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


(Ann Gauger) #21

Besides, you’d probably have to do the mr TapeFace thing to keep from bursting out


(Nathan H. Lents) #22

Paul, if I can work it into my schedule (which means lots of advance notice, I’m almost booked up for the summer), you can bet your bum I would show up and engage in respectful evidence-based dialog. I am a friendly guy and I enjoy lots of things besides science, including good food and drink. :slight_smile:

(Nathan H. Lents) #23

If I did agree to confidentiality, I would keep it, because I am a man of my word. But I would be very hesitant without a lot more detail about why confidentiality is important.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #24

Well, you all inspired me. Here is the email application that I just sent in.

I’m a professor interested in the 2019 Summer Seminar. I understand you reserve spots for scientists that are past the student stage. I’d like to be considered for one of those slots.

  1. My CV: http://swami.wustl.edu/swamidass_cv.pdf

  2. No transcript, as it has been over 10 years since I was graded on anything.

  3. I’ve been engaged in prolonged public dialogue with ID through Peaceful Science. I want to understand ID better so I do not misrepresent it. This is becoming an increasingly large part of my effort. Twice now Dr Gauger and Dr Bradley have attended events hosted by me, and it is time that I returned the favor. If I am permitted to attend, I plan to be non-argumentative and maintain confidentiality of participants. If it would serve you, I would consider engaging in dialogue there too, though my main purpose is to come and learn. I’m not sure we will agree on everything in the end, but I expect to more clearly understand our common ground, and to refine my understanding of where ID is right now. Perhaps, also, I’ll learn of things I just have wrong about you right now. I’d welcome that sort of enlightenment.

  4. I understand there may be uncertainty in how to manage this request from me. Rather than asking for a letter of recommendation from Dr. Gauger or Dr. Bradley, I’m willing to have a phone interview with Dr. West.

@Pnelson would you check in with West about this? It isn’t a prank, but a genuine request. Also, I would protect the confidentiality of students there. Not just to satisfy you, but because this is a totally shared concern for me.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #25

@NLENTS there are people who would seriously go after those students, merely for attending. The confidentiality is important to protect the students.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #26

Put in an application @NLENTS. I just did myself, you can crib mine if you like. See here: Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design in the Natural Sciences | Center for Science and Culture.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #27

Oh, I can vouch for @NLENTS and @swamidass, they would be fine among the other students. No need for protection from Nathan and Josh.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #28

@Jordan and @cwhenderson, do you want to come along too? Put in an application.

(Ann Gauger) #29

It’s pretty simple. We have upper level undergrads, graduate students, post docs, assistant professors, teachers, people from all levels and branches of Science who attend. Many are in vulnerable places in their careers—up for tenure, looking for places in graduate programs, you get the idea. We have too much experience of students who lose positions or jobs or tenure because of being identified as sympathetic to ID. Even a picture on a Facebook page can be enough. We don’t allow photos to be taken for that reason. A careless remark made by one person to a reporter once cost Doug Axe his job. We’re not joking, this is serious. You can talk about me – how terrible my lecture was. You can say that I talked about enzyme evolution, or origin of life, or human origins. The things you might expect. You can even say I disagreed with her and raise these issues and she had no good answers. I don’t care that’s fine we just can’t have you talking about the students or the structure of the seminar .

(Paul A Nelson) #30

Yes I will check with him.

Secret from life in ID / DI circles: we talk about evolutionary theory all the time. Often critically, sure, but more often in this mode too: “Hey, you forgot about evolutionary mechanism X!” or “Have you considered evolutionary process Y?” It is impossible to consider design hypotheses without evaluating the potential evolutionary forces at play. I first realized this with a shock at a private ID research meeting in North Carolina (attended by Mike Behe and many other names you would recognize), about 13 years ago, when, at the end of the first day, it struck me and others that nearly everything we had done that day would be right at home at any evo-devo or origin-of-life meeting.

The difference? Design wasn’t ruled out a priori.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #31

@pnelson Would you be able to take some pictures that we post here? Just of Nathan and Josh with the other students faces blocked out.

(Ann Gauger) #32

Why is this relevant? You have to be a junior in college or higher to apply.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #33

Repeating this again, to be 100% clear, I would be entirely there with you in enforcing confidentiality. We could discuss how to give you confidence with this. I’m conformable having you, for example, review ahead of time anything I put out in public about these events to address any privacy concerns that come up. I would also treat you with the same respect @Agauger, that you showed me at the ASA and last week at the workshop.

Please ask about @NLENTS too.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #34

It sounds so secretive. A group of highly educated science professionals having to keep their identities a secret. Does the group go out for a meal after class? Is this secret too or at a non-disclosed restaurant in Seattle?

(Ann Gauger) #35

I doubt you would qualify for the scholarship. If John West were to agree you would have to pay your own way. The scholarships are intended for students only as you can imagine. In fact anytime we have professors who attend they are usually expected to pay their way.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #36

Just answer yes or no. Any minors there?

(Nathan H. Lents) #37

Not to sound snobbish, but I would go as an invited discussant, not as an attendee. I’m happy to dialog, but I’m not paying my own way. I couldn’t justify the time away from my family unless there was something more tangible “in it for me.” I know that sounds crude, but I have two small kids who miss their dad when he’s away.

(Ann Gauger) #38

I already answered.

(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #39

Take your family, Seattle is nice in the summer. It would be a great trip.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #40

I’d need to have my way paid, just like I paid your way (2x) and I paid Walter Bradley’s way (2x) and I paid Paul Nelson’s way (1x), and you are paying the way for the students. I’m sure the same is true for @NLENTS. It is up to you guys, I suppose, if you want to have us there or not.

I’m actually getting a bit excited about this. I’m not going to ASA this year, or to the BioLogos conference. This might be my substitute. I’m curious to see how this pans out.