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

The Debate over Darwin vs. Design Continues at SMU

First Darwinists at SMU demanded that the school keep the debate over Darwin off-campus, arguing for the Darwin vs. Design conference to be cancelled and denied use of campus facilities. Now their attempts at censorship have sparked more controversy than they intended, as evidenced by a response printed in the SMU Daily Campus:

I was amused to read that some of the science department faculty at SMU had protested the proposed Intelligent Design Conference.

Isn't it so typical to see academics who live in mortal fear of viewpoints other than their own? I was particularly amused to read the comments of Dr. Ubelaker, former chair of chemistry, calling the conference "propaganda." Someone might want to explain to Dr. Ubelaker that propaganda takes place when someone tries to suppress the discussion of ideas. Where is the SMU faculty's commitment to free and open discussion?

Larry Bradshaw, Ph.D.
Abilene Christian University

Dr. Bradshaw has it right. Those who really want to educate their students will engage them with the evidence for and against a theory, and they won't be shy away from alternative explanations. In fact, science faculty at SMU agreed with this proposal as recently as 2005, when biology professor John Wise wrote an opinion article responding to ID-proponent and conference speaker Michael Behe. Then, he said, "What makes science so useful and progress so quickly is the tradition of critically analyzing these alternatives from individuals."

Now it seems the Biology Department at SMU, along with Geology and Anthropology, want to go against this important tradition in science by keeping this alternative scientific explanation -- intelligent design -- off-campus, thereby ensuring that their students will be shielded from any theory which challenges the reigning paradigm of Darwinism.