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ID advancing in Virginia, Dawkins and fellow Darwinists fight back

ID is quietly advancing in the mother state of one-fourth of the American Presidents. I do not know if the advance of ID in Virginia means anything to Richard Dawkins, but 4 of his 17 scheduled stops in his God Delusion world-wide book tour will be in the Virginia/DC area! Coincidence?

Unlike Kansas, the ID battles in Virginia are not in the school boards but in the colleges, communities, newspapers, and blogsphere. Both sides of the debate seem content with leaving Virginia slightly above Kansas with a D- in the Fordham Foundation public school rating for Darwinism. So there is really no public school fight in Virginia over Darwinism. The real battle is at the university level and could be an important one for ID, imho, especially in a post-Dover world. Will we see endowed pro-ID university chairs in Virginia in the future? We’ll see….

In the face of the rising ID sympathies in Virginia, Darwinists are resorting to less-than-ethical measures to enforce their pseudo-scientific dogma. They recently managed to dismiss Dr. Caroline Crocker, a pro-ID professor of cellular biology, from George Mason. Crocker actually held dual teaching positions at George Mason and Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). However, during a public talk yesterday, she revealed Darwinists have now managed to pressure her out of a teaching position at NVCC as well. They did so in spite of stellar student evaluations of Crocker.

Caroline Crocker announced her departure from NVCC in a talk delivered at a community meeting at McLean Bible Church (MBC) in Virginia yesterday, September 24, 2006.

The church she spoke at, MBC, is an influential mega church that meets in a colossal 80 million dollar church campus financed by many of the parishioners who work in the high-tech industry of Fairfax Virginia, the internet capital of the world. MBC is headed by a Johns Hopkins PhD and messianic Jew by the name of Lon Solomon who is fiercely pro-ID. The church campus is colossal, with multiple sanctuaries and auditoriums, an indoor mini-mall (where Starbucks coffee is sold), classrooms, and offices. MBC’s support of ID is not as big a news item as the Pope’s support of ID, but in the Northern Virginia area, MBC’s support is important.

This influential church is becoming a focal point for advancing ID into the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland Metro area. Crocker’s talk was a pre-cursor to a host of pro-ID speakers in November at MBC:

Michael Behe
Paul Nelson
Guillermo Gonzalez
Bruce Gordon
JP Moreland
William Lane Craig

I met some students for the first time at MBC this week. One was a summa cum laude bio alum from George Mason. Another was a freshman bio student at NVCC. Both accept ID and think Darwinism is garbage. I also met a chairman of a physics department at a prestigious school who accepts ID as well as many of his colleagues. These encounters are consistent with my hypothesis that as many as 1/3 of today’s biology freshman in college are sympathetic to ID and are often supported by ID-sympathetic faculty.

The area surrounding MBC is home to NIH, Johns Hopkins, NASA, numerous bio-tech and engineering firms, and numerous high-tech aerospace and defense contractors encircling the nation’s capital. This is the highest per-capita concentration of technology talent in the world, and a large percentage are sympathetic to ID. I meet a pro-ID NIHers all the time. Given this, I don’t think it will be too long before an ID-friendly organization will form in the area to focus the area’s intellectual and financial resources toward further exploration of ID.

I commented before that imho it is fruitless to try to persuade die-hard Darwinists sitting on the peer-review committees and school boards. Time and energy are better focused on the next generation of scientists who can be reached through channels outside of government-approved Darwinist indoctrination camps (otherwise known as public schools). And this outreach is happening in Virginia.

PS

Links to a TV program describing Crocker’s ordeal at GMU can be accessed through Crocker and Sisson’s TV appearance. A report of her teaching at NVCC can be accessed through : An insurgency that aims to topple Darwin

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29 Responses to ID advancing in Virginia, Dawkins and fellow Darwinists fight back

  1. Why does anyone insist on continuing to kick the dead Darwinian horse? Just lay back and watch it self destruct. It is much more gratifying and it requires no input from any outside source whatsoever. So why dignify the process? Responding to them only delays the inevitable outcome. Since they have chosen to ignore me and all my sources, I recomend others now join me by ignoring all of them. They are laughable, all of them, no exceptions.

    I love it so!

    “Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  2. “Why does anyone insist on continuing to kick the dead Darwinian horse? Just lay back and watch it self destruct. It is much more gratifying…”

    Oh, I think a kick or two is a little bit gratifying ;P

    But yea I agree w/ Dr. Davison and Sal, no need to try and persuade the utterly closed minded.

