Leading Intelligent Design Advocate Challenges Former President of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to Debate
The Discovery Institute has invited Dr. Francisco Ayala to debate the thesis of the book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design with the book's author, Dr. Stephen Meyer.
Those who've been following the debate between Meyer and his critics know that there has been a bit of back and forth since Ayala was invited to critique SITC on the Biologos website. Meyer has responded this week, with the first of two parts on the Biologos site.
Discovery Institute would like to initiate a full-fledged, official debate between the two, and so we have already sent the following invitation to Dr. Ayala.
Dear Professor Ayala:
I am writing to you in my capacity as the Director of Research for the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute.
As you know, there is widespread interest but also widespread disagreement on the relationship between faith and science. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue on science and religion proceeds without careful examination of the scientific evidence in dispute in chemical and biological evolution. Surely one should consider, for instance, the evidence for a chemical evolutionary scenario before reflecting on its implications for religious belief.
In the same way, contemporary intelligent design arguments are often criticized on theological grounds, without first engaging ID arguments on scientific grounds. As a result, the scientific issues are rarely fully aired. For instance, you recently were asked by Biologos to comment on Stephen Meyer's new book, Signature in the Cell. Unfortunately, the forum did not provide the opportunity for a full critique of the book, as well as a full response by Dr. Meyer.
I am writing to offer you just such an opportunity. I would like to invite you to participate in a public debate with Dr. Meyer on the thesis of Signature in the Cell at a time and place that is mutually convenient. To limit your own travel and expenditure of time, we would be happy to have the debate take place at the University of California, Irvine.
There would be many details to work out, of course; but I wanted first to extend a formal invitation for you to participate in such a forum. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.
Director of Research
Center for Science & Culture