Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Evolution vs Intelligent Design

Here's the press release for the upcoming OSU Socratic Club debate. I hope some of you can make it. Its gonna be a good one:

The Oregon State University Socratic Club will feature a debate on the topic, "Evolution versus Intelligent Design: Scientific Assumptions in a Free Society," on Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m. in the Ballroom of the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on the OSU campus. Speakers are Michael Ruse of Florida State University and Cornelius Hunter of Biola University. The debate is supported by a grant from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

Intelligent Design is the hypothesis that undirected evolutionary mechanisms are insufficient to account for the existence of certain organisms and biological processes. Proponents argue that the "irreducible complexity" of such systems confirms the action of a conscious designer to explain their existence. Intelligent Design has been strongly opposed by the scientific establishment, while its place in science classrooms as an alternative to the teaching of evolution has been hotly contested. Two leading experts, presenting widely-divergent points of view, will explore the scientific and philosophical merit and I.D. and evolution. Cornelius Hunter will argue that the assumption of an unevolved intelligence better explains the history of life forms than that of a mechanism of natural selection. Michael Ruse will argue that Intelligent Design fails to meet the criteria for genuine science and that naturalistic evolution provides a fully convincing explanation. Both speakers will be given equal time for their presentations and members of the audience will have the opportunity to address questions to them. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Michael Ruse is Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University, where he has taught since 2000. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol in England. He has authored or edited more than twenty books on evolution, stem-cell research, and the history and philosophy of biology. They include Debating Design: Darwin to DNA (with William Dembski, 2003), The Evolution Wars: A Guide to the Debates (2001), Cloning (with Aryn Sheppard, 2001), and Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion (2001). In 1981-82 Ruse was called by the ACLU as an expert witness during the Arkansas trial over the legitimacy of teaching Creation Science.

Cornelius G. Hunter earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Illinois. He is Adjunct Professor at Biola University and author of the award-winning Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil, as well as Darwin’s Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science. His most recent book, Science’s Blindspot, is forthcoming in 2006. Dr. Hunter’s research interests include optimal estimation and control of nonlinear systems and molecular biophysics.
The debate concludes the Socratic Club’s fourth year at OSU as a student organization. It is modeled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941 by C. S. Lewis. For more information see http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic.


ted said...

My vote of course in Intelligent Design. My back hair votes for evolution. So it's a tie as of right now.

everyday.wonder said...

Oh I am so there. This sounds like too dudes that are smart enough to actually bring the discussion to an interesting level. 98% of everything you read on this topic comes off as a completely inane rant (on both sides). Can't wait...