Steve Reuland posted Entry 3253 on July 24, 2007 10:17 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3240

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, William Dembski’s current employer, has something rather curious on its website. If you look at their page of upcoming conferences, here is what they have listed in the left-hand sidebar:

  1. The Practice of Biblical Counseling
  2. Certification in Biblical Counseling
  3. The Family: Reclaiming a Biblical View
  4. Intelligent Design in Business Practice

Can you spot the one that appears out of place? Me neither.

But anyway, yes, they really are having a conference called, Intelligent Design in Business Practice. The flier for the conference comes complete with an obligatory ape-typing-at-keyboard graphic. Unfortunately, it does not say which of the speakers this is intended to represent.

If you’re wondering what the heck ID could have to do with business practice, when it doesn’t even have anything to do with science, then you’re thinking what I’m thinking. All the pretense about ID being some dispassionate scientific theory – not exactly believable to begin with – is rather hard to maintain with them holding conferences that try to apply ID to things that have little or nothing to do with science. (Not to mention that even their supposedly “scientific” conferences tend to resemble tent revivals.) As the Wedge Document has promised us, ID is supposed to have “cultural implications” for “sex, gender issues, medicine, law, and religion”. Business isn’t listed there, but once you’ve declared that your theory makes sweeping dictates over all facets of human society, it’s hardly a stretch to add business practices to the list.

Nevertheless, one has to wonder, given the history of the ID movement, exactly what useful advice the ID movement could possibly have to offer business. As luck would have it, I’ve gotten my hands on a preliminary schedule – the only copy in existence as a matter of fact – which I will post below the fold.

Friday, September 21

4:00–7:00 Registration

7:00–8:00 BANQUET

8:00-8:02 TWO MINUTES’ HATE

8:02–9:00 PLENARY SESSION

Finding Rich, Crazy Religious Nuts to Fund your Business” – Phillip E. Johnson, winner of the Phillip E. Johnson Award.

9:00 Dismiss for Evening

10:30 Bedtime – mandatory lights out.

_________________________________________________________________

Saturday, September 22

8:00-9:00 Breakfast, Coco-Puffs

9:00-10:00 PLENARY SESSION:

Embroiling Your Company in Hopeless Lawsuits” – Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center.

10:00-10:30 BREAKOUT PANEL DISCUSSIONS:

Why Perjuring Yourself in Front of a Federal Court is Good for Business” – Moderator: William Buckingham, former member of Dover Area School Board.

Frivolous Lawsuits and Dishonest Press Releases” – Moderator: Larry Caldwell, parent.

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:45 PLENARY SESSION:

Demonizing Your Business Rivals” – Mark Hartwig, Access Research Network

11:45 - 12:15 BREAKOUT PANEL DISCUSSIONS:

Associating Them With The Nazis – It Never Gets Old” – Moderator: Richard Weikart, Discovery Institute

Why ‘Epicurean’ Should No Longer be Used as a Positive Selling Point” – Moderator: Benjamin Wiker, Discovery Institute

12:15 - 1:30 LUNCH SESSION:

Mutant Shrimp and the Sea Food Industry” – Jonathan Wells, Discovery Institute

1:30 - 2:30 PLENARY SESSION:

Lying about Survey Data to Inflate Your Company’s Image” – Michael Egnor, M.D.

2:30 - 2:45 Break.

2:45 - 3:45 PLENARY SESSION:

The Immorality of Using Sex to Sell Products, Which by the way would have Never, Ever Happened without Darwinism” – Nancy Pearcey, Anti-sex League.

3:34 - 4:45 PANEL DISCUSSION:

“Business Ethics, Who Needs It?”

Sounds fun! Hopefully, we can convince Jason to go.

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Comment #189814

Posted by wolfwalker on July 24, 2007 12:48 PM (e)

Judging by the flyer, this is the same thing to ID that “social Darwinism” was to evolutionary theory: an attempt to connect science to business by using science-based buzzwords to redefine a business concept that was already in existence. “Social Darwinism” was just laissez-faire economics by another name; what SBTS describes as “intelligent design in business” is a jargonized variant on concepts that businesses have been successfully applying for the last thirty or forty years.

The primary difference, of course, is that a hundred years ago the economic far right was using a well-supported scientific theory to prop up an insupportable business model. Today, the religious far right is trying to use a well-supported business model to prop up an insupportable “scientific” theory.

Comment #189815

Posted by sparc on July 24, 2007 12:49 PM (e)

ID is supposed to have “cultural implications” for “sex, ..”

