Evolutionists and creationists mark Darwin Day — differently

Feb. 12, 2016, is Charles Darwin’s birthday and the 30th anniversary of Darwin Day, an international celebration of the British naturalist’s theory of natural selection, a mechanism of evolution.

The day comes two months after the 10th anniversary of the judge’s ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first direct legal challenge to a public school curriculum that required the teaching of intelligent design — the theory that the universe evolved through the involvement of some unnamed creator. On Dec. 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is a religious worldview and that requiring that it be taught is a violation of the separation of church and state. Many thought the ruling chimed the death knell for ID proponents and young-Earth creationists — those who believe the Earth was created in six literal days by God just 6,000 years ago.

But 10 years after Dover and 157 years after Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” ID proponents and young-Earth creationists are going strong, organizing “Stop Darwin Day” and “Question Evolution Day” events. Now they say “teach the controversy” on the grounds of academic freedom — leaving religion and the notion of a creator out of it entirely. In January alone, three state legislatures introduced bills that would challenge the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Do proponents of ID and young-Earth creationism have a chance? Can they successfully frame their theories without religion? How will evolution proponents adapt? How do scholars explain the persistence of ideas like young-Earth creationism in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Where do “flat-earthers” like rapper B.o.B. and reality television personality Tila Tequila come in?

Background

Definitions

Creationism: In the United States, creationism usually refers to the belief that the Bible’s account of creation is literally true and accurate. That generally means Genesis 1:1-2:4a, where God creates the Earth and all its life forms in six consecutive 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago. (Genesis also tells a second creation story, in 2:4b-24, in which man is created before the Earth’s vegetation, and specific days are not described.)

Creationism is sometimes called “young-Earth creationism” or “creation science.” In contrast, “old-Earth creationism” is the belief that the Earth and all its life forms were created by God, but that the “days” may have been longer than 24 hours and there may have been gaps between days. However, there are as many creation stories as there are religions. The TalkOrigins Archive includes a page that describes the variety of Christian and non-Christian views of creationism.

Evolution: The theory that all living things share a common ancestry. Evolutionists hold that the complex life forms we know today evolved from single-celled organisms over millions of years. There is also “theistic evolution,” which is the belief that God guided evolution, causing both the first life forms to appear as well as the eventual development of higher forms of life.

Darwinism: A theory of evolution developed by Charles Darwin in the 19th century. Darwinism is the theory that natural selection drives evolution: Life forms that most successfully adapt are those that survive. Darwinism is not the equivalent of evolution but a theory for explaining how evolution occurred.

Intelligent design: The belief that some aspects of life forms are so complex that they must reflect the design of a conscious, rational intelligence. ID proponents do not identify the designer. Many supporters of intelligent design do not believe that life forms share a common ancestor, although some do.

Polls and surveys

  • Gallup

    Gallup provides polling and analysis on dozens of pressing topics in the United States, many of which involve religion.

    Gallup has conducted polling on evolution, creationism and intelligent design since 1982. Its last numbers come from 2014 and show that 42 percent of people agree with the statement “God created humans in their present form” — a 4-percentage-point drop from 2012.

  • Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

    The Pew Forum on Religion Religion & Public Life is a project of the Pew Research Center. The Pew Forum seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs by conducting surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world.

    It tracks the public’s views on human evolution and in 2013 found that 60 percent of Americans agreed with the statement “Humans have evolved over time.” On Darwin Day in 2015, it published “Five facts about the evolution debate,” which put that number at 65 percent.

Darwin Day celebrations, resolutions and related events

Anti-evolution events

  • Creation Sundays was founded in 2011 to counter the Clergy Letter Project’s Evolution Sunday (now Evolution Weekend). See a list of churches and groups that will hold Creation Sunday events.
  • Question Evolution Project is run by Cowboy Bob Sorenson, a young-Earth creationist who promotes a “Question Evolution Day.”
  • Stop Darwin Day is a project of young-Earth creationist Tony Breeden to prevent legislatures from recognizing Darwin Day.

