SkeptiCamp Phoenix 2009


SkeptiCamp Phoenix 2009 went off wonderfully yesterday. Big thanks to Jim Lippard for doing such a wonderful organizational job.

The picture above is me beginning my 20 minute gallop through the issue of academic freedom and the intelligent design movement. Shorter - and undoubtedly more coherent -  version is:

  • Evolution is not an unchallengeable orthodoxy within science and major areas (of evolution as fact, the pathway of evolution, and its mechanisms) have been challenged in the past by researchers working within the field. These researchers used the institutions of science (peer reviewed journals etc) to bring about change.
  • Despite the claims of the DI, there is no evidence that there is active suppression of ID proponents in any way that would prevent them challenging the status quo using the institutions of science. There is no evidence of the academic freedom of ID supporters being infringed.
  • There is currently no theory of ID and it is likely that any theory of ID would eventually have to fallback on supernatural action and thus violate the bedrock principle of methodological naturalism. Given the success of MN and its centrality to modern science, this would most likely mean that any ID theory would fail to convince the scientific community.
  • The appeals to "academic freedom" to teach the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution are spurious and indicate the lack of a positive argument for intelligent design and its ultimate reliance on supernaturalism.

We're planning another SkeptiCamp for 2010. Stay tuned!

More like this

One of the fun things about traveling to strange places like Seattle is getting to meet new and interesting people — or, at least, people who are made of meat rather than the more familiar bit patterns of the net. I've had a few occasions now to talk to Alan Boyle, who has just summarized my NWSA…
It has become sort of a tradition for me to present an end-of-year roundup of the "achievements" of the intelligent design movement. Last year I noted that the IDists achieved even less than in the previous year, noting that they had achieved so little that I actually didn't blog much on ID. This…
The Disco. Inst. is in a tizzy. No, it's more than a tizzy, it's all-out Disco. Inferno! Spokesman Rob Crowther writes: Liberal Darwin Activists Spin Push-Poll in Attempt to Water Down Science Standards: The liberal Darwin lobby group Texas Freedom Network has just published a push-poll of…
Jim Lippard is organizing SkeptiCamp Phoenix 2009. A SkeptiCamp is "a conference whose content is provided by attendees. Where BarCamp is focused on technology, SkeptiCamp instead focuses on topics of interest to skeptics, including science, critical thinking and skeptical inquiry." The event is…

I was at Skepticamp specifically to hear your lecture, but had to leave early, hope it went well. Perhaps there will be other opportunities to hear you speak.

@ Noah

Yeah ... I ended up a little late in the batting order :)

I'll be giving an expanded version of the talk at the American Humanists meeting here in Tempe in early June.