Saturday, January 21, 2006

01/21/06 New Developments

To date neither Senator Brophy (R-Wray) or Representative Stafford (R-Aurora) have acted on their declared intentions to propose legislation opening Colorado's public schools to "intelligent design" (ID). In fact, both legislators have become very quiet on the issue and direct inquiries to both by MESIC have received no response. The general opinion expressed on Colorado's political blogs appears to be that it would be a mistake to raise the ID issue in view of the Republican's hope to retake the Colorado General Assembly in November. We can only hope that this is the case and matter will remain inactive in the General Assembly.

In other events, Colorado State University and Summitview Community Church hosted Dr. John Morris, the Director of the Institute for Creation Research who is most noted for his many expeditions to Mount Ararat in the search for Noah's Ark.

The Colorado-based Focus on the Family newsletter, "CitizenLink," included an article discussing the recent decision by the El Tejon School District in California to drop its proposed ID course. The article cites Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute as emphasizing: "It [the decision] should in no way be seen as a prevention for other school districts to teach intelligent design and the full course of scientific evidence both opposing and supporting evolution. ...". The article concludes with an advertisement by Focus on the Family selling the ID/Creationism movie, Unlocking the Mystery of Life.

The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published an article by Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna in Italy, reaffirming the Church's stance on ID. Specifically, the Church denies that ID constitutes science and says it should not be taught as such. In view of this reaffirmation, we decided to contact the Archdiocese of Denver to see their reaction. It should be remembered that the Archdiocese, through its official organ, the Denver Catholic Register, launched a rabid attack on science last October, deliberately attempting to equate secular science with the Nazi Holocaust, portraying "intelligent design" as some form of "science" and portraying scientific theory as a form of religious dogmatism. See, for example, "Author examines dangers of Darwin's evolution theory" by Wayne Laugesen, 19 October 2005, Denver Catholic Register. The Archdiocese did confirm that it is following Church doctrine and not teaching ID as science.

We are also happy to report that the Telluride Watch has the distinction of being the first Colorado print medium to mention the MESIC project, on January 6.

Upcoming Events:

Noted theoretical physicist, science advocate, and lecturer on the topic of ID, Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss will be visiting Colorado later in January and early February talking about the ID assault on sound education.

To quote the announcement from Colorado College,
"Science Under Attack, from the White House to the Classroom" on February 2, 2006:
-

"Lawrence M. Krauss, theoretical physicist and author, presents a lecture, "Science Under Attack, from the White House to the Classroom: Public Policy, Science Education, and the Emperor's New Clothes." Krauss is a professor of physics, professor of astronomy, and director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University. He authored seven popular books including international bestseller "The Physics of Star Trek" and the award-winning "Atom." Krauss is also a regular essayist for newspapers such as the New York Times, and appears regularly on television. He is the only physicist to have been awarded the highest awards of the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. He has led the effort by scientists to defend the teaching of science in public schools. His essay in the New York Times on "Evolution and Intelligent Design" in May 2005 helped spur recent controversy. Krauss argues that scientists and those interested in science need to become vocal evangelists for science on many fronts. Sponsored by the Harold D. and Rhoda N. Roberts Lecture Fund in Natural Sciences.
[7:30 p.m., Packard Hall, SW corner of Cascade Ave. and Cache La Poudre St. FREE]

Professor Krauss will also be speaking twice in Aspen:

Jan 24, 2006 - Wheeler Opera House, Aspen CO
Jan 24, 2005 - Explore Bookstore, Aspen CO

The Boulder International Humanist Institute will also be starting its 2006 speaker series with "An Evening of Ideas and Community" on Charles Darwin's birthday. This event will feature Chris Mooney, the Washington correspondent for Seed magazine and a senior correspondent for the American Prospect. He focuses on issues at the intersection of science and politics, and is author of the bestselling book The Republican War on Science.

This event will be held on February 12, 2006 at 6:00 pm at the Flemming Law School (Near Baseline and Broadway). Admission is Free, Please call 303-543-9166 to reserve your seats.

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