Proposed legislation

As of this writing, there are four bills in three states that would affect science education in public schools, including the way evolution and alternative ideas are taught:

  • South Dakota — Senate Bill 83 would protect the teaching of “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories. It also would “protect the teaching of scientific information and may not be construed to promote any religious or nonreligious doctrine, nor may these provisions be construed to promote discrimination against any religion, religious belief, nonreligion, or nonbelief.”
  • Iowa — House File 2054 seeks to reverse Iowa’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, a base-line science curriculum. The National Center for Science Education says it believes this is because those standards require the teaching of evolution.
  • Oklahoma — House Bill 3045, the “Scientific Academic Freedom Information Act,” would allow teachers to “help students understand” certain unnamed scientific theories. Senate Bill 1322 would create the “Oklahoma Science Education Act,” which would permit teachers to teach “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories.

Articles, publications and other resources

  • PBS – “Faith and Reason”

    PBS’ “Faith and Reason” series has tackled several issues involved with the confluence of science and religion. The website offers resources on several of the topics the series has covered.

    The series covered evolution and creationism among its topics.

National sources

Organizations

Proponents of intelligent design

  • Access Research Network

    Access Research Network is a nonprofit that provides information on science, technology and social issues and includes descriptions and discussions of intelligent design.

    Contact: 719-633-1772, 805-448-9505.
  • Alpha Omega Institute

    The Alpha Omega Institute promotes the teaching of creationism.

  • Answers in Genesis

    Answers in Genesis is a Christian group that promotes creationism. It runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

    Contact: 859-727-2222.
  • Creation Research Society

    The Creation Research Society is an Arizona-based organization of scientists and laypeople committed to what it calls “scientific special creation.” Board members are listed on the website.

  • Creation Truth Foundation

    The Creation Truth Foundation in Noble, Okla., promotes the Genesis story of creation. George Thomas Sharp is its founder and president.

    Contact: 1-888-578-7884.
  • Discovery Institute

    The Discovery Institute describes its mission as “to make a positive vision of the future practical.” It is one of the main proponents of intelligent-design theory in education.

  • Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center

    The Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the scientific evidence that supports intelligent design. Ryan Huxley is president.

  • Intelligent Design Network

    The Intelligent Design Network is a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote objectivity in origins education in public schools.

  • Institute for Creation Research

    The Institute for Creation Research is a Christian-based creation ministry.

    Contact: 800-337-0375.
  • Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation

    The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation is a Roman Catholic lay apostolate that promotes the teachings of Genesis, especially with regard to creation. It is based in Mount Jackson, Va., and directed by Hugh Owen.

    Contact: 540-856-8453.
  • Reasons to Believe

    Reasons to Believe is a Christian ministry that supports people who want to find scientific proof of biblical events.

Supporters of evolution

  • National Academy of Sciences

    The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an act of Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.

    The academy offers a section with evolution resources.

  • National Association of Biology Teachers

    The National Association of Biology Teachers promotes biology and life science education. Its members have made a statement in favor of the teaching of evolution theory.

  • Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine

    The Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM) is a nonprofit institute exploring the intersection of evolutionary science and medicine. The center is jointly operated by Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and North Carolina Central University. It is based in Durham, N.C. Charlie Nunn is director.

  • National Science Teachers Association

    The National Science Teachers Association has made an organizational statement that recommends “emphasizing” the theory of evolution in the classroom.

  • Society for the Study of Evolution

    The Society for the Study of Evolution promotes the study of organic evolution.

Religion and science organizations

  • American Scientific Affiliation

    The American Scientific Affiliation is an organization of scientists who are also Christian. The group maintains no official position on the intelligent design-evolution debate but tries to strike a balance between the two. It maintains a page of papers, articles, definitions and positions on the debate.

  • Center for Islamic Sciences

    The Center for Islamic Sciences is dedicated to the promotion of research and diffusion of knowledge on all aspects of Islam. CIS encourages a creative exploration of natural and human sciences from the Islamic worldview, critical integration of contemporary disciplines into the framework of traditional Islamic thought and learning, and a renewed and rigorous link with the intellectual tradition of Islam.

  • Center for the Study of Science and Religion

    The Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University’s Earth Institute examines the idea of the natural from both scientific and religious perspectives. Robert Pollack is founder and director.

  • Metanexus Institute

    The Metanexus Institute is a New York-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting scientifically rigorous and philosophically open-ended explorations of foundational questions. William Grassie is the founder and executive director.

