Correspondence: A Father, an Atheist Son, and Darwin Heretic Matti Leisola

first_img“A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Intelligent Design Correspondence: A Father, an Atheist Son, and Darwin Heretic Matti LeisolaJonathan [email protected] 9, 2018, 6:41 PM A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Faith & Science Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Jonathan WittExecutive Editor, Discovery Institute Press and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and CultureJonathan Witt, PhD, is Executive Editor of Discovery Institute Press and a senior fellow and senior project manager with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His latest book is Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design (DI Press, 2018) written with Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola. Witt has also authored co-authored Intelligent Design Uncensored, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. Witt is the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors.Follow JonathanTwitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share After reading Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design, a father emailed the co-authors, retired professor/bioengineer Matti Leisola and me, asking for advice about his adult atheist son. The father had sent his son a copy of the book, urging him to read it so the two could discuss the evidence and arguments there. The son, a scientist, declined. Leisola and I exchanged a few emails with the father, and he later gave us permission to summarize some of the back and forth, provided we kept the identity of him and his son private.Fuel for Skepticism?According to the father, his son told him that part of what fueled his skepticism toward the book was that most of those endorsing Heretic were connected directly or indirectly to Discovery Institute and that among Leisola’s many scores of peer-reviewed papers, the tiny number of explicitly pro-design peer-reviewed papers were published by the journal BIO-Complexity, a journal the son dismissed for its connections with Discovery Institute. But some of the peer reviewers for those articles were evolutionists with no association with DI beyond their agreeing to peer-review one or more papers for BIO-Complexity. Also, as Chapter 7 of Heretic notes, there are scores of peer-reviewed science articles supporting intelligent design. Also discussed in the book, distinguished scientists such as paleo-entomologist Günter Bechly lost their positions after voicing support for intelligent design, and science journal editor Richard Sternberg got run out of the Smithsonian Institution after accepting a pro-ID paper for peer review and eventual publication. So it’s no surprise that relatively few scientists have rushed forward to present arguments for design, or that many who do present the evidence do so as discreetly as possible, or that few science journal editors are willing to consider explicitly pro-ID papers for peer-review and publication. The son also suggested that Leisola and I could be ignored because we’re paid guns for intelligent design, apparently unaware that Leisola came to reject modern evolutionary theory before Discovery Institute even existed (made clear in the book) and has only been in communication with some of our scientists for a few years now. Also, he is comfortably retired on his savings as a successful university professor and biotech industry leader, and didn’t even ask for royalties from this book.A Third AlternativeThe son also seemed to suggest that on the other side from ID are all those mainstream scientists pursuing their research untainted by bias or ulterior motives. This might seem plausible if the only alternative were untold thousands of mainstream scientists consciously, willfully denying the evidence of design in nature and cackling into their sleeves as they fudge data and work to suppress evidence. But scholarly work in the history and philosophy of science shows that there is a third and more plausible alternative. Scientific paradigms can work powerfully precisely because they encourage scientists like this man’s son to avoid engaging certain arguments and evidence, and to avoid them as naturally and easily as they breathe air. Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is only the best known of many works in the field detailing this pattern. We offer a few examples in Heretic. “Narrative Gloss”There’s also this to consider from NAS member Philip Skell, from an essay of his in The Scientist: Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.If the son had spent a bit of time with Heretic, he also would know that there are eminent scientists unconnected to Discovery Institute who have stated quite explicitly that they see powerful evidence for a designing intelligence from the evidence of nature, scientists that include some Nobel laureates. After the father described some of the back and forth to us, Leisola emailed back:The response of your son is revealing. He is not really engaging himself with any of the arguments for design or against evolution but only attacks Discovery Institute and questions the motives of the critics of Darwinism. I have had hundreds of these discussions with colleagues, friends and foes over decades. It is never about facts and arguments (which are clearly on the side of design) but always about world views. I think man naturally fears the truth about nature, himself, and finally about God.As a Christian I can only pray that God in his mercy opens the eyes for these realities.Best wishes,Matti LeisolaP.S. I have many friends who agree with me but would never dare to admit that in public.“A Prior Commitment”Later the father emailed again, and Leisola responded a second time: Your son is of course completely right that most of the thousands of scientists are doing exactly that: experiments and publishing them in peer-reviewed scientific journals. I have done that for 45 years and been on the editorial board of some journals and peer-reviewed many articles. But that is not the topic of my book.The big question is: Is nature all there is? What is the paradigm behind modern science? For most scientists it is absolute materialism.Richard Lewontin of Harvard: “We have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (“Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997)Most scientists I know, never think about their basic assumptions or formulate them clearly in their minds. If you challenge the materialistic assumption, the reactions are sometimes strong. That is the theme of my book.All the best to you and your discussions with your son. Do not give up — one day he will face a situation where materialism is not enough. Having four children (and seven grandchildren), I know and understand your position.MattiImage: “Man Writing a Letter,” by Gabriël Metsu [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Recommended TagsAlexander Flemingantibiotic resistanceatheismBIO-ComplexitybioengineeringChristianityDarwinian evolutionDarwinismDiscovery InstituteGünter BechlyHeretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Designintelligent designJonathan WittmaterialismMatti LeisolapesticidesPhilip SkellRichard LewontinRichard SternbergSmithsonian InstitutionThe New York Review of BooksThe ScientistThe Structure of Scientific RevolutionsThomas Kuhn,Trending Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Manlast_img read more

