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What Graduates of Our Summer Seminars Say

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There's still some time left to apply for our Summer Seminars, with two parallel 9-day sessions -- one on Intelligent Design in the Natural Sciences, along with the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society. The deadline is April 7, but the program, running July 8-16, is quite selective so this is not something to enter upon casually at the last minute. Organized by Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture, the program is open primarily to upper-division undergraduates and graduate students -- spiced with a number of professors, scientists, teachers, pastors, and other professionals.

I've been reviewing some of the comments we received from graduates of last year's Seminars -- held, as this year's will be, here in Seattle. They are just great.

What follows are necessarily without names attached. If you'll forgive the analogy -- but I can't think of a better one -- some of our graduates are a bit like sleepers in the sciences, waiting quietly, anonymously at prominent universities, learning and thinking deeply, until the time is right and the atmosphere a little more open to direct questioning of Darwinism and the proposal of alternatives to a failing theory. I don't think that time is too far off.

Says one graduate:

I would classify the ID seminar as a bit of a mini-revelation for me. I had become disillusioned and cynical about science, especially the academic component. I was contemplating switching to a different discipline entirely, but after meeting many highly qualified, engaging, and extremely pleasant seminar staff and participants, I bring new rigor to my research. This seminar has the potential to create lifelong friendships, as well as stimulate the next generation of excellent scientists/scholars. Long may it continue.

Another:

Thank you so much for giving me the scholarship to attend this seminar. My eyes were opened widely by each lecture because I had not thought so deeply about cosmology, literature, psychology, etc., before. My major at [my] home university is biochemistry and medical humanities... [T]his seminar week helped me prepare my future to be a better scientist, student, educator, doctor, and especially a more well-rounded person.

Another:

This seminar has had a huge impact on my academic studies. I greatly enjoyed discussing the various topics with students and professionals from different fields. It is my hope that the summer program continues admitting students from different backgrounds. I believe the future of ID depends on encouraging and stimulating a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural approach.

I particularly liked this one:

I can honestly say that coming to this seminar was an enriching experience far beyond what I had hoped for. Hearing from various leaders in the ID community has convinced me beyond any shadow of a doubt that we are undergoing a paradigm shift in the scientific world, and that design in the universe is more obvious than at any time before in human history. More importantly, the breathtaking discoveries and work done by ID scientists has shown me that it is vitally important that this research become part of the mainstream, and that all of us in the movement, whether scientists or not, must find ways to help advance this goal. Meeting people from all over the world who are intelligent, articulate and passionate defenders and promoters of ID, from a wide variety of fields, has also helped me realize that we are not a small group of fringe thinkers unable to accept a scientific truth, but that ID is very much the future of science, and that the reductionist worldview is rapidly falling apart. The people I have met and the optimism I have experienced about the movement have convinced me that regardless of where I go in my life, I will ensure that I integrate into my work and life the goal of restoring design, meaning, purpose, hope and above all truth in the world.

And simply:

Best conference I've ever attended! An unbelievable opportunity.

Obviously, there's nothing nefarious in the unfettered pursuit of truth about life's origins. Freedom of inquiry is fundamental in scholarship, or should be. But to the system that enforces orthodox thinking about evolution on university campuses, doubting Darwin seems like intellectual sabotage. Fortunately the more aggressive orthodox don't have access to dogs that can sniff out skepticism.

If I make this all sound risky, don't worry. We're scrupulous about protecting identifies. And there's nothing more benign than our gentle, lovely summer season in the Pacific Northwest. If you think the Summer Seminars are right for you -- either track -- now is the time to get your application materials together. Look here and here for more on admission, costs, scholarships, and more.

Even if you're not a student yourself, you can help! If you know a student who might be interested and a good match for our programs, please let her know. Finally, if you can assist us by supporting the Summer Seminars with a gift to fund scholarships for our students, your generosity will be most gratefully welcomed!

Photo: Jay Richards, by Janine Solfelt.