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Intelligent Design


Smithsonian to screen anti-evolution film

An anti-evolution group has announced plans to screen a documentary at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The Discovery Institute, a Seattle group that supports the "intelligent design" creationist theory, said on its Web site the group and museum operators "are happy to announce the national premiere and private evening reception" June 23 for the movie, "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe," the New York Times reported Sunday.

However, museum spokesman Randall Kremer said the event should not be taken as support for the views expressed in the film. "It is incorrect for anyone to infer that we are somehow endorsing the video or the content of the video," he said. He said the museum allows organizations and corporations to use its Baird Auditorium in return for contributions. The Discovery Institute has given $16,000 to the museum.

The documentary, based on a 2004 book by Guillermo Gonzalez, an assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University, and Jay W. Richards, a vice president of the Discovery Institute, argues an intelligent being created the Earth and universe.

The Washington Times, May 29, 2005

Discovery of Complex, Precise DNA Language Points to Intelligent Design of Life

Science, seen as the enemy of religious faith for over a hundred years, is now becoming the believer’s best friend. As scientific discoveries continue, the recourse to Darwinian Evolution is becoming more improbable as attested in a recently published article on DNA by Mario Seiglie in the May edition of “The Good News.”

Mr. Seiglie’s article, which compiles evidence from various scientific sources, presents the amazing reality that our DNA is, in essence, the carrier of an intricate and complicated language that could not possibly have come about by random chance. Mr. Seiglie writes that “As scientists began to decode the human DNA molecule, they found something quite unexpected—an exquisite 'language' composed of some 3 billion genetic letters. "One of the most extraordinary discoveries of the twentieth century," says Dr. Stephen Meyer, director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Wash., "was that DNA actually stores information—the detailed instructions for assembling proteins—in the form of a four-character digital code" (quoted by Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 2004, p. 224).”

To put it into layman’s terms “the amount of information in human DNA is roughly equivalent to 12 sets of The Encyclopaedia Britannica—an incredible 384 volumes" worth of detailed information that would fill 48 feet of library shelves!”

At the same time this immense amount of information is contained in a space that is only 2 millionth of a millimeter thick. Quoting molecular biologist Michael Denton, Sieglie explains that a teaspoon of DNA, “could contain all the information needed to build the proteins for all the species of organisms that have ever lived on the earth, and "there would still be enough room left for all the information in every book ever written" (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1996, p. 334).”

Critics of the idea that DNA has its own language fail to consider the fact that, as a language, it is extremely precise. As Mr. Seiglie points out “the average mistake that is not caught turns out to be one error per 10 billion letters. If a mistake occurs in one of the most significant parts of the code, which is in the genes, it can cause a disease such as sickle-cell anemia. Yet even the best and most intelligent typist in the world couldn't come close to making only one mistake per 10 billion letters—far from it.”

Most schools in the developed parts of the world are still using textbooks that present Darwinian evolution as fact. In the United States, however, there is an increasingly vocal push to present Creation Science as an alternate theory. This movement gains credibility as more scientists admit (some reluctantly) that science is disproving Darwinian Evolution.


Life Site News, May 24, 2005

For the full article: DNA: The Tiny Code That's Toppling Evolution


Debate over evolution simmers in red and blue states

Controversy goes deeper than meets the eye

Eighty years after the Scopes "Monkey" Trial, the battle between those who support the validity of biological evolution and those who oppose it rages on in Kansas - and in more than a dozen other states around the country.

The controversy may appear to be simply about the teaching of science in the classroom. But it represents a far more complex, widespread clash of politics, religion, science and culture that transcends the borders of conservative, so-called red states and their more liberal blue counterparts.

"This controversy is going to happen everywhere. It's going to happen in all 50 states. This controversy is not going away," said Jeff Tamblyn, 52, an owner of Merriam, Kansas-based Origin Films, which is making a feature film about the current fight over whether to introduce a more critical approach to evolution in Kansas' school science standards.

Hitting home

So far in 2005, the issue of evolution has sparked at least 21 instances of controversy on the local and/or state level in at least 18 states, according to the National Center for Science Education, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit organization that defends the teaching of evolution in public schools. Although such controversies regularly have occurred over the years, some attribute the recent wave to the success of conservatives in 2004 elections.

At the national level, one attempt to diminish the prominence of evolution in public school curricula and introduce alternative views came in the form of a proposed amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act.


Summer of 1925

In the summer of 1925, Clarence Darrow entered a Dayton, Tenn., courtroom to defend biology teacher John Scopes against charges of teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, after it had been banned by the state. The highly publicized trial was the basis of the 1955 Broadway play "Inherit the Wind" and the 1960 film of the same title.

Then, as now, the controversy over evolution revolved around two Darwinian theories that contradict the biblical version of creation: Darwin's assertion that all life, including humans and monkeys, descended from common ancestors and that it is all the result of natural selection and random mutation. While fundamentalists may recoil from these concepts, many religious authorities, including those in the Roman Catholic Church, hold that belief in God and evolution don't conflict.


As there was in 1999, when Kansas de-emphasized evolution in its school science standards - a move reversed by a more moderate board in 2001 - there has been snickering by critics over the state's "backwardness" and head-shaking over the idea that the validity of evolution, one of the foundations of modern science, is in question.

This has prompted many references to the famous question posed in an 1896 editorial by William Allen White, editor of Kansas' Emporia Gazette. Listing examples of what he deplored as the backwardness of the state, he wrote: "What's the matter with Kansas?"

But, if Kansas is "backward," it's not alone.

Year to date, at least 13 states have entertained legislation requiring a more critical approach to evolution in the classroom and/or allowing discussion of alternative explanations of the origins of humans, including the supernatural.

The most recent addition is New York, a true "blue" state, where an Assembly bill was introduced on May 3 requiring schools to teach both evolution and intelligent design.

Intelligent design, which some critics consider an attempt to get around the Supreme Court's ban on teaching overtly religious creationism, credits an unnamed intelligence or designer for aspects of nature's complexity yet unexplained by science.


Only a third believe Darwin

According to a November national Gallup poll, "only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence." The rest said they didn't know.


Upcoming battle

In September, what promises to be a test case on intelligent design will come to trial in Pennsylvania, where Dover-area schools last fall decided to require that students be made aware of intelligent design and of criticism of Darwin's theory.

Parents have filed a suit against the school board, arguing intelligent design is not science but creationism in disguise.

Proponents of intelligent design assert that there is a scientific rationale to their criticism of evolution.

One who testified at the Kansas public hearings is Jonathan Wells. A molecular biologist, Wells also is a sen