Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ken Miller at KU

My e-mail to Casey Luskin at the Discovery Institute was featured at Evolution News and Views on Sept. 20. Content below:

Ken Miller gave a lecture at KU a few weeks ago titled, "God, Darwin, and Design: Creationism's Second Coming". He was first at bat in the "Difficult Dialogues at The Commons” series of lectures.

The thing that bothered me the most about Miller’s presentation was that he repeatedly stated that "In ‘99, the Kansas Board of Education took evolution out of the standards”. He even said at one point that they were planning to “take evolution out of the curriculum”. That is blatantly untrue.

I am very familiar with how the ‘99 fiasco went down. I’ve read portions of the ’99 standards, the standards prior to ‘99, and the new standards. Before ‘99, evolution was only mentioned in approximately two lines of the standards. No one “took evolution out of the standards” in ‘99 because prior to ‘99 it had never been included. That certainly didn’t mean that evolution was not taught in Kansas!!

Both the board and the standards committee recommended a set of standards. The standards committee added all kinds of macroevolutionary statements to the set of standards they recommended, but the board preferred to let the districts handle how those issues would be addressed so they did not include as much evolutionary content in the set of standards that they recommended. But, certainly, no one proposed to “take evolution out of the curriculum”. That is a blatantly false accusation. Obviously, that would be a big deal to Miller if it actually occurred because he is the guy writing the textbooks!

Miller made it sound as though ID is a done deal now that Judge Jones has declared ID creationism. He was very clever in how he presented his case to the college crowd. He worked them just right, with lots of humor and derogatory comments about Discovery Institute fellows. He poked fun of Johnson, Dempski, Behe, and others ~at length~. This seemed like bragging and gloating, and was most uncollegial.

He also said that the bacterial flagellum has been determined to have arisen through evolutionary processes. He proclaimed that Behe’s book is outdated because of this fact. This is sheer nonsense, as I’ve read the responses from the DI regarding this bogus claim.

In the last 20 minutes, Miller finally confronted the difficult question. How does one accept Darwinism and hold to a particular religious faith? He gave Dawkins rave reviews and declared his science to be impeccable and his books outstanding.

But.... Miller tells us.... the difference between he and Dawkins is that Dawkins believes the universe is a singularly random and meaningless place which arose without the aid of a designer, and Miller holds the opposing view. That was pretty much it. No explanation whatsoever as to why he believes a designer exists, especially in light of the fact that he does not acknowledge that we can observe design in nature.

So essentially, both Dawkins and Miller see no evidence of design, and their philosophy as to how evolution works is the same, yet Dawkins follows that evidence and declares the world is without a designer and Miller claims to believe there is a designer. Bizarre. So Miller apparently, like most TE’s, holds to his religious beliefs on faith ~alone~. That’s the problems with TE’s - they can give you no reason whatsoever as to why they believe what they do in regard to their religious beliefs other than they take it all on faith.