Intelligent design

Scientists applaud Ball State president's position on intelligent design

After investigation of professor accused of promoting religious views in a science course, Ball State U.'s president says intelligent design shouldn't be taught in such classes.

Ball State University astronomy pick raises questions in light of on ongoing Creationism debate there

Some say astronomy professor Guillermo Gonzalez's anti-evolution views are far outside the mainstream and question his hire by Ball State. Others say deserves a shot. Either way, he'll be under scrutiny.

Designed to Please

If intelligent design gets taught in the college classroom, here are some other propositions we can look forward to:

Was Shakespeare the author of all those plays? Competing theories suggest that the Earl of Oxford, Francis Bacon, or even Queen Elizabeth herself penned those immortal lines. You be the judge. Henceforth, the prefaces to all those editions by “William Shakespeare” should be rewritten to give equal time to the alternate-authorship idea.

Does oxygen actually support that flickering candle flame, or is an invisible, weightless substance called phlogiston at work? First suggested by J. J. Becher near the end of the 17th century, the existence of phlogiston was eventually pooh-poohed by supporters of the oxygen hypothesis, but, as they say in the legal profession, the jury’s still out on this one.

Drop a candy bar on the sidewalk, and come back to find ants swarming all over it. Or put a piece of rotten meat in a cup and later find maggots in it, having come out of nowhere! This is called spontaneous generation. Biologists eventually decided that airborne spores, like little men from parachutes, wafted onto the food and set up shop there, but does that make any sense to you?

In the morning, the sun rises over the tree line, and by noon it’s directly overhead. At night, as the popular song has it, “I hate to see that evening sun go down.” Then why do so many people think that the earth moves instead of the sun? Could this be a grand conspiracy coincident with the rise of that Italian renegade Galileo, four centuries ago? Go out and look at the sunset! As they say, seeing is believing.

Proper grammar, the correct way of speaking, the expository essay model -- how rigid and prescriptive! There are as many ways to talk as there are people on this good, green earth, and language is a living organism. Or like jazz, an endless symphony of improvisation. No speech is wrong, just different, and anyone who says otherwise is just showing an ugly bias that supports white hegemony.

“History is bunk,” declared the famous industrialist and great American Henry Ford. All those names and dates -- why learn any of that when not even the so-called experts can agree on exactly what happened? Besides, most of those historical figures are dead by now, so what’s the point? From now on, all history departments must issue disclaimers, and anything presented as a narrative will be taught in the creative writing program.

Speaking of which, creative writing itself has long been controlled by a bunch of poets and fiction writers who determine who wins what in the world of letters. But who really knows whether the latest Nobel Prize winner is any better than, say, that last Tom Clancy novel you read. It all boils down to a matter of taste, doesn’t it?

Or what about that "Shakespeare"? Was he/she/it really any better than the Farrelly brothers? Let’s all take a vote on this, okay?

Author/s: 
David Galef
Author's email: 

David Galef is a professor of English and administrator of the M.F.A. program in creative writing at the University of Mississippi. His latest book is the short story collection Laugh Track (2002).

Paying for Rejection

Elsevier apologizes and gives $10,000 to intelligent design supporter whose article it accepted and then opted not to publish.

New Challenge to Evolution

Christian schools sue University of California for refusing to certify high school courses that teach creationism or "intelligent design."

Another Attack on Evolution

Berkeley sued over Web site created by professors to help high school teachers.

Evolution, E-Mail and Kansas

University reviews new course after learning of professor's anti-intelligent design comments.

E-Mails Kill a Course

Kansas professor -- following more reports of anti-religious comments -- withdraws class on intelligent design.

Under Attack -- Literally -- in Kansas

Police investigate roadside assault on professor who planned course critical of intelligent design.

Kansas Professor Fights Back

Controversial scholar -- who has been contrite about his comments -- says he was forced from chairmanship and threatens a suit.

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