  3. It seems to me that there is an interesting correlation between the overwhelming appearance of design in the cosmos and living systems (admitted to by even the most strident and vociferous materialists), and the overwhelming ubiquity of Dawkins’ “God delusion.”

    Both require an incredible amount of fancy footwork and fanciful speculation to explain away. Could it be that design in nature is real, and that the huge amount of effort required to dismiss it represents the real delusion?

    I think that this question is one that more and more genuinely thoughtful and educated people are starting to ask — especially young people, and especially those in academia, who are traditionally averse to being told what to think and how to think on such issues. The more it is perceived that logical and reasonable challenges are being suppressed by authority, rather than being countered through rational argument and evidence, the more they will rebel.

    The rebellion will be interesting to watch.

  4. GilDodgen,

    Yes, asking questions is so powerful. But, what about all those mass numbers of people that swallow the party line and accept the Darwinian indoctrination with hardly a hiccup?

    Each of us have friends, neighbors, and family members that have bought into the greatest hoax in scientific history, as I believe John A. Davison expressed it. Perhaps we can begin raising the tough questions with them, and pointing out the gaping flaws in that amazing elixir of undirected natural processes that have achieved such dizzying heights without even breaking a sweat.

  5. [[OFF TOPIC]]

    Is there any place on the site to view other members profiles, or is that restricted to administrators only to check for trolls etc, etc??

  6. [[OFF TOPIC]]

    -Administator reading this – May I suggesst a backyard section to UD’s site where members (i.e. non-administrators) can post quieries about the site and/or suggestions etc, etc out of the main flow of posted topics such as is happening now??

  7. I would suggest an open thread each week where those types of inquiries could be addressed.

  8. Raising tough questions and pointing out serious gaps is not the same thing as presenting a viable alternative explanation.

  9. Carl Sachs,

    Why not teach the tough questions and serious gaps? Any legitimate answer will do. The alternative explanation for not teaching it is a canard and with your philosophical background, you know it.

  10. I have no problem with “teaching the tough questions and serious gaps” — none at all.

    But pointing out that an explanation is incomplete is not the same as saying that it is inadequate. Nor does simply pointing out that it is incomplete, by itself, show that there is an alternative explanation.

  11. Carl Sachs:

    But pointing out that an explanation is incomplete is not the same as saying that it is inadequate. Nor does simply pointing out that it is incomplete, by itself, show that there is an alternative explanation.

    In science — real science — pointing out that an explanation is incomplete opens the door wide to alternative explanations. While pointing out that an explanation is incomplete does not “by itself” show that there is an alternative explanation — yet, it only shows that an alternative explanation is being saught. Mainstream biologists are no longer searching for an alternative explanation, not because the explanation that is is complete, but because any other proposed explanations are anathema.

  12. 12

    So ID is “advancing” by having a pro-ID professor dismissed? By having mega-church hosted apologetics instead of success in neutral/secular settings? It sounds like you are agreeing with Dave Heddle’s proposal for “ID as apologetics” instead of a failed “ID as science” approach to influencing society.

  13. David vun Kannon,

    I believe Salvador is hoping for a sea change to take place in science over the years as many of those who believe in ID enter mainstream science and start publishing. The publishing would not necessarily be pro ID but still be mainstream science and these people would not have an automatic knee jerk response to ID as the current science community did.

    This is the same phenomena that the ultra liberals faced in the 60′s. They couldn’t affect society as much as they wanted so they were told to enter the establishment and convert from within. They did so and now control a lot of the universities in the US and Europe, the media and entertainment industry.

    Salvador’s approach would be a similar approach. It will be interesting to watch the liberals resist this incursion into their domain. We already see it in their attitudes toward criticism of Darwinism.

    Many who support ID do not like this type of support coming from a particular branch of Christianity anymore than those in the secular science community. It has the feeling of a conversion attempt. We will have to see how it will play out but it may take 30-40 years and many of us here will be gone.

  14. 14

    If Salvador is hoping that, it just seems to me that he has chosen a strange set of facts and/or descriptions to express that. If a pro-ID professor had received tenure at GMU or NVCC, or if a pro-ID thesis had been sucessfully defended at GMU – that I wuld agree to call an advance within the colleges of Virginia. Seeing a pro-ID professor leave teaching positions at GMU and NVCC – that isn’t an advance. “Advance to the rear” perhaps.

