I Might Have to Check This Out!

Via David Heddle, I came across this announcement for a conference in Texas entitled “Intelligent Design in Business Practice.” From the announcement:

Successful business leaders are intelligent designers, guiding organizations along innovative paths to achieve ends otherwise unattainable. Intelligent designers are not micromanagers, who short-circuit the freedom and creativity that organizations need to thrive. At the same time, intelligent designers do not encourage unbridled autonomy, which sets organizations adrift, causing them to lose focus and discipline. By striking a proper balance between guidance and autonomy, intelligent designers promote a synergy between organization and leadership that can actualize undreamt possibilities. Intelligent design for now is best known as a scientific alternative to Darwinian and self-organizational approaches to biological origins. This conference brings together scholars and business leaders to discuss the implications of intelligent design for business practice. In particular, this conference will explore how design principles shape the beliefs of leaders about the people they lead, the nexus of innovation, the incentives to entrepreneurship, and the methods for managing organizational change. The overarching theme of this conference is “the business leader as intelligent designer.”

Intelligent designers also prefer to avoid waste and inefficiency, things nature’s supposed designer seems rather keen on. I wonder how they will address that part of the analogy?

Comments

  1. #1 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    July 19, 2007

    Jeffrey Shallit has also noticed that.

  2. #2 Evan
    July 19, 2007

    Because the designer of our universe was clearly not intelligent. He is the Unintelligent Designer. This is all covered in the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Read it brothers and sisters.

  3. #3 David D.G.
    July 19, 2007

    Intelligent design for now is best known as a scientific alternative to Darwinian and self-organizational approaches to biological origins.

    Boy, did they get THAT wrong! Here’s how it should be fixed: “Intelligent Design for now is widely (and falsely) portrayed as a scientific alternative to Darwinian and self-organizational approaches to biological origins.”

    The concept of I.D. just might actually work as a good business management metaphor, but that still won’t give it one iota of the scientific credibility that its promoters claim for it.

    ~David D.G.

  4. #4 Kurt
    July 19, 2007

    Well, if a fair number of CEOs like to think of themselves as gods, this kind of sales pitch could resonate with them. I can imagine ‘intelligent design’ becoming the next big management buzzword, and maybe the DI will even get out of the ‘science’ business and switch to management consulting.

    Oh, the horror.

  5. #5 natural cynic
    July 20, 2007

    Intelligent designers are not micromanagers, who short-circuit the freedom and creativity that organizations need to thrive. At the same time, intelligent designers do not encourage unbridled autonomy, which sets organizations adrift, causing them to lose focus and discipline.

    So ID gets it juuuust right. Maybe you should send Goldilocks instead.

  6. #6 David Heddle
    July 20, 2007

    Off Topic: Jason–not sure if this is, from your viewpoint, in the good news or bad news category, but come January we’ll be colleagues of sorts, in the Va higher-ed business. I was offered a return to my previous position of associate prof at Christopher Newport University in Newport News. This position is half-funded by CNU’s next-door neighbor: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility where I’ll be doing my research in the same collaboration as JMU’s Kevin Gioventti, whom you may know.

  7. #7 Paul Burnett
    July 20, 2007

    Check out that announcement link! (http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=920) The lead speaker is Bill Dembski! No surprise, as the sponsor is Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Smith Center for Leadership Development, which is offering three other “conferences”: “The Practice of Biblical Counseling,” “Certification in Biblical Counseling” and “The Family: Reclaiming a Biblical View.” Dimski should be right at home. The public separation between intelligent design creationism and reigion is certainly disappearing, isn’t it?

  8. #8 Rich
    July 20, 2007

    Plus, as a designer, you can’t show yourself, nor tell your designs what they’re all about.

  9. #9 Science Avenger
    July 21, 2007

    Well Jason, I live in the area, and while you can’t get me to give these bullshitters a dime, I’d be happy to donate a few good beers, some cheese fries and a cheeseburger to your travel fund. I’d love to get the first hand account straight from the skeptic’s mouth.

  10. #10 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    July 22, 2007

    Ahh, so it is the evil Bill Dembski and the SWBTC behind this ID plot. At first I was thinking it was just a clever copy writer in some advertising group.

    Virginia to Texas, is that within a day’s drive? It’s going to cost you $75, unless you can trick them into a Press pass. Seed magazine, right?

  11. #11 TheFallibleFiend
    July 23, 2007

    IDers and other creationists have a long history of saying, “I know you are, but what am I?” They appropriate the scientists’ language, but apply it in misleading ways.

    There are scientists who are making money TODAY applying complex adaptive systems (to include genetic algorithms and evolutionary programming techniques) to solve real-world problems:

    VGO associates
    IcoSystem
    BIOSGroup
    Genetic Programming, Inc.

    Of course, these guys are actually solving problems instead of just talking about solving problems.

    And there are a lot of really smart guys trying to develop a theory of complexity (Gell-Mann et. al. @ SFI, Bar-Yam @ NECSI, DeJong et al @ Krasnow, Holland, Wolfram, etc.) Maybe complexity is only a proto-science itself, a nexus of other sciences. There’s a lot that is not well-understood – even the definition of complexity itself. IDers and other creationists have set up camp in the perceived darkness. Since there’s so many open questions, they’ve just come in and offered nonsense “answers” so they can brag that “ho ho! evolutionists can’t even explain THIS!”

    I don’t know how complexity will end up in its own right, but clearly a lot’s going to be learned. One thing’s sure, though, if it ever comes to fruition, William Dembski’s contribution to understanding will continue to be pure noise.