Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views

Japanese Scientists Growing More Interested in Intelligent Design

Late last year senior fellow Jonathan Wells visited Japan to deliver two speeches on intelligent design and evolution.


Dr. Wells' first lecture (in English, with simultaneous translation into Japanese) was to an international philosophy conference. More than 150 people attended, including scientists and scholars from Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Greece and Mongolia. A few Americans were present, along with participants from Bangladesh, France, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic (who brought along a copy of the new Czech edition of Icons of Evolution). According to Wells, the audience was polite, the questions were penetrating and the Q&A was lively.

The second lecture (in English, with alternating translation into Japanese) was to an audience of about 70 at Kokugakuin University. Kokugaku means "Japan studies," and this university (with an enrollment of about 5,000) is one of two in Japan accredited to train Shinto priests. Again, the audience was very polite. Even though questions hadn't really been expected, the Q&A went on for 40 minutes. Japanese biology classes teach straight Darwinism, with all the usual icons, so the audience was fascinated by the revelation that their children are not being taught the truth. Furthermore, although Shintoism is animistic rather than theistic, it apparently doesn't regard humans as mere accidents.

Interest in ID in Japan, and indeed across all of Asia, has been growing. Recently Sekai Nippo, a daily newspaper in Tokyo, ran a series of articles about ID and featured interviews with Wells and also with William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe and others.

What was most interesting was the cartoon they published depicting ID scientists assailing Darwin's castle. We have now received permission to post it here. Take a look at the full-size cartoon (download hi-res version here) and see if you can identify the characters. If you get stumped, you can click here for a guide to who is featured in the cartoon.