Anybody around here who experienced ID sex?

Comment #189817

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on July 24, 2007 1:19 PM (e)

OT: Libya Six freed

Comment #189818

Posted by Glen Davidson on July 24, 2007 1:22 PM (e)

Sounds fun! Hopefully, we can convince Jason to go.

Did anyone else catch Jason’s question at Behe’s talk about his book Edge of Evolution sponsored by the DI (C-SPAN)? I thought Jason asked something like the best question possible under the circumstances, namely why it is that organisms (and genomes) appear to be cobbled together (implicitly, of course, not designed).

Behe did his dissembling best not to answer, babbling about how what might appear cobbled together to one person might appear designed to another. I’m sure it worked well enough for those who know little and want to believe, but it was a complete non-answer.

Indeed, if one could follow up the question and pseudo-answer, one would have to ask Behe why it is that he “believes” the evidence of common descent while denying that such evidence typically depends on the fact that it is evidence of non-design. And, that while much human design is in fact evolutionary (though differing from biological evolution in important ways, even where it is evolutionary), design typically has revolutionary events not seen in the course of biological evolution.

Anyway, I thought that it was a well-chosen (not new, to be sure) question for the occasion, one that would have stumped a serious scientist propounding ill-considered ideas, though not someone whose entire project is to smother over any problems brought up. And so, I thought it deserved a mention if an excuse for it was supplied.

Glen D
http://geocities.com/interelectromagnetic

Comment #189822

Posted by Glen Davidson on July 24, 2007 1:40 PM (e)

I like the “scheduled talks,” btw.

I think that there is some reasoning behind this pretense that the “science” of intelligent design applies to business, namely that it completes the circle. ID is the mere projection of human design onto the non-designed world, mostly by business folk, engineers, mathematicians, and anthropocentric god-botherers (explaining the biologist and biochemist who ought to know better).

It’s kind of like, well, they “know” that organisms are designed because they “look designed” (I posted the bit about Jason first for a reason) to anyone without a biology education (or those dedicated to denying the rampant non-design characteristics of biology). Then they utilize this “science” and show how it fits in with business processes as well. It’s more or less a sorites, of course, but since our “pathetic level of detail” is ignored in favor of pathetic analogies and a dedicated plan to ignore whatever details they are asked to explain, weaving a circle of analogies which bypass the onerous task of explanation is their imperative. “Applying” ID to business is just their way of affirming their false analogies in a kind of circular reasoning, and perhaps also operates as a pretense that something has been learned from “intelligent design biology” in the same way that genetic algorithms were authentically abstracted from evolutionary theory and redesigned for our own purposes.

The fact that they have no evidence to back up their claims has never bothered them before, so there will be no sense now that that they need actual evidence for their claims that ID is an application of authentic science.

Glen D
http://www.geocities.com/interelectromagnetic

Comment #189831

Posted by Moses on July 24, 2007 3:01 PM (e)

That was really funny. Good work.

Comment #189855

Posted by Daniel Phelps on July 24, 2007 4:33 PM (e)

This “conference” will probably go over big. The fundamentalist/religious conservative mindset has always been gaga over “motivational speakers” and ways to improve “bid-ness.” I think Dembski would be better off working in this field than his present track.

Comment #189860

Posted by Bunjo on July 24, 2007 5:15 PM (e)

A late addition to the sessions:

“The Non-materialist Paradigm and what it means for selling concrete blocks” - Dr. Dr. William Dembski (he has two PhDs you know)

Comment #189894

Posted by shinka on July 24, 2007 9:37 PM (e)

Two more events

-Entertainment 5.00 - 7.00 PM - DaveScott Springer
-How to get ahead by hectoring - on all days during the breaks - Denyse “Buy my book” O’Leary

Comment #189908

Posted by Henry J on July 24, 2007 11:15 PM (e)

Re “Dr. Dr. William Dembski (he has two PhDs you know)”

Does that make him a paradocs?

Henry

Comment #189960

Posted by Christophe Thill on July 25, 2007 3:46 AM (e)

Well, if you’re doing business as a designer, then you’d better do it intelligently, I guess ?

Comment #189981

Posted by Ian on July 25, 2007 6:15 AM (e)

I’d be curious as to what’s being presented at “The Family: Reclaiming a Biblical View”.

Does this involve reinstituting sacrifice of the first-born, putting father against son and mother against daughter, “ripping up” those who are pregnant, passing off your wife as your sister, kidnapping virgin daughters, fraudulently claiming birthrights, and having sex with your father to continue the race?

