Scholar to speak about Intelligent Design April 24 at ISU

April 12 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A University of Mississippi professor will speak about "Understanding the Intelligent Design Controversy" at 3:15 p.m. Monday, April 24 in Holmstedt Hall room 116 as part of Indiana State University's Philosophy Spring Lecture Series.

Neil Manson, Ph.D, will talk about Intelligent Design Theory in a historical and philosophical context. He will offer a brief history of design arguments for the existence of God and then offer a brief history of the Intelligent Design Theory - from the 1991 publication of Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial, through the work of Michael Behe (Darwin's Black Box, 1996) and William Dembski (The Design Inference, 1998), up to now. In the course of doing so, Manson will present and discuss the key factual claims and philosophical premises of Intelligent Design Theory, as well as new directions the theory is taking. Manson will conclude that it does not, by itself, give us good reason to believe in God. However, he will also debunk many of the standard objections to the theory.

Manson received degrees in philosophy from the University of Maryland-College Park and Syracuse University. He has served as a Gifford Research Fellow in Natural Theology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and was a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. He taught philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University before coming to the University of Mississippi in 2003.

In addition to authoring several papers relevant to the Intelligent Design argument, Manson is working on a book of his own on the topic, tentatively titled "Explaining Life Metaphysically," which will examine the three main explanations offered for the fitness of the universe for life.

A panel discussion, Intelligent Design: Philosophical, Theological and Scientific Perspectives, will follow at 7 p.m. that evening in Dede III, Hulman Memorial Student Union.

The lecture and panel discussion are sponsored by the ISU department of philosophy and the Center for the Study of Health, Religion and Spirituality at Indiana State University.

Contact: Rocco Gennaro, professor of philosophy, (812) 237-3103 or

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or

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A professor from University of Mississippi will give a presentation, "Understanding the Intelligent Design Controversy."

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