Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Centre For Intelligent Design opens in Glasgow

I notice that a new organisation calling itself the "Centre for Intelligent Design" has opened in Glasgow. Its first project is a speaking tour by prominent anti evolutionist Michael Behe.

Their website has no religious references on it, but after doing a bit of digging their domain name is registered to someone called Peter Loose. Maybe this is the same Peter Loose who according to this newsletter (pdf file)  previously organised a speaking tour by "Creation Scientists" from the fundamentalist Institute for Creation Research in 2005:

Dr. Andrew Snelling and Professor Phillip Johnson undertook a lengthy speaking tour throughout Great Britain from late October through mid-November. They spoke to over 8,000 people in 26 different venues. Peter Loose and the Elim churches of the United Kingdom who organized the tour were extremely pleased with the greater-than-expected turnout. Both public and church meetings were held during the tour. The largest meetings were held at the Kensington Temple Church in London and at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. Dr. Snelling was particularly thrilled to speak to the students at Emmanuel College in Newcastle-on-Tyne. This government-funded school had produced great controversy because it teaches creation. Evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins are indignant. Yet, this schoolis one of the best in the country, and Prime Minister Blair was supportive of the school in parliament two years ago.
The Centre for Intelligent Design seems to be an attempt to sanitise the religious message of creationism and get it into mainstream education where overtly religious organisations have failed.

I also note that they have set up their organisation as a charity on Guernsey meaning they do not need to disclose who their funders are. Maybe their funders are religious organisations? We simply don't know and this lack of transparency is troubling. If my  fears are correct this could be another example of Christians being "economical with the truth" which does not lend credibility to their core beliefs about God (who apparently has a strong interested in truth).

More to follow (I suspect).

7 comments:

  1. More to follow (I suspect). That's for sure.

    I'll be honest with you I'm surprised this has not been picked up in the atheist / humanist / secularist world. Unless it has of course and I just missed it. I've come across this organisation in recent days but just can't remember where.

    I would like to know if this is US funded. I have been told that there is something akin to this in Portsmouth?

    I've linked to this by the way...

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  2. Its the dishonesty that annoys me more than what they believe (which is their free choice). I work for a charity (a Christian charity) and we publish everything on line so we have complete transparency. Hiding in Guernsey is doing them no favours.

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  3. The President is Norman Nevin, OBE, geneticist and unreconstructed biblical infallibilist. (Yes; Noah's Ark is actual history)

    The Director, who accepts the fact of evolution but with God as initiator and facilitator, gives an introduction to ID on their web site that could have been written by Stephen Meyer (but perhaps that's just convergent evolution).

    The Vice-President, a distinguished surgeon, has stated quite correctly that the arguments advanced there are the traditional arguments for the existence of God.

    But the Centre is all about science; nothing to do with religion. Honest.

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  4. I used to write material for UK and US where the phraseology is often quite different. Having had a look through some of their PDF information files they do show evidence of being written by an American:

    "The commonest charge levelled against ID is that it is just ‘Creationism in a cheap
    tuxedo’." (tuxedo is an American word).

    "Some ideas just seem right" ("just seem right" is an American idiom with specific allusions to common sense, its a sort of folk saying)

    "It is becoming increasingly apparent that Darwinism succeeds as a worldview..." (use of worldview)

    "challenges deeply-held beliefs" (hyphenation)

    None of these is conclusive, but with all the supporting quotations appearing to be from US based scientists its hard to argue against this material having US origins.

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  5. Robert Saunders is reporting some detail on the Guernsey connection:

    http://www.robertsaunders.org.uk/wordpress/2010/10/14/centre-for-intelligent-design-the-guernsey-connection

    One of the trustees appears to be Advocate John Langlois from the island although he may just be a nominee.

    This article says he is involved with the charity Advocates International:

    http://www.thisisguernsey.com/2007/11/06/the-langlois-of-the-law-retires-after-four-decades/

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  6. Who funded Darwin?
    What accent did the person who funded him have have?
    Who cares?
    Is what he said correct or does that not matter?
    Whether you compare evolution, creation or intelligent design the facts are what matter if you want to be scientific.
    People are flawed and you can pick holes in people on both sides of the argument but that is only a smoke screen and will get you no closer to the answer.

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