Monday, December 10, 2007

Never A Dull Moment

Will Science and Religion Kiss and Makeup?

Peter Smith at The Courier Journal gives us an interesting story about a odd couple in this great conversation about science and religion, or more detailed, Evolution vs Creation.

In the center of the Bible Belt and therefore the anti-evolution universe we find Rev Michael Dowd author of “Thank God For Evolution” and Connie Barlow, “From Gaia To Selfish Genes” his wife conducting a campaign, they want to make the “evolutionary story” as interesting and relevant as the Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, Kentucky.

They had the nerve to take Michael and Connie into the Creation Museum with the cameraman in tow, whether they realized Michael was an evil evolutionist (conflated to evolutionist don’t forget) or not, it apparently went well and Dowd and Barlow continue with their campaign, visit them and give them support, rational thought and religious conviction can work together, unlike Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, says, and this example shines through the murk.

Meanwhile in Iowa and Texas, being an Intelligent Design supporter in the Science Faculties is getting more difficult.

1. Intelligent Design theory influenced ISU tenure vote, The Des Moines Register, December 1, 2007.

2. State Science Curriculum Director resigns under pressure, Channel 8 News, Austin, Texas, December 3, 2007.

These two stories appear opposites and I find curious, one a professor failing to get tenure because the faculty voted his application down, for the simple reason that he supports Intelligent Design (a now discredited idea) even though his area of expertise does not involve it or evolution.

The other is a curriculum board member resigning because she opposes Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design has been discredited in court and in the science literature, many times, so why does she feel she has to resign. Chris Comer told the News reporter that she had no comment and had retained council. I suspect she has a good case and the allegations of misconduct and insubordination are false and put out to try and cover this incident for what it was.

I tend to supporting both parties, after all, if you are a in the Physics and Astronomy faculty like department and biological evolution or intelligent design is not taught in your classes and tutorials then tenure should be based on your performance and published work, not how you feel about unrelated material.

The second is more complex because internal politics has by all observations conspired to make her life difficult, and thus she must make her case, which I am confident she can win, since those pressuring her are ignorant of the law.

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