    Similarly, communities, newspapers, and the blogoshere are not the places to prove that ID is a scientific alternative to some aspect of NDE++. A talk at MacLean Bible Church is an advance to the rear compared to a talk at NIH as a goal of the ID movement.

  15. David vun Kannon wrote:

    So ID is “advancing” by having a pro-ID professor dismissed?

    Part of the title of the thread was “Dawkins and fellow Darwinists fight back”. The account of Caroline Crocker was consistent with that claim.

    You’ve effectively misrepresented what I said. If you can’t even represent accurately what I have written, then don’t post to this thread again. I shouldn’t have to waste time correcting misrepresentations of what I write.

  16. About the backyard thing, it was my understanding some sort of backyard forum was in the works. Perhaps Joel Borofsky can weigh in on that?

    It seems some here are eager to raise certain issues, and since they are the readers, I think it would be good to know what sort of thing UD readers want to read.

  17. 17

    Sorry, Salvador.

    I was reacting more to the content of your post than to the title. Let me unpack that question again as – how does the fact you report (pro-ID professor dismissed) support your opinion (ID is advancing in Virginia)?

    I can understand that you are trying to portray Dawkin’s doing 4 stops in the area as a reaction to ID advancing. But (as in the famous S Harris cartoon) “I think you need to be more explicit in step 2″.

  18. David vun Kannon,

    “Similarly, communities, newspapers, and the blogoshere are not the places to prove that ID is a scientific alternative to some aspect of NDE++. ”

    Hmmm, I thought it was supposed to be a good thing when the public discusses issues in science. Oh yes, we shall establish science-free zones throughout this free land where such topics are off limits, and limit the discussion to those establishment-approved locations where only the Darwinists are provided access to enter with their special code words. That will make for a much-improved society, no doubt. Besides, I am not sure that anyone suggested that we “prove ID” in all of these alternative places.

    By golly, it was also downright scandalous when those sneaky capitalists used to discuss alternative economic theories to Marxism in the ole’ USSR!! How dare they conducted their nefarious scheming in churches (to the extent they were allowed to exist), homes, etc. Why, they should have marched right into the Soviet Academy of Sciences to announce loudly that Marxism was flawed and needed replacing!! Yep, they were just moving backwards, they were.

  19. how does the fact you report (pro-ID professor dismissed) support your opinion (ID is advancing in Virginia)?

    I was not using the dismissal as support for the thesis ID is advancing in Virginia, I was using it to support the thesis that Darwinists in Virginia are fighting the advance of ID.

    There are many faculty and students sympathetic to ID. And at the least, 75% of students at one secular school in Virginia (James Madison) think ID and creation science are reasonable enough topics that they would be eager to study it at the college level. That poll was mentioned in Nature, April 28, 2005.

    At Virginia Common Wealth it has become public knowledge several of the science faculty are pro-ID. Richmond Times dispatch reported one of the medical professors rallying the students against Darwin.

    At UVa several science faculty reject Darwinian evolution.

    The same is true of Virginia Tech (where Henry Morris of ICR was once a department chair). I could go on and on…

    The interest by the scientists of tomorrow in Virginia is there. They need to be reached, and it won’t be through the public schools.

    I have often posed this question to creationists. “If the courts and legislatures said it was legal to teach the Genesis account in public school, would you want public school teachers [some a militantly athesitic as Richard Dawkins] teaching it?” The majority answer, “absolutely not”.

    There is a comparable situation with intelligent design. Probably only a fraction of public school teachers would be qualified to teach ID.

    The only exception would probably be distribution of teaching materials like Privileged Planet and Unlocking the Mystery of Life. The point is, mandated public school curricula might be the least effective way to get ID literature taught even in the unlikely event the courts and legislatures made such mandates legal. Probably the extent of what can be done (even if legal) would be to distribute ID videos, but beyond that, I don’t know what else could be practically accomplished at the public school level.

    Already a 1/3 of medical doctors reject Darwinian evolution, probably a comparable number of engineers. There is reason to expect this figure eventually appear in other disciplines especially if 1/3 of biology freshman today find Darwinian evolution fallacious, and they are able to matriculate to graduation.

    If you don’t accept that ID is advancing, fine. If you are a Darwinist, then you can sleep at night knowing your theory is under no threat of eventual rejection if indeed you believe ID is not advancing.

  20. I should mention there are completely legal avenues acceptable to both side for teaching ID in public schools in the USA through Equal Access Act and various related provisions.

