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

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In Debate Over Evolution and Intelligent Design, Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

With the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth looming, lecture halls are booked up with Darwinist celebrations and attacks on intelligent design. A couple of the usual suspects on the Darwin birthday circuit are Jerry Coyne and Eugenie Scott.

Recently, I saw that they would both be speaking at the University of Central Florida, at the behest of the university's biology department. The topic? For Coyne it was intelligent design, and for Scott it was academic freedom (seriously). So, I thought I'd inquire as to whether or not UCF would be balancing these anti-ID lectures with views from the other side. Here's the response I got:

Dear Mr. Crowther,

I have read the letter you sent University of Central Florida President John C. Hitt in regard to UCF's Department of Biology's "Darwin Bicentennial Seminar Series."

As one of the seminar's organizers, President Hitt has asked me to reply to your letter.

This seminar series seeks to bring outstanding scientists to UCF to discuss how Darwin and evolution have influenced our understanding of nature. As have many other academic institutions, UCF has organized a series of lectures during the Darwin bicentennial as an opportunity to provide public education on evolution as the foundation of the biological sciences.

Scientists at UCF agree with the position expressed in the National Academy of Sciences publication, Science, Evolution, and Creationism, that there is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution. Therefore, the Biology Department will not include a discussion about intelligent design in this series.

Although I understand your passion about this subject, I hope you understand the position taken by the UCF scientists who have organized this seminar series.


Christopher L. Parkinson, Ph.D
(emphasis mine)

Not including a discussion about intelligent design? How then do you explain the title, and entire subject, of Coyne's lecture? According the UCF newsroom,
Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago will speak about "Intelligent Design Versus Evolution."
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, who will speak about "Florida's Academic Freedom Bills: Creationism du jour?"

Scott and the NCSE are one of the biggest opponents of intelligent design being taught in a science classroom and she has written several books, including "Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design is Wrong for Our Schools."

Contrary to Parkinson's assertion that intelligent design is not part of the discussion, in these two talks it is clearly the entire discussion. As usual, in academia it's okay to talk about ID if you want to attack it. But if you want to provide a different view and advocate for ID ... sorry they don't want students to hear anything like that.

This isn't unusual. Academic freedom legislation in six states last year -- legislation meant to foster a civil discourse about the case for and against Darwinian evolution in classrooms -- was opposed by Darwinists who continually seek to stifle scientific inquiry and censor the flow of information to students.

Currently in Texas there is a move afoot to remove from the state's science standards a statement reading

The student is expected to: analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information;
Darwinists simply don't want students to be able to learn about both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution, whether it be in a lecture at university that alleges it wants to be "more inclusive and diverse" or in science standards guiding the flow of information to our students.