  • Science, Religion and the Human Experience

    Science, Religion and the Human Experience was a program from the University of California, Santa Barbara. It ran from 2001-2003 and it studied human history through the lens of the intersection of science and religion. James D. Proctor was director.

  • Zygon Center for Religion and Science

    The Zygon Center for Religion and Science is dedicated to relating religious traditions and the best scientific knowledge in order to gain insight into the origins, nature and destiny of humans and their environment. The center is based at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Citizen organizations

As science standards in public schools have been challenged, a number of citizens groups that support the teaching of evolution only have cropped up.

People

  • Francisco J. Ayala

    Francisco J. Ayala is professor of biological sciences and of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on population and evolutionary genetics and the interface between religion and science. He was part of a roundtable discussion on religion and evolution as part of the PBS series Evolution in which he stated there was no conflict between Catholicism and Darwinism.

  • Michael J. Behe

    Michael J. Behe is a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University in West Bethlehem, Pa., and author of Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. He is an advocate of intelligent design, believing that life forms share a common ancestor. He is a senior fellow at the Discovery Center for Science and Culture and testified in support of intelligent design in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area Public Schools. Lehigh University has issued this statement regarding Dr. Behe’s academic freedom.

  • John Bloom

    John Bloom is a physics professor at Biola University, a Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. He founded the school’s master’s degree program in science and religion, and he teaches a course in intelligent design that asks the question, “Why isn’t the evidence clearer?”

  • John Brockman

    John Brockman is editor and publisher of the online magazine Edge and editor of Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement.

  • John Calvert

    John Calvert is managing director of Intelligent Design Network. He is a lawyer whose legal practice has focused on constitutional requirements for teaching origins science in public schools. He was actively involved in the science education debate in his home state of Kansas, as well as in Ohio, Georgia, California, Missouri, Minnesota, North Carolina, West Virginia, Montana and New Mexico. He is the co-author of “Intelligent Design: The Scientific Alternative to Evolution” (National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, autumn 2003).

    Contact: 913-268-0852.
  • William Dembski

    William Dembski is a former senior fellow at the Discovery Center for Science and Culture. He is author and/or editor of numerous books supporting the theory of intelligent design, including No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence and Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design. He can be contacted here.

  • Taner Edis

    Taner Edis is a professor of physics at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., who studies issues of science and religion, particularly Islam. He is the author of An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam and co-editor of Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism.

  • Barbara Forrest

    Barbara Forrest is a noted secular humanist and a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La., and co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design. (Read the first chapter, posted at TalkReason.org.) She says the debate over intelligent design and evolution is necessarily a religious, and not a scientific one because intelligent design is a religious, not a scientific, belief. She continues that because intelligent design is an essentially religious viewpoint, it therefore draws in constitutional questions relating to the separation of church and state, making it a legal debate as well.

    She has said that since their defeat in Dover, intelligent design proponents are reframing their attack on evolution by refraining from insisting that intelligent design be taught and instead asking that the strengths and flaws of evolution be taught. She cites the title of the new Discovery Institute science textbook, Explore Evolution, as an example of this new strategy.

  • William Grassie

    William Grassie is executive director of the Metanexus Institute, an organization that seeks to promote dialogue between the fields of religion and science. He said that within the current debate there is a need to distinguish between the “what” and “when” of evolution, which he said is well supported by scientific evidence, as opposed to the “how” and “why,” which is another, open matter. He also said the ID camp included many young-Earth creationists, and that hurt the chance of ID being taken seriously by unconvinced scientists.

  • Ken Ham

    Ken Ham is president of Answers in Genesis which operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

    Contact: 859-727-2222.
  • Charles Harper

    Planetary scientist Charles Harper is former senior vice president and executive director of the John Templeton Foundation. He is co-editor of Science & Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Complexity.

  • Edward Humes

    Edward Humes is a journalist and author. His books include Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion and the Battle for America’s Soul. He has written that there are two theories of evolution — the scientific theory and the talk radio version. Contact Beth Parker.

  • Cornelius Hunter

    Cornelius Hunter is the author of Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil and Science’s Blind Spot: The Unseen Religion of Scientific Naturalism. He is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture and an adjunct professor of biophysics at Biola University, a Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. He operates the website DarwinsPredictions.com. Contact Rob Crowther, director of media and public relations for the Center for Science & Culture.