    There is nothing preventing a public school teacher from assigning students an opportunity to write a report about about a video or book of their choice in the schools Library. This would be true in general, especially for a class such as English grammar and composition!

    The students can then, if they choose, watch ID DvDs. Some variant of this would probably be the most viable route for ID to get a hearing in public schools. It avoid the problem of anti-ID kids protesting they’re having to learn about something they find objectionable.

    I personally am aware of ID being promoted this way in public schools, namely through the initiative of the students themselves. And this is a constitutionally protected right.

    Since the major objection against ID is that is religious in nature (an objection I dispute, but for the sake of argument lets grant it). Here are some guidelines from the Department of Education:

    US Department of Education

    Teaching about religion: Public schools may not provide religious instruction, but they may teach about religion, including the Bible or other scripture: the history of religion, comparative religion, the Bible (or other scripture)-as-literature, and the role of religion in the history of the United States and other countries all are permissible public school subjects. Similarly, it is permissible to consider religious influences on art, music, literature, and social studies. Although public schools may teach about religious holidays, including their religious aspects, and may celebrate the secular aspects of holidays, schools may not observe holidays as religious events or promote such observance by students.

    Student assignments: Students may express their beliefs about religion in the form of homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free of discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. Such home and classroom work should be judged by ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, and against other legitimate pedagogical concerns identified by the school.

    Religious literature: Students have a right to distribute religious literature to their schoolmates on the same terms as they are permitted to distribute other literature that is unrelated to school curriculum or activities. Schools may impose the same reasonable time, place, and manner or other constitutional restrictions on distribution of religious literature as they do on nonschool literature generally, but they may not single out religious literature for special regulation.

    Salvador

  21. 21

    “Already a 1/3 of medical doctors reject Darwinian evolution”

    Do you have a source for this? It would be interesting to see how this has changed over time.

  22. Actually,

    A thought I had under equal access provisions and related regulations is that Teachers under whatever subject may invite students to exercise their free speech rights and grant that they can share one of their favorite videos with the rest of the class which expresses their view of origins. There is nothing legally hindering a teacher from allowing students to get acquainted with each other’s view point. Or inviting students to offer what’s on their mind in a civil manner. I think this sort of freedom is actually healthy.

    Under these circumstances, segments of Unlocking the Mystery of Life or Icons of Evolution could be shown.

  23. David,

    Regarding you question about the poll, see:

    New Darwin Dissent List for the 60% of U.S. Doctors Skeptical of Darwinian Evolution

    And HCDI poll

    Look at Question 6,” do you agree with ID or Evolution”, to which 33.67% said ID.

    Also 17.54% accept special creation.

  24. Thanks for the HCDI poll. I’m a statistically normal Jew. I feel so validated!

    I know this sounds dumb, but what happened to questions 2 through 5?

  25. Carl,

    Good question. If anyone figures out what happened, please feel free to post.

    Sal

  26. For those that might be interested, details on the conference at MBC can be found here:

    http://www.apologeticsconference.com

  27. 27

    BTW, I only found 3 stops in VA + DC on the Dawkins book tour. Are you including the Philadelphia stop?

  28. 1. Lynchburg (City that featured the 2005 Creation Mega-conference and home of Liberty University) on October 23

    2. Washington DC Ocotoberber 24

    3. UVa Charlottesville Library November 2

    4. UVa Charlottesvill Rotunda November 3

    That’s 4 of the 17 scheduled speaking engagmenets at: http://www.richarddawkins.net

  29. Fordham foundation on teaching evolution:

    Teaching Evolution 2001

    Six states rate an unsatisfactory D. They are Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The reasons for these weak performances vary.

    The standards of Arkansas and Wisconsin do not balk at use of the “E-word.” These standards mention evolution in the context of biology but treat it so skimpily that the coverage is useless or nearly so. They ignore human evolution altogether. It is hard to know the reason for this stratagem. Possibly, the standards writers hope to achieve a degree of scientific respectability while not ruffling creationist feathers.
    ….
    Illinois and Kentucky avoid the dreaded “E-word,” at least in the context of biology; Virginia comes close to doing the same.

    Yet,
    State Science Standards 2005

    Grade A, 96

    Evolution constitutes only about 5% of the science score. Apparently in 2005 somehow the Darwinists gave Virginia a clean bill of Darwinist health. They went from D to A in 4 years. Hmm…..

    Heck, now Virgnia can stay off the Darwinists radar screen on public schools since Virginia is supposedly grade A in science, including evolution.

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