Lents and Swamidass Apply for Discovery Insitute's 2019 Summer Seminar

Anyone here interested in studying with ID Superstars?


@Agauger I was looking at the application process. Seems simple enough. But item 4 may be viewed as discriminatory.

(4) either a letter of recommendation from a professor who knows your work and is friendly toward ID, or a phone interview with the seminar director.

Most students only have a few professors who know their work and are willing to write a letter of recommendation for them. How would the student know if their professors is ID friendly? Does DI make known a list of ID friendly Professors and their university affiliation so that students of all faiths, races, national origins, sexual orientations, ethnicity can apply.

@patrick you are beeing silly now. :wink:

I am very serious about this. I and FFRF have been watching this for many years. Does DI adhere to Federal EEO and educational opportunities requirements? You, as a professor at UWSTL couldn’t get away with what DI is doing.

ID is creationism, a religion and not science education. You can’t get credits for attending and completing this course as DI is NOT an accredited educational institution.

Take a look at the below description of what is being offered to students. This is NOT science education and every university in the country should WARN their students about it. @NLENTS your views on this are especially important as you are a Professor in a secular institution.


Probably not, but why to they have to? They don’t have federal funding.

They operate in the United States as a non-profit organization. They can’t discriminate on the basis of religion unless they admit they are a religious institution, which they claim their not. Furthermore they should expressly say that their course is NOT accredited by anyone as Science based education.


People who don’t know an ID person to recommend them can speak to myself or Brian or John west as a part of the application. Says so on the application itself.


Patrick, I would definitely agree with you if they were saying or implying that the seminars would earn credits or CE hours or something like that, but I don’t see that anywhere. They are free to hold seminars just like other religious institutions. And as @Agauger pointed out, there is an “either/or” in the wording. They can do an interview instead of the letter.

I think what they’re trying to do is prevent “evolutionists” from crashing their seminars by talking about all the scientific evidence that they will ignore. As usual, they don’t come out and say that, but they are perfectly within their rights. These are probably equally about making money for the DI, but that’s no different than what all universities do with summer classes.


Is this so that you can “filter” or discriminate only those students who hold DI’s beliefs?

Patrick, it surely is that, but they’re within their rights to do that.

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Thanks, I am sure you will not be telling your students to apply. :sunglasses: How about you @swamidass - any WUSTL PhD candidates you would like to recommend?

It is the sort of thing we should study and learn from. If it works and is cost effective, perhaps we should do our own version of it. Rather than saber rattling with envy, I would rather determine if they are on to something and join in the fun.

One thing ID has always done better than its opponents is organize. We should learn how to do better rather than knocking them for it.


You should apply then. I am sure @Agauger would give you a favorable recommendation. Plus Seattle is nice in the summer. Perhaps @Agauger would put you and your family up for the duration.

Perhaps I’m wrong but I’m also sure Id be rejected. Regardless, it is the structure and community I’m interested in, not the content.

Yea, it is going to take a long time for DI to forgive you and @NLENTS of all the sins you committed in Science Magazine on the eve of Darwin’s Birthday.

And we’re just getting warmed up! lol

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@NLENTS we don’t earn a penny. It’s pretty much all scholarship. And we have people come who are not ID, but they leave with a better understanding. We don’t invite trolls. We discuss other points of view—how could we not?


@agauger Just out if curiosity, if we were well behaived, would you want to have @NLENTS or myself there? I think the answer is “no.” I’d be wholey impressed if I was wrong and the answer was “yes.”



I’d have to ask. But I’d be surprised. Would you be willing to agree to confidentiality? We take it very seriously.

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I can’t speak for Ann – she keeps her own counsel, as you well know – but I’d love to have you and Nathan there. I don’t make the admissions decisions, however. The main issue, as Ann just noted, would be confidentiality: protecting the other students.

I think readers here may have an erroneous idea about what happens at the DI summer seminar (natural sciences track, anyway; I don’t lecture in the humanities track). There is a great deal more evolutionary theory under discussion than you might guess. Our students are very bright (admission is highly competitive), motivated, and no one’s pushovers. Many times they have left me standing with my hands up, confessing ignorance, or error. Speakers face daily challenges from the students, many of whom have first-rate training in evolutionary biology.

The big difference between our seminar, and what happens at a state or private university (say, U of Pittsburgh, or the U of Chicago, both of which I know well)? We are free to talk about design. Nothing is off limits.

This talk, which I gave in June 2015 in southern Poland, is pretty close to the sort of presentation I make at the DI seminar:

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Well, no offense to you, Ann, but if one reads the posts on EN, especially those by the Egnor and Klinghoffer, one would not get the impression of openness to discussing other viewpoints. Egnor has posted wild and angry rants about how much he “HATES” Darwinism and Klinghoffer, while maybe he’s a nice guy in person, seems to have managed to earn a living by being a professional internet troll. If the DI wants to be taken seriously, it is beyond me why they host content by those two. His last post notwithstanding, Behe is serious and measured, and so are you, Nelson, and a couple others.