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Evidence? What's That?

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Just as I was about to send out a new edition of EDGE announcing the publication of "Intelligent Thought: Science Versus The Intelligent Design Movement," I received the email below which it a stark reminder of why this book is necessary, why it belongs on your bookshelf, and why sixteen of the world's leading scientists [*] (and Edge contributors) dropped everything to write essays on a crash schedule so the book would be published before the end of the school year.

Maulik Parikh, the author of the email, is a young physicist who is a post-doc in the Physics Department of Columbia University. He is leaving the U.S. to teach physics at a university in India.

Here's Maulik's email and the link to the feature on EDGE...

- JB

[*] Jerry Coyne, Leonard Susskind, Daniel C. Dennett, Nicholas Humphrey, Tim D. White, Neil H. Shubin, Richard Dawkins, Frank Sulloway, Scott Atran, Steven Pinker, Lee Smolin, Stuart A. Kauffman, Seth Lloyd, Lisa Randall, Marc D. Hauser, Scott Sampson

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Date: Mon, 8 May 2006
From: Maulik Parikh
To: John Brockman
Subject: Intelligent Design

John,

I have been teaching a new course on the frontiers of science, required for all freshmen at Columbia. These students are mostly sharp, capable, and open-minded. Still, many of them think that intelligent design should be studied in the interest of being fair and balanced. What's troubling is that even those who accept evolution often treat it as a matter of belief, of political persuasion, as if it were akin to being for or against free trade. And if they reject intelligence design it's often not because they can see its vacuousness as a scientific theory, but merely because the religious and conservative stripes of ID can sometimes look a little uncool. As for science, reason, evidence - what's that?

-Maulik

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