  • Phillip Johnson

    Phillip Johnson is a retired professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley. After converting to Christianity, Johnson wrote two books on evolution and naturalistic philosophy for the general reader, one of which is Darwin on Trial, which is largely credited as founding the idea of intelligent design.

  • Edward J. Larson

    Edward J. Larson is a professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of several books dealing with the controversy of evolution versus creationism, including Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution and Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.

  • Richard E. Lenski

    Richard E. Lenski is the Hannah Distinguished Professor in the department of microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University and the president of the Society for the Study of Evolution.

  • Lawrence Lerner

    Lawrence Lerner is a professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at California State University-Long Beach. He is the author of the Fordham Foundation’s report on science education in the United States, “Good Science, Bad Science: Teaching Evolution in the States,” and has served as a consultant on science education standards.

  • Stephen Meyer

    Stephen Meyer is an associate professor of philosophy at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. He is co-author of Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook and director and senior fellow of the Center for the Renewal Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Contact Rob Crowther, director of media and public relations for the center.

  • Kenneth Miller

    Kenneth Miller is a biology professor at Brown University and author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution. He felt that the debate over intelligent design and evolution was both religious and political in that ID proponents want to enlist the government to ensure their ideas are taught in public schools under the banner of First Amendment protection.

     

  • Ronald Numbers

    Ronald Numbers is a professor of the history of science and medicine at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is author of several works on Darwinism, creationism and the conflict between science and Christianity, including The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism.

  • Joshua Rosenau

    Joshua Rosenau is the programs and policy director at the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif. As an evolutionary biologist in Kansas in 2005, he was involved in the fight there over science teaching standards. Rosenau comments on evolution and other science topics on his personal blog.

  • Jason Rosenhouse

    Jason Rosenhouse is the author of Evolution Blog, a commentary on the debate between evolution and creationism. He is an assistant professor of mathematics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

  • Eugenie Scott

    Eugenie Scott is the former founding director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif. She is a longtime supporter of the teaching of evolution in the public schools and a frequent critic of intelligent design. She was co-editor of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

  • Michael Shermer

    Michael Shermer is a noted atheist, the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, executive director of the Skeptics Society and host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at Caltech. He has written several books, including How We Believe: Science, Skepticism and the Search for God and Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design. He is based in Altadena, Calif., and can discuss the tenacity of creationism. 

  • Anne Tweed

    Anne Tweed is president of STEM Learning at McREL International and past president of the National Science Teachers Association. She has written many articles and co-authored several books, such as Designing Effective Science Instruction: What Works in Science Classrooms. She is based in Aurora, Colo.

    Contact: 303-632-5528.
  • John G. West

    John G. West is a vice-president and senior fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science. He contributed an opinion piece about the Louisiana Science Education Act to the National Review. He has a special interest in C.S. Lewis and co-edited The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia.

  • Jennifer Wiseman

    Jennifer Wiseman is an astronomer and director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a NASA astrophysicist, where she is the senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope and studies the formation of stars and planets.

     

    Her Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program published a book, The Evolution Dialogues, that examines evolution and the Christian response.

  • Thomas Woodward

    Thomas Woodward is a professor of missions, evangelism and science at Trinity College of Florida and the author of Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design and Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design. He teaches an online course through Trinity called “Darwinism and Intelligent Design.”

  • Michael Zimmerman

    Michael Zimmerman is vice-president for academic affairs and provost at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. and founder and director of the Clergy Letter Project. In 2004, he organized a letter-writing effort among Wisconsin clergy to ask Grantsburg, Wis., school officials to keep evolution at the center of the district’s science education. The district had earlier agreed to include alternative theories to be taught, but then reversed itself. About 200 clergy from Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist and other churches wrote letters to school administrators asking them not to single out evolution for “special scrutiny.” The campaign turned into the nationwide campaign known as the Clergy Letter Project, which has collected more than 10,000 signatures.

Regional sources

In the Northeast

  • Anne Clifford

    Anne Clifford is a Catholic nun and associate professor of theology at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She says what is needed in the debate is not the replacement of natural science with theistic science, but a dialogue between scientists and theologians.

  • Robin Collins

    Robin Collins is a philosophy professor at Messiah College, an evangelical Christian school in Grantham, Pa. He has written several articles and papers about intelligent design.

