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MU Professor Taking the ‘Heat’

Columbia Medical Professor John Marshall made the case for scientific acceptance of Intelligent Design last night before 100 or so guests, and found himself taking fire from his peers for his view. Marshall, a signer of the ‘Dissent From Darwinism’ document and vocal supporter of ID as science is once again under attack for his views, perhaps the most prominent opposer being MU Biology Professor Frank Schmidt, who says he counted “21 distortions, 15 half-truths, and 10 untruths” in Marshall’s presentation. He further asserted that what Marshall was really doing was “cloaking a narrow definition of Christianity, which (he) found personally offensive”, and that it “really hacks (him) off”.

“It’s as much science as Darwinian evolution is science,” Marshall said. “And as a theory, I believe that intelligent design fits the evidence of biology better than Darwinian evolution.”

Marshall held up DNA as a possible example of intelligent design in action, calling it the “most complex, densely packed, elaborate assembly of information in the known universe.” He went on to say that DNA even bears similarities to computer codes or a language, e.g. a kind of organized complexity that could never derive from Darwinian means.

Where have we heard that before? More and more, scientists are coming to similar conclusions, which bolsters the case for ID. The extreme complexity of biologic life, and the requisite mechanisms for its very existence make the case for Intelligent Design. A detailed analysis of that complexity is due out soon in Michael Behe’s new book, “The Edge of Evolution”.

On more thing of note: MU has a program entitled, “Difficult Dialogues”, which is dedicated to promoting “Pluralism and Academic Freedom on Campus”. Taken directly from their site, “The MU Difficult Dialogues program is designed to stimulate rigorous intellectual inquiry, and to empower students to express opposing views respectfully and in the spirit of open-mindedness.”

Would not that entail acceptance of ID as a viable theory of origins, and certainly one ‘suitable for intellectual inquiry‘? Interesting that staunch ID critic Professor Schmidt is a sitting member of that group. Go figure …

Columbia Tribune News piece

‘Difficult Dialogues’ page

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7 Responses to MU Professor Taking the ‘Heat’

  1. But of course “rigorous intellectual inquiry” means verbal tirades by atheists and America haters and terrorist apologists, “to empower students to express opposing views” is to goad young people into debunking the Judeo-Christian ethic, and “respectfully and in the spirit of open-mindedness” applies only to the opposition—if they are allowed to be heard at all.

  2. Rude, it doesn’t sound like that was the case with this debate. They did allow him to debate. It’s the students’ responsibility to be open to both views.

    Also, are all theists “America lovers”? If you actually talked to people who go to college, although they’re quite rare, there are many who do not fit into your neat dichotomy of atheist America haters vs. theist America lovers.

  3. DanielJ, I think Rude is talking about Athiests + America Haters + Terrorist Apologists, not Athiests who are also America Haters and Terrorists. He’s listed three worldviews/political positions that are vigorously protected and promulgated on college campuses. ID is not treated with the same kind of deference.

  4. “cloaking a narrow definition of Christianity, which (he) found personally offensive”, and that it “really hacks (him) off”.

    Sounds like something Alec Baldwin would leave on an answering machine.

  5. I think Alec Baldwin would do much better. The article only quoted bits and pieces of the post lecture dialogues, but it is convoluted criticism at best, uttered just before he stormed out of the auditorium. I’m waiting to see/watch the complete transcript/video if/when it becomes available.

  6. I liked this:

    Several people in the audience said they appreciated Marshall’s message. Among them was Tim Spurgeon of Columbia. As an analytical chemist, Spurgeon said, he’s charged with searching for the truth. “I think that if we simply say that we’re going to only look at what’s in the box of only what can be natural, and yet there’s this big white elephant in the room that no one’s willing to touch … I think we’re fooling ourselves.”

    Progress is being made.

  7. One means that the materialists use to avoid injecting ID into the discussion–amazingly–is to deny that the genetic code is really a code at all and even to deny Professor Marshall’s central claim that DNA constitutes the “most complex, densely packed, elaborate assembly of information in the known universe.”

    I have an acquaintance with a college degree in physics who argues that very thing. His position makes so little sense to me that I won’t even attempt to describe it for fear of grossly misstating it. But let it serve as an example of the kinds of straw you have to grasp at in order to adhere fully to materialistic explanation.

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