Re: Private lists like CRSnet
Mon, 17 May 1999 08:47:46 -0500 (CDT)

Glenn Morton wrote:

>I did not say anything in that post that I hadn't already said to Paul
>Nelson privately. It is my observation that in general, big name
>apologists, won't come and engage in the rough and tumble debate. Hugh
>Ross won't, Phil Johnson no longer does, Behe doesn't anymore, Robert
>Newman doesn't. Henry Morris doesn't, Steve Austin doesnt, Kurt Wise
>doesn't. Duane Gish doesn't. I think it is our of fear that they will
>be shown to have difficulties with their ideas and lose readership and
>credibility. Like the ICR folks, the present IDers only engage in
>controlled debates which occur in front of small audiences (the PBS
>debates being a remarkable exception) but never in forums where wide
>parts of the laity can watch or where experts of various disciplines can
>shoot at the ideas. Frankly, if an hypothesis can't stand the heat of a
>forum like the evolution reflector or here on the ASA list, then it
>really isn't an idea worth considering.

Jon Wells and I just this weekend (5/15) presented a poster
("Reconceptualizing Evolutionary Developmental Biology") at the
conference "The Developmental Basis of Evolutionary Change" at the
University of Chicago. As the old Rolling Stones song puts it, we
went "to get our fair share of abuse." Joe Levine, science editor
for the upcoming NOVA series on evolution, spent a long time at the
poster with both Jon and me, as did Martin Kreitman (U of C molecular
evolutionist), and a bunch of other faculty, post-docs, and grad
students. The discussions were lively, critical, but generally cordial.
Next month Jon and I will be giving papers in Kunming, China, at a
conference on the origin of body plans sponsored by the Chinese Academy
of Sciences, and in July the ID crew will be taking their case in front
of the ASA annual convention.

Mike Behe this spring has lectured at Ohio State, in a debate format
to an audience well over 1,000 (Brian Harper attended), to the molecular
biology division at the Mayo Clinic, to U-Mass Amherst (the auditorium was
overflowing), and several other institutions, in wide-open formats where
he had to field questions from all comers. Phil Johnson just spoke to very
large audiences at UC-San Diego (800+) and UC-Davis (1,200+), in both
locations taking very aggressive questioning from UC biology faculty and
grad students. Bill Dembski and I both took pointed, forceful questioning
at MIT and Tufts last month from bright and knowledgeable critics.
Dan Morton -- Glenn's son -- attended the MIT lecture.

The ID crew may be wrong about design, but we're hardly bashful. ;-)

Paul Nelson
Senior Fellow
The Discovery Institute