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Letter Submitted for Publication to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal*

November 28, 2005

In the “Darwinian Struggle” article by Dan Golden on November 14, Wake Forest University is inaccurately identified as one of the institutions where “intelligent design courses have cropped up”.  The Wall Street Journal implies through the headline that these classes question evolution.  Golden implies in the text that they “reflect the growing influence of evangelical Christianity in academia.”

As the professors of the so-called “intelligent design course” at Wake Forest, we would like to clarify that our class is definitely not a class on intelligent design but rather a much more general class whose title is “The Interplay Between Science and Religion in Western Culture”. The debate over intelligent design and its teaching in the public schools is one of many topics discussed in the course which begins with Greek science and ends with stem cell research.

We would also like to make clear that this is not a course in which the theory of evolution is questioned.  Rather, there is one section of the course which, as suggested in the course title, focuses on the interplay between science and religion in regard to the ongoing debates between advocates of intelligent design and the mainstream scientific community which supports the theory of evolution.

Finally, the class was developed a little more that two years ago without any influence from “evangelical Christianity”.  Rather, the course grew in large part out of an interest that one of us had in the history of the interactions between science and religion which occurred before and during the Copernican Revolution.

We hope this letter corrects any misunderstandings and clarifies the course we are teaching at Wake Forest University.

Sincerely,
Paul Anderson
Professor of Physics
336-758-4992

Jed Macosko
Assistant Professor of Physics
Dept. of Physics
Wake Forest University
336-758-4981

*The Wall Street Journal published an abbreviated version of this letter on December 14, 2005.  A correction regarding the nature of our course also appeared in the Wall Street Journal on December 9, 2005.


View catalog course description of “The Interplay Between Science and Religion in Western Culture”.