Monday, October 03, 2005

Katie gets a pass . . .

Who are we kidding? It would take more than a story about the Renaissance man Rutherford Aris to do that. Katie’s writes about Aris in her Star Tribune column today, October 3rd.

Katie tells us about the long-time but now retired professor of chemical engineering who also had an interest in medieval Christian Latin manuscripts, and who was a devout Christian. In fact, the MacLauren Institute, recently sponsored a conference called the Professor as Pilgrim to recognize the Regents Professor Emeritus, who is now in failing health. Apparently, mentoring graduate students and younger faculty members was something that Professor Aris was especially good at.

What is the MacLauren Institute? According to its website, it is A Christian study center serving the University of Minnesota community. So far so good. But, when you scroll down the home page, you can see that the Institute sponsors event like this:
Intelligent Design, Methodological Naturalism and the Integrity of Science, Dr. Michael Kent, Sandia National Lab, Thursday, October 27, 7:00 p.m., Room 140, Nolte Center, 315 Pilllsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN
And it contains entries like this in a section called Gopher’s Den:
Intelligent Design on Trial Sep. 26th, by Matt Kaul

The New York Times has an article on the upcoming Dover, PA lawsuit concerning the teaching of ID in public schools, in which upcoming MacLaurin Institute guest Dr. Michael Behe is expected to be the star witness for the defense.
Well, Spot’s a monkey’s uncle, or maybe a monkey is his uncle! These are Katie’s kind of people.

So Katie, what did Professor Aris have to say about intelligent design? Hmm, after reading the column a couple of times – Spot will do almost anything for his readers – he could not find any quotations by Professor Aris, much less one on the subject of intelligent design. In fact, she doesn’t quote anybody on the ID issue.

Here’s Katie explanation of the professor’s religious faith:
. . . How did he reconcile his science and his religious faith? Some would say that the more Aris saw of the universe, the more he saw God's hand at work and the more he came to realize the limits of his own knowledge. . . .
Well, actually it was Katie who said that. It’s a lot easier if you just make stuff up. Here’s another priceless bit from the column:
At the conference, Keller displayed Aris' "academic family tree," a chart of 60 former Aris students and the students' students who are now teaching at leading American universities. Said Keller: "This represents the personal influence of one man," a man who believed he was called to be a humble servant of God.
Did you notice how Keller and Katie teamed up on this quotation, gentle readers? Imagine. Said FDR, “December 7th, 1941, a day which will live in infamy,” in spite of the fact that the Redskins hung on to beat Philadelphia 20 – 14.

And by the way, the Keller is Ken Keller, who penned a long op-ed piece in the Star Tribune Op-Ex section just yesterday condemning the debasement of science by the creationist or ID crowd.

PZ should probably take it from here.


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