Cornell chief rejects intelligent design

Oct 25, 2005

Hunter Rawlings III, Cornell University's interim president, says teaching intelligent design as science is a dangerous move.

Rawlings made the statement during his state of the university address last week, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

His staff told the Times Rawlings discussed the topic, in part because he is serving only temporarily as president. He was Cornell's president from 1995 to 2003, and returned after Jeffrey Lehman resigned in June, citing differences with the university's trustees.

Intelligent design is a theory that says the universe is too complex to be the result of evolution and natural selection and, therefore, a higher power is responsible. Rawlings denounced intelligent design as a "religious belief masquerading as a secular idea."

Declaring the question a cultural issue and not a scientific one, Rawlings noted religious groups have disputed the theory of evolution since Charles Darwin published "The Origin of Species" in 1859. He urged Cornell's staff to object to any blurring of the line between religion and science.

John West, a fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle -- a leader in the intelligent design movement -- told the Times he's concerned Rawlings is "fanning the flames of intolerance."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: China's reform of R&D budget management doesn't go far enough, research shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

13 hours ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

Team pioneers strategy for creating new materials

14 hours ago

Making something new is never easy. Scientists constantly theorize about new materials, but when the material is manufactured it doesn't always work as expected. To create a new strategy for designing materials, ...

Shell files new plan to drill in Arctic

14 hours ago

Royal Dutch Shell has submitted a new plan for drilling in the Arctic offshore Alaska, more than one year after halting its program following several embarrassing mishaps.

Aging Africa

14 hours ago

In the September issue of GSA Today, Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont–Burlington and colleagues present a cosmogenic view of erosion, relief generation, and the age of faulting in southernmost Africa ...

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

21 hours ago

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

How does your wine make you feel?

21 hours ago

University of Adelaide researchers are investigating the links between wine, where it's consumed and emotion to help the Australian wine industry gain deeper consumer insights into their products.

User comments : 0