderfully informative and explanatory presentation by Dr. Barbara Forrest, for example.

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2 Responses to Dembski’s students sent into the crucible of Darwinism, at SMU!

  1. Nick Kelsier says:

    Hm, wonder if Kirk Cameron will show up as well.

    Like

  2. Mr. B says:

    As long as they don’t disrupt things too badly, I say send the SWBTS students over to SMU. I used to be fairly sympathetic to ID, and the thing that helped me most in discarding the whole movement was seeing the difference in the way that the “other side” argued for their position: coherently, with copious evidence, without resorting to tactics that indicated deceit or falsehood. Once I started really looking into why people were opposed to intelligent design, I became aware of why the whole deal was so deficient. Maybe there will be students who are like I was, eager to defend a position but honest enough to acknowledge when an argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny and to modify one’s own positions in light of new evidence and better understanding. I don’t know if that’s the case, but I tend to think what John Stuart Mill said about allowing dissenting opinions to be heard is true anyway and applies here – What is true will be further enforced by disproving falsehoods, and what is false will be cut down by asserting what is true.

    Let the SWBTS students come, and let the speakers and other parties at SMU be ready for them.

    Like

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