This morning there was a pretty decent article by Nadia Chernyak in the Cornell Sun about the new intelligent design class offered here this summer.
. . .MacNeill first came up with the theme for the seminar when brainstorming with Prof. Will Provine, ecology and evironmental biology, for topics for this summer’s seminar class. MacNeill says that the idea was inspired by the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, in which the Dover Area School District in Dover, Pa. was sued for requiring the teaching of intelligent design in high school science classes.
"Given the Dover case, [Provine and I] thought it’d be interesting to teach [this year’s seminar] on Intelligent Design," MacNeill said.
"I’m hoping I get people from both sides so that the discussion will be animated. The worst thing you can have is a dull seminar, which is what you have when people have the same belief or don’t believe in anything," he said.
As part of the attempt to present both sides of the issue, MacNeill has also invited Hannah Maxson ‘07, president of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness club, to help with the class. Questions from the students about books by Intelligent Design proponents will be fielded by Maxson. The class is currently capped at eighteen to keep it discussion-based, not a lecture, says MacNeill.
It appears that this is not MacNeill’s first delve into the topic of Intelligent Design. MacNeill is also on the IDEA list-serve, keeps consistent email correspondence with the club, holds debates about the issue and has invited the IDEA president to give a lecture in one his classes last year. MacNeill describes his relationship with the IDEA club as an "agreement in a very courteous manner to disagree."
"I’m glad it’s being offered," said Maxson. "Intelligent Design needs to be discussed more in academia and not just [as] some ‘frightening political movement’ that needs to be stopped."
Hannah is currently working with MacNeill to pull together intelligent design articles for the reading list. She’s also been invited to the discussions once the class starts to help "provide a cogent case for Intelligent Design theory."
IDEA Executive Director Seth Maxson also gives approval, saying that this "is an example of Intelligent Design being accepted as an intriguing scientific theory by the wider academic community."
The rest of the article can be found here.