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Program on Humanitarian Leadership

first_img Similar Stories November 25, 2016 Published by emmanuel Reddit Deadline: 19 December 2016Open to: humanitarian professionals working for non-governmental or community based organizations in humanitarian settingsCosts: PHL covers all costs associated with the in person trainingDescriptionConcern Worldwide, in consortium with International Medical Corps (IMC) and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and with technical support from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed the Program on Humanitarian Leadership (PHL). The program, funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, utilizes innovative pedagogies to combine a rigorous academic curriculum with practical experiential learning including mentorship, field assignments and a limited number of field placements.PHL is designed for exceptional humanitarian professionals working for non-governmental or community-based organizations in humanitarian settings. The ideal participant will aspire to take on decision-making and management responsibilities in the humanitarian sector.By the end of this learning process, PHL participants will have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to take on leadership responsibilities within a variety of humanitarian organizations, ultimately improving the delivery of services to those in need of humanitarian assistance.EligibilityA demonstrated interest in pursuing a leadership role in humanitarian sector;The ability to speak, read, and write English with proficiency;A Bachelors degree or a comparable academic or professional qualification;Permission of either your employer (for professionals) or academic supervisor (for graduate students) to participate in all aspects of the program;Attainment of a mid-level position in a non-governmental or community-based organization;Experience in at least one or more humanitarian emergency situations;Aspiration to take on leadership roles in and have a commitment to the humanitarian sector;A passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of the may in-person training course;CostsPHL covers all costs associated with the in-person training (i.e., course fees, round trip flight to Kenya, accommodation, and meals during the in-person training only);Please note that any incidental costs are the sole responsibility of the PHL participant (i.e, visa fees, telephone usage, additional food expenses, etc) and PHL does not provide per diem.How to Apply?Two supporting documents are required and must be submitted at the time of application through the online application:A resume;A letter of reference from your current or most recent manager highlighting your suitability to participate in PHL.If you are not able to apply through the online application, please contact [email protected] Share 0 Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Partner Manager with Social Franchise Organization → Tweet LinkedIn 0 ← PhD in Robotics and Embedded Systems Pocket Program on Humanitarian Leadership +1last_img read more

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BASEBALL: Baylor pulls through in sixth to deny Lamar

first_img Campbell was masterful through six innings, striking out four while allowing just five hits and one walk. The senior transfer from Alvin was close to keeping Baylor scoreless through six innings, but a dropped strikeout on what should have been his final batter and an error allowed the Bear to reach. Baylor capitalized by singling up the middle on the next pitch, drawing a walk that put runners on first and second, and doubling down the right field line to score two. Baylor led 2-1.Ingram and Girouard both went 2-for-4 on the night to try to get Lamar back in the game but the Cardinals couldn’t complete the comeback. They’ll return to Beaumont on Friday to face New Orleans in a three-game Southland Conference series at Vincent-Beck Stadium. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m. Lamar sports informationWACO — A pitchers’ duel through and through, small mistakes led to all three combined runs between Lamar and Baylor on Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark.The Cardinals (6-23) held a 1-0 lead through five innings before the Bears (14-12) scored two in the sixth to escape with a 2-1 win. “Our pitching was phenomenal tonight,” said head coach Will Davis. “We threw a great game, and Jace [Campbell] deserved to get a win. There were just a couple of things that we didn’t execute, and in such a close game that gets magnified. No one play wins or loses the game but there are a couple of things that we wish we could’ve come through on. We also did several things well. We faced two pitchers that have been their Friday night starters in Big 12 play, so it wasn’t like it was an easy challenge.”Scoreless through three innings, Big Red came up with some clutch hitting in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs Logan LeJeune singled up the middle, then advanced to second on a single from Cole Secrest. A single from Cole Girouard on the first pitch he saw scored LeJeune and placed Secrest on third, and a flyout with runners on the corners ended the top of the inning with Lamar leading 1-0. Jace Campbell sat down the Bears in order in the bottom of the inning to keep Lamar ahead.“It was great to see some clutch hits from Chase Whetsel, Logan, and Girouard tonight, all young guys that contributed to our first run,” said Davis. “We just couldn’t add on and unfortunately we weren’t able to hold them. Girouard is one of the best base runners on the team and one of the best defenders in the outfield, and he’s starting to put it together at the plate. He’s got a long way to go, but he has a lot of talent. He’ll continue to grow the more he plays.”center_img “There’s no moral victories in this game,” said Davis. “We should’ve won this game, and we know we were capable of winning. We’re going to try to turn the page on Friday against one of the best starters in the conference.”last_img read more

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