The Michael Medved show is a national radio show broadcast out of Seattle, Washington. According to Talkers magazine, he has the fifth largest radio audience. He has a regular weekly segment on science and culture featuring scholars from the Discovery Institute.
Here is the sixth segment from this past week, courtesy of the Intelligent Design: The Future podcast.
The MP3 file is available for download. (38 minutes)
The description is:
On this episode of ID the Future, the CSC’s Casey Luskin and atheist Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation debate academic freedom and free speech on the Medved Show. This debate was inspired by the ongoing case of Professor Eric Hedin, a physicist at Ball State University who is being threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for favorably portraying intelligent design in the classroom.
Please lend your voice to defend Professor Eric Hedin and academic freedom. Sign the petition at www.academicfreedompetition.com.
Each week, leading fellows from Discovery Institute will join Michael Medved to talk about the intersection of science and culture. Listen in live online or on your local Medved station, or stay tuned at ID the Future for the weekly podcast.
Topics: (note that I am paraphrasing Dan Barker for the sake of humor, and he will probably sue me, since that is his entire contribution to the search for truth in this debate)
- Michael Medved: untenured Ball State University professor Eric Hedin is under fire for teaching both sides of intelligent design in a college course
- Dan Barker: this complaint against professor Hedin came to our attention from Jerry Coyne not from students of Professor Hedin
- Dan Barker: professors are not allowed to question the presuppositions atheism, materialism, naturalism in the physics classroom
- Dan Barker: this is a science course and you cannot question the religion of naturalism in class or else it’s teaching religion
- Dan Barker: we need to use the power of the courts to stifle any dissent from of my religion (naturalism)
- Dan Barker: the classroom of a university is not the proper place for students to inquire about both sides of scientific disputes
- Dan Barker: even if students are paying their money and choosing this course of their own free will, they can’t be allowed to hear both sides
- Casey Luskin: this course is not a science course, it is open to non-science students
- Casey Luskin: the course evaluations from students of all majors is overwhelmingly positive
- Casey Luskin: the course features people on both sides
- Casey Luskin: the course features brilliant scholars like Lennox and Penrose, both from Oxford University
- Casey Luskin: the course features opponents of intelligent design like Francis Collins and Karl Gilberson
- Casey Luskin: the course features non-Christians like Lee Spetner, Paul Davies, Roger Penrose and Gerald Schroeder
- Dan Barker: (taking over the host) you cannot study scientists like Francis Collins who mapped the human genome, that is “creationism”
- Michael Medved: academic freedom allows professors to put a slant on what they are teaching
- Dan Barker: if the professor’s slant is against my religion of naturalism, then I have to put them in jail and inquisition them
- Dan Barker: you cannot teach science like the Big Bang and fine-tuning as if it is science because it contradicts naturalism
- Casey Luskin: Even radical atheist PZ Myers says that professors have the right to academic freedom
- Dan Barker: I’ll burn that creationist at the stake, too! And smash his filthy microscopes and telescopes!
- Michael Medved: Casey, would you use state power to fire a professor who disagreed with you because you were offended?
- Casey Luskin: no, I had to take tons of courses from professors who had a slant against my views and I learned a lot from different views
- Dan Barker: you will address me as the Holy Father, please! Every professor who disagrees with my religion must burn!
- Casey Luskin: Barker has no idea what is going on in the class, he never attended it
- Casey Luskin: The atheists students who took his class gave him high ratings and said he graded fairly
- Dan Barker: I don’t have to look through the telescope to know the Earth is flat – Hedin is a traitor! Off with his head!
- Dan Barker: Creationist PZ Myers is wrong, and I’ll burn him at the stake for creationist heresy against my Holy Church!
- Dan Barker: Oxford professors like John Lennox are creationists because his Big Bang religion is grounded on experimental data like the cosmic background radiation, the hydrogen/helium abundances and the redshifting of light from distant galaxies
- Dan Barker: I have a degree in Religion and I write hymns, which makes me smarter than John Lennox since he is a “creationist”
- Dan Barker: I haven’t published any scientific research myself, but I have written some atheist praise hymns, so I am qualified to burn the heretics!
- Michael Medved: The course is taught by someone with a PhD in Physics, and the syllabus says that it investigates science and religion
- Michael Medved: Why is it wrong to investigate the science that questions philosophical assumptions like naturalism and materialism?
- Casey Luskin: The syllabus features amazing readings from all the latest science relevant to that question from both sides
- Michael Medved: What will Ball State U do to the professor?
- Casey Luskin: So far no action from Ball State U, but people need to sign the petition to protect the professor
- Michael Medved: Isn’t academic freedom being applied inconsistently here?
- Casey Luskin: Yes and science is supposed to move forward by disagreement and debate
- Casey Luskin: How confident can intelligent design censors really be if their contribution to the debate is coercion and intimidation?
- Michael Luskin: Is Dan Barker right to say that Oxford professor John Lennox is a “creationist”?
- Casey Luskin: Creationism starts with the Bible, but intelligent design starts with scientific data
And there is a period of questions from the callers. This episode features a debate, so it is not to be missed.
You can see more about Dan Barker’s educational background:
Dan became a teenage evangelist at age 15. At 16 he was choir librarian for faith-healer Kathryn Kuhlman’s Los Angeles appearances. He received a degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1975.
[...]Dan preached for 19 years. He maintained an ongoing touring musical ministry, including eight years of full-time, cross-country evangelism. An accomplished pianist, record producer, arranger and songwriter, he worked with Christian music companies such as Manna Music and Word Music. For a few years, Dan wrote and produced the annual “Mini Musicale” for Gospel Light Publications’ Vacation Bible School curriculum.
I’m not sure if Dan Barker has the right background for disputing whether intelligent design belongs in a classroom or not. Remember, the bulk of his life was spent writing and singing feel-g0od, happy-clappy songs. In his debates with Christians, it’s quite clear that he is totally unequipped to assess scientific evidence from the Big Bang, the fine-tuning, the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, or habitability. It’s just not his thing, and I don’t think that musicians have what it takes to understand those arguments enough to feel comfortable using the courts to suppress people with actual PhDs in science.
You can read more about my opinion about how Dan Barker arrived at his atheism through a mistaken view of the Christian life.
I subscribe to the ID the Future podcast, and I really recommend that you do as well!
- Episode one: Stephen C. Meyer on Thomas Nagel and intelligent design
- Episode two: Stephen C. Meyer on Richard Dawkins and the Cambrian explosion
- Episode three: John G. West discusses Darwinism and the value of human life
- Episode four: Stephen C. Meyer and John Lennox discuss human exceptionalism
- Episode five: Jay Richards and Stephen C. Meyer discuss scientific consensus