Intelligent Design: Science or Religion?

It was standing room only Thursday night, when Dr. Avalos and Dr. Patterson critiqued Intelligent Design Creationism and a recent book by Dr. Gonzalez.

Arguments that the universe was intelligently designed fail to identify anything substantive about that designer, two ISU professors said in a presentation Thursday — a failure they said destroys the scientific validity of those arguments.

Hector Avalos, associate professor of religious studies, and John Patterson, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, both said advocates of intelligent design — which purports that design of the universe by an external agent can be detected in nature — don’t represent anything new in science.

The lecture, sponsored by the Atheist and Agnostic Society, attracted about 150 people who heard Avalos, who teaches in the humanities, and Patterson, a scientist, offer their critiques of “The Privileged Planet,” a book published this spring and co-written by Guillermo Gonzalez, assistant professor of physics and astronomy.

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