Re: Question for Paul Nelson and Bill Dembski re Tufts lecture
Fri, 9 Apr 1999 14:17:25 -0500 (CDT)

Hi Wesley,

You asked:

>>I wasn't able to attend the recent lectures at either MIT or
>>Tufts, but I've seen a description of an interesting
>>interaction during the Q&A period at Tufts that I would like
>>to ask a couple of questions about.
>>A secondary school science teacher posed a question, asking
>>that if ID is a vital new scientific principle, how should he
>>go about teaching any mechanism of design to his students.
>>According to him, one of the lecturers began, "It is not
>>scienti...", but was interrupted by the other who said, "You
>>seem like a pretty intelligent guy. I bet you could figure it
>>I'd like to know two things.
>>1. A confirmation or denial of the incident.

Some students from the Tufts organization that invited us
made an audio tape of the talks; they may also have taped
the Q & A. You should be able to obtain a copy of the tape
by contacting Ms. Jody Chang at

The exchange with the secondary school teacher took up
several minutes, nearly becoming a mini-debate, and the
reporter compresses remarks made minutes apart. I said
to the teacher that I thought he would be intelligent
enough to explain design reasoning to his students, but
he protested this (as he did nearly everything else
Dembski and I said, alas). Neither Bill nor I would ever
say "It is not scientific," which appears to be implied by
the sentence fragment and ellipsis, as both of us are
persuaded that design is scientific, and, more to the point,
true. [The fragment may refer to something else being
"not scientific," of course, but it's hard to tell from the
limited context provided by the report.]

>>2. If confirmed, who should be credited with which parts of
>>the answer reported.

The two full sentences [i.e., "You seem..." and "I bet.."]
are reasonably accurate representations of what I said.
If the Tufts audio tape includes the Q & A, however, that
would be the best record of the exchange.

Paul Nelson