Saturday, 26 March 2011

C4ID's Workshop on Intelligent Design creationism

I notice that C4ID are holding a summer school to push Intelligent Design creationism to the already converted (Summer School | C4ID).  Their web publicity on that page still seems to be under development, so one may expect more information to come.  It’s a five day residential event.

Who’s speaking?
The usual crew, including Dr Alastair Noble and Dr David Galloway (two of the C4ID triumvirate), plus one or two other interesting names, including John Langlois, a barrister based in Guernsey.  Other participants include Dr Jonathan Loose (who is at Heythrop College, the Specialist Philosophy and Theology College of the University of London), Prof Guillermo Gonzales (an astronomer at Grove City College – a Christian school in Pennsylvania), Prof Steve Fuller (Sociologist, Warwick University), Professor Chris Shaw (Pharmacy, Queen’s Belfast – probably the only biologist), Dr Jonathan Wells (of the Discovery Institute, the people who cooked up ID as a facade for creationism), and a lawyer, David Williams.
Not many biologists.  One thing that occurs to me each time I peruse the current biological research literature is the huge amount of information published that is consistent with evolutionary theory and a huge global community of biological researchers, particularly in comparison to the paucity of biological researchers pushing ID creationism.  It’s a shame a bigger presence of biologists couldn’t be mustered for this event: were ID creationism really science, I would have thought this wouldn’t have been difficult.  But then again, I am not surprised.

Who may attend?
Interestingly, you must already be committed to intelligent design creationism:
Applicants should be able to demonstrate an interest in and commitment to the design argument.
One purpose of the school is to build a network of emerging professionals across the disciplines who are conversant with the arguments for intelligent design. Because of professional sensitivities, participation in the conference will be handled in strict confidence and with anonymity.
The application requirements include the request that applicant provide:
(1) a resume / c.v. (2) a short statement of your interest in intelligent design and its perceived relationship to your area of work and life and (3) a letter of recommendation from a person of standing who knows your work and is friendly towards ID.
So the upshot is this is an event to build a network of people who already believe in ID creationism.  It’s interesting that participation is to be held in secrecy: the mind boggles.  Whether it’s intended to protect the attendees or for more sinister aims isn’t clear (perhaps I’ve been reading too much pulp fiction!).  In several decades as a biology researcher, I’ve never attended a conference or workshop that had such a level of secrecy.   One other interesting observation: there’s some cash behind the school, as bursaries are being made available for up to 85% of the £600 attendance fee…

Where is it being held?
At the Elim Conference Centre, run by Elim Pentecostal Churches.  That in itself is interesting: one might have expected ID creationism, which masquerades as genuine science, to have gone for a more conventional venue.

[Originally posted at Wonderful Life.]

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