  • John Jefferson Davis

    John Jefferson Davis is a professor of systematic theology and Christian ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. He has expertise in world religions, theology, homosexuality, abortion, medical ethics, just war, bioethics, environmental ethics, intelligent design, business ethics and biblical ethics. He teaches a course titled “Christian Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today.”

  • Karl Giberson

    Karl Giberson serves as scholar-in-residence in science and religion at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. He has written or co-written a number of books, including Worlds Apart: The Unholy War Between Science and Religion; Species of Origins: America’s Search for a Creation Story; Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists Versus God and Religion; and Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. He is critical of intelligent design theory, charging that it is a religious belief because the “intelligence” referred to is always God. Giberson has lectured on science and religion at Oxford University and the Vatican, as well as many American universities and colleges.

  • Laurie Godfrey

    Laurie Godfrey is an anthropology professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She and Andrew Petto are co-editors of Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

  • Philip Kitcher

    Philip Kitcher is a philosophy professor at Columbia University in New York City.

    In 2006, he delivered a public lecture titled “Darwin, Design and the Future of Faith” at the university.

  • Mark McPeek

    Mark McPeek is the David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College in Lebanon, N.H.

    He conducted a symposium titled “Darwinian Evolution Across the Disciplines.”

  • Hudson Kern Reeve

    Hudson Kern Reeve is a professor at Cornell University’s department of neurology and behavior.

    At a panel discussion on evolution and intelligent design in 2006, he delivered a rebuttal to a speech given by Discovery Institute fellow Cornelius Hunter, another panelist.

  • Jon Roberts

    Jon Roberts is the Tomorrow Foundation Professor of History at Boston University.

    He participated in a panel on intelligent design and evolution at Arizona State University in 2006.

  • Jay D. Wexler

    Jay D. Wexler is a professor of law at Boston University School of Law, where he teaches law and religion.

    He has written extensively on the evolution-intelligent design conflict in public schools. He has predicted the next legislative battleground will not be about teaching intelligent design, but about states and localities trying to get schools to teach “arguments against evolution,” which he has said will be a more difficult legal battle than the one against intelligent design.

  • David Sloan Wilson

    David Sloan Wilson is an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University of the State University of New York who has written and spoken extensively about evolution and human behaviors, including altruism, gossip and decision-making in groups. He co-wrote Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. He has written several books on evolution, including Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives.

In the South

  • Raymond Bohlin

    Raymond Bohlin is a biologist and vice president of vision outreach with Probe Ministries of Richardson, Texas. He is the co-author of The Natural Limits to Biological Change. He is listed as a creation scientist by the Institute for Creation Research.

  • Walter Bradley

    Walter Bradley is a former engineering professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and an advocate of creationism and intelligent design.

  • J. Budziszewski

    J. Budziszewski is a professor of government and philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He is the author of Evangelicals in the Public Square: Four Formative Voices on Political Thought and Action, in which he suggests that evangelicals could enhance their political clout if they could learn to draw on the broader lexicon of natural law to justify their public policy proposals.

  • John Angus Campbell

    John Angus Campbell is a retired professor of rhetoric at the University of Memphis and a fellow at the Discovery Institute and of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, a society dedicated to the promotion of intelligent design. He is co-editor of Darwinism, Design and Public Education.

  • Russell W. Carlson

    Russell W. Carlson is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Georgia in Athens and a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design.

    He has been criticized by some of his colleagues for inviting students to after-class discussions about the religious implications of molecular biology.

  • Raymond Arthur Eve

    Raymond Arthur Eve is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He classifies the debate as more political than religious and has data to show that people’s attitudes toward intelligent design and other manifestations of creationism are strongly predicted by other social attitudes they hold, such as attitudes toward gays, prayer in school, pornography, abortion, etc. He is also the co-editor of Chaos, Complexity and Sociology: Myths, Models, and Theories, which examines the new science of chaos and complexity mathematics that shows how complex systems, such as the human eye, can evolve from simple mathematical rules without direct intervention by an intelligent agent.

  • Sara Harding

    Sara Harding is a professor of religion at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. She and Nancy Morvillo, a professor of biology, are co-directors of the Florida Center for Science and Religion, which hosts events designed to engage the central Florida community in discussions of science and religion. Previous events have focused on evolution.