Comment #189987

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson, OM on July 25, 2007 7:01 AM (e)

So the ID movement is running low on cash?

What is next, Dembski whoring for the Church Of Creationist Christians (aka COCC) dressed in a science suit? Whoops, been there, done that.

shinka wrote:

Entertainment 5.00 - 7.00 PM - DaveScott Springer

LOL!

I will also look forward to “Entertainment over dinner 8.00 - 9.00 PM - Dembski doing the nasty - flatulence humor by the master”

sparc wrote:

Anybody around here who experienced ID sex?

That involves going flaccID™ during sex, which I don’t do. But if anyone knows how it is like to being an experienced ID practitioner, they should feel free to volunteer information.

Comment #190047

Posted by Mr_Christopher on July 25, 2007 11:56 AM (e)

You forgot

“How to make money lying for Jesus” - Casy Luskin, DI

Comment #190065

Posted by Hamlet on July 25, 2007 1:16 PM (e)

Two of the actual events at this conference caught my eye.

9:00—10:00

PLENARY SESSION

“What Is Intelligent Design and Why Is It Important?”
Dr. William A. Dembski, Southwestern Seminary

12:30—2:00

Lunch

LUNCH SESSION

“History and Prospects of the Intelligent Design Movement”
Dr. Ide Trotter, Trotter Capital Management

I’m rather curious what they think the “prospects” intelligent design are.

Comment #190071

Posted by J-Dog on July 25, 2007 1:53 PM (e)

Hamlet - Judging by past performance, if you sell this sh*t short, you would make a whole lot of money.

What actual businessman would want a smarmy academic trying to tell them how to run their business anyway?

Comment #190139

Posted by jimf on July 25, 2007 8:38 PM (e)

Mr_Christopher wrote:

“How to make money lying for Jesus” - Casy Luskin, DI

That should be: “Casey Luskin, DI, winner of the Casey Luskin Award”

Comment #190337

Posted by Erasmus, FCD on July 26, 2007 2:56 PM (e)

Steve, the Dembskian echo-chamber is claiming that you are a paid shill. Please address this. I suspect that is just street theater. If true let me know how I can collect money from those rubes myself.

Comment #190352

Posted by Steve Reuland on July 26, 2007 5:08 PM (e)

Those bastards haven’t sent me a paycheck in weeks. “Paid” shill is no longer operative until I straighten these guys out.

Comment #190644

Posted by Dene Bebbington on July 27, 2007 6:19 PM (e)

I thought we weren’t allowed to say anything about the designer, but seems we can after all:

“Intelligent designers are not micromanagers, who short-circuit the freedom and creativity that organizations need to thrive. At the same time, intelligent designers do not encourage unbridled autonomy, which sets organizations adrift, causing them to lose focus and discipline.”

So God’s a manager.

“By striking a proper balance between guidance and autonomy, intelligent designers promote a synergy between organization and leadership that can actualize undreamt possibilities.”

Oh no, not only is God a manager, he’s learnt the art of bullshit terminology.

Comment #190752

Posted by Dene Bebbington on July 28, 2007 4:30 AM (e)

Some late additions to the schedule:

William Dembski: The Waterloo factor and the importance of good relationships within an organisation

David Springer: An R&D strategy - my experience with growing mushrooms

Paul Nelson: Why time to market matters - what we can learn from my much touted but never published monograph

johnnyb: Why training is the key to success - my story of failed attempts at programming using peek and poke

Discovery Institute: Keeping information secret and from competitors - The Wedge document as a case study in failure

Comment #191074

Posted by dhogaza on July 30, 2007 3:18 AM (e)

“Intelligent designers are not micromanagers, who short-circuit the freedom and creativity that organizations need to thrive. At the same time, intelligent designers do not encourage unbridled autonomy, which sets organizations adrift, causing them to lose focus and discipline.”

Ahhh … but how does one define micromanagement vs. macromanagement? If IDers focus on macromanagement, does this mean that micromanagement is left to Evolutionary Business?

Comment #191210

Posted by Henry J on July 30, 2007 9:40 PM (e)

If IDers focus on macromanagement, does this mean that micromanagement is left to Evolutionary Business?

Either that or that they’ve figured out that they can’t effectively argue against evolution of relatively minor changes, but think they can argue against the larger changes.

Of course, that means they’re overlooking the fact that within taxa that fossilize, the changes between known steps are relatively minor. Which makes it logical to infer a similar situation with respect to taxa that don’t fossilize all that well.

Henry