As described in the book, television announcer Bill Kurtis gave the keynote address and told a joke:
Not long after I wrote about how creationists got paleontologists Simon Conway Morris and James Valentine to appear in the anti-evolution film Darwin's Dilemma I received a message from someone at the Faraday Institute.
Conway Morris had done an interview with them about science and religion for a miniseries called Test of Faiththey said; would I be interested in receiving a copy of the DVD?
I said "Sure" and the film came in the mail last week.
I cannot say I was very impressed. For those who have not heard of it before, the Faraday Institute is a John Templeton Foundation -funded group concerned with reconciling science and religion. I did not find this surprising given the objectives of the John Templeton Foundation and the fact that I was already familiar with Conway Morris' favored brand of teleological evolutionbut I was hoping that the video would refrain from attempting to jam Christian theology into science.
Unfortunately, that is precisely what it tried to do. After watching the three-part series I became convinced that the Faraday Institute is not so much concerned with reconciling science and religion as finding a refuge for God in the moments before the Big Bang, the machinations of evolution, and inside our own brains.
Even though the film explicitly criticizes advocates of intelligent design for using "God of the Gaps" thinking, or trying to make room for a deity in natural phenomena that are not yet well-understood, the series frequently employs the same technique to give hope to believers that God truly is out there somewhere.
If there is something we do know, God is behind it, and if there is something we don't know then that might be a sign of direct action by Providence. The creators of this series recapitulate this argument three times; once using physics and cosmology, once in terms of evolution, and finally by looking at neuroscience.
The same basic flaws run through each, but given that I am not an expert in physics or neuroscience I will focus my comments on part 2 of the series, called "An Accident in the Making?
Or is life random, utterly ruled by chance? These questions frame the 30 minutes that follows, and they are designed to invoke strong emotions in the viewers of the program. You see, I am not the target audience for this series. The Test of Faith website makes it clear that the film and accompanying resources are designed for church small groups.
This is not insignificant. The intended audience of the film is already predisposed to answer "Yes, I am was made for the purpose for which God called me into being. Another example comes in another episode when physicist Katherine Blundell says that there are "truths" in the universe that science does not detect.
For the viewers this is to be understood as the "Word of God", but if you are not already on-board you are left hanging as to what these other truths may be and how we may detect them. It is important to keep this in mind as the documentary presents itself as being "open minded" something many people seem to value for its own sake while it trades in codewords that reveal its preconceived notions.
Our old friend William Dembski also makes an appearance. Both are used as examples of Christians "doing it wrong" when it comes to faith and science. Francis Collins and Simon Conway Morris are juxtaposed with these more creationist stalwarts to extol the way in which they find God in nature. The problem is that some of the talking heads on the show are doing just what Taylor and Dembski are, just not as directly.
They bend science to fit in with what they already believe. Early in the evolution episode Simon Conway Morris states that evolution must be embedded in some kind of personal "metaphysics", which he presents as a choice between Christianity and atheism.
He then states that we should choose between these alternatives by asking "which is the one that is the most exciting, which is the one that has got the most promise, which is the one that makes your fingers tingle.
I have heard the same argument made by hardcore young earth creationists as to why their view of nature is superior. Conway Morris is allowed to get away with this because the viewers are already on board with the message.
Atheism is equated with nihilism, or total anarchy to the point of self-destruction i. Who would choose such a hopeless outlook? Instead we must select at least some form of theism, an "exciting" religion filled with "promise" and that makes your "fingers tingle.
What complete and utter rot. Conway Morris presents a false choice in which the wrong answer is clearly delineated. Even if we are shallow enough to believe or not believe in something on the basis of how it makes us feel, though, the more important question is whether the evolutionary science has a solid basis.
It absolutely does, but the way some evidence for evolution is interpreted can be influenced by the beliefs folks like Conway Morris subscribe to. This choice is restated halfway through the episode. The narrator warns that atheists are continuing their "assault" on theistic evolution.
Were we created by God through evolution, or was the evolution of our species a the result of "a random throw of the dice"? To answer this they return to Simon Conway Morris who states that the "received wisdom" among evolutionary biologists is that evolution is "completely open-ended.
You can go in any direction you like. I had first heard of Conway Morris through his public disagreement with Stephen Jay Gould over the idea of inevitability in evolution.Carl Zimmer; Tag: Circumcision The CDC vs Penises.
The latest federal medical guidelines for circumcision are now out, and they emphatically want to return to the era in which infant boys are routinely subjected to the surgical removal of their foreskins – and even adolescent and adult men encouraged to cut their penises.
A couple of things. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.
Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.. For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get back words like "gazellephant" and "gorilldebeest".
“I think it’s telling that biotech is replacing the computer industry as the field supporting science fairs,” science writer Carl Zimmer tweeted. Science Talent Search finalists and winners have collectively gone on to earn 12 Nobel Prizes. Thank you for visiting our website! Below you will be able to find the answer to Science writer Willy crossword clue which was last seen on New York Times Crossword, October 4 Our site contains over million crossword clues in which you can find whatever clue you are looking for.
The c-word, 'cunt', is perhaps the most offensive word in the English language, and consequently it has never been researched in depth. Hugh Rawson's Dictionary Of Invective contains the most detailed study of what he calls "The most heavily tabooed of all English words" (), though his article is only five pages long.
Cunt: A Cultural History Of The C-Word . May 26 - Jack Vance, 96, American fantasy, mystery and science fiction writer, natural causes.  May 26 - Otto Muehl, 87, Austrian painter and activist, Parkinson's disease and heart disease.