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

September 24, 2009

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.


Mid-year switch: Would you change jobs like this?

September 23, 2009

At NorLa, Wheeler writes “I’ve been traded.”

Not really, but it feels similar. Starting Monday I’ll be leaving seventh grade US History for the high school and Civics, Free Enterprise and World Geography.

I like the parish in which I teach. My principal, not so much. While she’s a micromanager and extremely disorganized, I’m very independent and CDO (that’s OCD in alphabetical order, like it should be). As a teacher, my only request from administrators is to be left the heck alone. I have the best test scores in the school, I have no discipline problems, I’m never absent, the students like me and their parents like me. With those credentials, I figured any sensible principal would be more than happy to leave me be and go worry about stuff that actually needs attention. Not so at my school. I actually had a written reprimand placed in my personnel file because I abbreviated the days of the week on my lesson plans. That’s just one example.

It’s a good read, about why a good teacher would abandon students and leave his principal in a fix, mid-year.

There’s a lot of wisdom there, for an administrator who cares to learn.  Go see.


Quote of the moment: Victor Hugo, telescope vs. microscope

September 23, 2009

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a grander view?

– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, St. Denis, bk. III, ch. 3


Scouting as a tool to fight gang violence

September 22, 2009

Video from my council, Circle 10, in and around Dallas, Texas:

Interestingly, I’ve not seen the video before I found it on YouTube.  Have I just missed chances, or has it not been promoted as well as it should have been?


Glenn Beck doesn’t know Canadian health care

September 22, 2009

Just one more thing Glenn Beck doesn’t  know that he spreads disinformation about.

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Ideas are incombustible: Banned Books Week 2009

September 22, 2009

Banned Books Week 2009 is set for September 26 through October 3.

Which banned book will you read just to poke the eye of the censors, and to wave the flag of freedom and liberty?

Ellen Hopkins wrote several controversial books, including Burned which is out of favor in Pocatello, Idaho, close to my birthplace.*  She has written a Banned Books Week Manifesto, which she recites in the video.  You can read an interview with Ms. Hopkins at the site of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).

___________________

*  Does Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub have any readers in Pocatello?  Pocatello readers:  Do you know of anyplace you can get a copy of Burned to read, in Pocatello?

Banned Books Week resources:

Encourage others to read banned books, too:

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Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America, wants you

September 21, 2009

Interesting recruiting film for the Daniel Webster Council, BSA (New Hampshire).

More councils should spend a little more effort filming the reasons to join, I think — and put the films on YouTube.

Do you know of other good Scout recruiting videos — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or Campfire?


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