March 2012

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The Centre for Intelligent Design (the UK’s very own Discotute wannabees) have posted a video of Stephen C. Meyer’s lecture from last November online.  Over at the BCSE blog, my colleague Psiloiordinary has taken on the task of working through the lecture (Live Blogging the UK C4ID Lecture 2011).  For my part, I confess to a lack of willingness to spend the time on such a thankless task, since I expended quite a bit of effort recently ploughing through Meyer’s  magnum opus Signature in the Cell

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I received an email from the Centre for Intelligent Design (the UK organisation pushing Intelligent Design creationism). The main offer is that these presentations are free (though contributions would be welcome). The full text has also been blogged here. I particularly noted this paragraph:

I have a number of illustrated presentations which are suitable for college, university, church or public audiences and which deal with various aspects of Intelligent Design. Although C4ID is not specifically targeting schools, I am also happy to give talks in schools, to classes or clubs, where appropriate. 

Dr Alastair Noble (his PhD is in Chemistry, rather than the biological sciences) has spent much of his career working in education, particularly from a religious perspective.  This has of course led to accusations in the press that he’s going to be targetting schools, for example this report in the Herald, from which this quotation:

The group’s director, Dr Alastair Noble, told the Sunday Herald it was “inevitable” the debate would make its way into schools — even though the Scottish Government says teachers should not regard intelligent design as science.

“We are definitely not targeting schools, but that doesn’t mean to say we may not produce resources that go to schools,” Dr Noble said, adding that he had already been asked to speak in Scottish schools, and agreed to do so.

Maybe I’m a suspicious old thing, but I think it might be interesting to see how many schools engage Dr Noble.

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 A review of Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell

Pub 2009, Harper One (edition reviewed was the Kindle edition).

Introduction

In late 2011, Stephen Meyer delivered a lecture in London. Organised by the UK’s very own Centre for Intelligent Design (C4ID), and hosted in Whitehall by Lord Mackay of Clashfern (a notable member of the Free Church of Scotland), I received an invitation in the post.  Circumstances surrounding this lecture coupled with some background reading I’d done on Meyer’s thinking and an awareness of how Intelligent Design creationists have in the past used academic attendees at events as some kind of litmus test of acceptance, I decided not to attend.  Instead, I was quite vocal (critical of ID creationism) in several internet fora, which attracted some criticism that I had not actually read the book in question (had I attended, I would have been given a copy).

I can summarise my opinion of the book quite succinctly. It is lengthy, tedious, overblown, very defensive at times, occasionally interesting, generally deceptive, but ultimately completely unconvincing to a practising biologist.  However, I did read this book with the intention of reviewing it, so here goes. Read the rest of this entry »

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