  • Richard J. Martinez

    Richard J. Martinez an associate professor of management and the chair of the department of management, marketing and business at Houston Baptist University.

    In September 2007, he was one of several speakers at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s “Intelligent Design in Business Practice” conference. He says among the things participants were interested in exploring was how the central principles of intelligent design research may help people understand business processes better.

  • J. Michael Plavcan

    J. Michael Plavcan is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He contributed a chapter titled “The Invisible Bible: The Logic of Creation Science” to Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

    He says there are two separate issues in the conflict — the first is an attempt to undermine evolutionary biology in public schools, and the second is that, as a result of fear of controversy, evolutionary biology is being quietly avoided or mistaught with disturbing frequency.

  • Michael Ruse

    Michael Ruse is a professor of philosophy at Florida State University in Tallahassee and author of Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship Between Science and Religion. He says evolution belongs in the science classroom while intelligent design can be taken up in the context of current affairs or history. In his book The Evolution-Creation Struggle, he wrote that while intelligent design is infused with religion, some Darwinians have made evolution their religion by pushing it as a kind of secular humanism.

  • Todd C. Wood

    Todd C. Wood is Core Academy president and professor of biochemistry in Dayton, Tenn. He is listed by the Institute of Creation Research as a “creation scientist.”

In the Midwest

  • David Buchanan

    David Buchanan is an associate dean for academic programs, and animal sciences professor and geneticist, at North Dakota State University in Fargo, S.D.

    He has taught a course titled “Creation, Evolution and Intelligent Design” at his church.

  • Andrew Petto

    Andrew Petto is a senior lecturer in biosciences at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He and Laurie Godfrey are co-editors of Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

  • Alvin Plantinga

    Alvin Plantinga is John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of “The Dawkins Confusion: Naturalism ad absurdum,” a review of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, in the March/April 2007 issue of Books & Culture. Plantinga has written several articles about faith and science

    He has written several articles about faith and science and has supported intelligent design.

  • Steve Rissing

    Steve Rissing is a professor at Ohio State University’s department of evolution, ecology and organismal biology.

    He has been active on behalf of school board candidates who support the teaching of evolution and science museums that accept evolution as the foundation for modern biology.

In the West

  • David DeWolf

    David DeWolf is a professor emeritus of law at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash. He is a fellow of the Discovery Institute and co-author of its Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook

    He wrote an opinion piece (see above) for the June 11, 2007, Boston Globe in which he defended the right of academics to question evolution.

  • Michael Keas

    Michael Keas is an adjunct faculty member at Biola University, a Christian school in La Mirada, Calif. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Science & Culture at the Discovery Institute and is the primary author of the auxiliary materials for its textbook, Explore Evolution.

  • Scott Minnich

    Scott Minnich is an associate professor in the school of food science at the University of Idaho in Boise and a fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He is a co-author of Explore Evolution: The Arguments For and Against Neo-Darwinism.

    He testified on behalf of the defendants in Kitzmiller v. Dover.

  • Kevin Padian

    Kevin Padian is an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, where he operates the Padian Lab.

    Padian testified for the plaintiffs in the Dover case.

  • John Mark Reynolds

    John Mark Reynolds is the president of The Saint Constantine School. Dr. Reynolds is a senior fellow of humanities at The King’s College in New York City. He is also a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He was also the founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute.

  • Barry Ritchie

    Barry Ritchie is the vice provost for academic personnel as well as a professor in the department of physics at Arizona State University.

    He moderated a panel on intelligent design and evolution at the school in 2006.

    Contact: 480-965-4707.
  • Holmes Rolston III

    Holmes Rolston III is a University Distinguished Professor in the department of philosophy at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He has received the Templeton Prize and the Mendel Medal, both of which recognize achievement in science and religion.

    He participated in a panel on intelligent design and evolution at Arizona State University in 2006.

  • Joe Thornton

    Joe Thornton is a professor at the Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago.

    He has lectured on the subject of “Science and the Search for God” at Columbia University in New York City.

  • Leslie Wickman

    Leslie Wickman is director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian university in Azusa, Calif.

    She has delivered a public lecture titled “Science and the Bible” that examined creation and modern science.

  • Matt Young

    Matt Young is co-author of Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism. He teaches physics at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

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