Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trouble in Hong Kong

There is an editorial by Alex Lo in the South China Morning Post responding to the story of a professor at the University of Hong Kong, Chris Beling, who is upset that the administration, with support of the faculty, threw out a course he had developed on intelligent design. Compounding the problem is that he showed up on a radio debate arguing the case for ID. The story, itself, only shows up in the SCMP and they want money to read it so I will not link it. Here is the editorial, in somewhat peculiar form. He writes, charitably:

No one is questioning his faith. As a Hong Kong resident, he must be free to believe in, and openly practise, whatever religion he subscribes to. He should be completely free to teach intelligent design in a church, or even in university classes for theology or philosophy. He should enjoy the same freedom if he were a devotee of fung shui or astrology. Indeed, I applaud him for taking part in an RTHK radio debate last week about creationism and evolution to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday. By arguing for the contentious doctrine in public, he has performed a valuable service to the community.

Then the other shoe drops:

But intelligent-design theory today is often clothed in modern biological or physics terminology to make it sound more scientific. Its leading advocates at the Seattlebased [sic] Discovery Institute argue “ certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection”. But beneath their rhetoric, they are creationist at the core. They insist on the theory’s scientific status because of the peculiar culture and politics in the US.

He is correct on both points. I wonder how correct he is about the "peculiar culture" of the U.S. The most vocal creationist in this country, builder of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, is a native Australian. Creationism is, apparently, alive and well over there.

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