Science and Design: Notes from the Westminster Conference
This past weekend in greater Philadelphia, about four hundred attended the fifth annual Westminster Conference on Faith and Science. This year's event featured Discovery Institute fellows Michael Behe, William Dembski, Douglas Axe (pictured at top, second from right), John West and others, including Vern Poythress from Westminster Theological Seminary.
The theme was science and design. On Friday, Dr. Poythress opened the proceedings with a very informative discussion, "Science and Design: What Are the Issues?" Dr. Behe and Casey Luskin (pictured below) did a great presentation on molecular machines as scientific evidence for design in biological systems. The talk included a preview of a new video from Discovery on kinesin, a marvelous molecular machine, which was well received as you would expect. (For more on kinesin, see Jonathan Wells's post of earlier today.) Behe and Luskin then laid out the case for why these molecular machines provide scientific evidence for intelligent design.
Saturday morning commenced with an engaging talk from Dr. Behe, "Design and Limits to Random Mutation," based on his popular book The Edge of Evolution. Behe was followed by Dr. Dembski on "Design as a Theory of Information," in which Dembski showed conclusively that the complex, specified information we observe in the genetic code cannot be accounted for in Darwinian terms.
We also had a great presentation from Dr. West and Casey Luskin on academic freedom. Those in attendance were very engaged and we received many positive comments. It was encouraging to have so many visitors to our Discovery Institute table, telling us that they've been reading our materials and watching our videos. Many talked about Dr. Stephen Meyer's recent book Darwin's Doubt and how compelling they found it. It's clear that more and more people are engaging with the issues we discuss here every day, and -- no less important -- really understanding them.
Photo credit: Janine Dixon.