Look what just popped up at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Brazil’s Mackenzie University to Launch New Center on Intelligent Design. It has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
This week, one of Brazil’s most prestigious private universities will launch an academic center on intelligent design in conjunction with Discovery Institute. This coming Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo will inaugurate Discovery Institute-Mackenzie, an interdisciplinary research center of the university that will foster scientific research into the evidence of intelligent design in nature as well as exploring the relationship between science and culture, including the relationship between science and faith.
Mackenzie Presbyterian University seems to be more than a bible college. They’re not strong on science (obviously) but they do have an engineering school. The Discoveroids gushingly tell us:
“This is a milestone in the debate over origins, and it testifies to the growing worldwide influence of both intelligent design and Discovery Institute,” said Discovery Institute’s President Steve Buri. Buri will attend the official inaugural festivities for the new center along with Lehigh University biochemistry professor (and CSC Senior Fellow) Michael Behe; molecular biologist and Biologic Institute Director Douglas Axe; and physicist and CSC Research Coordinator Brian Miller. A reception and meeting on Friday evening will be followed by an all-day intelligent design conference on Saturday featuring Behe, Axe, and Miller, in addition to Brazilian scientists.
It sounds like the typical Discoveroid revival meeting, the kind they have mostly at churches and bible colleges, but this time they’ve convinced a university to establish a permanent facility for them. The last time this happened was at Baylor University, a private Baptist school in Texas — see Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment. It only lasted around four years, because the rest of the faculty rebelled. Maybe the creationist center at Mackenzie will suffer a similar fate.
Then the Discoveroids say:
Discovery Institute-Mackenzie is a joint project of Mackenzie University and the Brazilian Society of Intelligent Design, which is headed by research chemist Dr. Marcos Eberlin. A member of the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Eberlin is one of the most renowned scientists in Brazil.
“There has been a phenomenal growth in the interest in intelligent design among young scientists in Brazil,” said Eberlin.
We don’t recall hearing much news about scientific research in Brazil. Perhaps this is the reason. The Eberlin quote continues:
“With the launch of Discovery Institute-Mackenzie, Brazil is poised to make a significant contribution to the intelligent design debate, not just in Brazil, but around the world.”
We are eagerly anticipating their significant contribution. The Discoveroids tell us:
CSC Associate Director John West [“Westie” to us] noted that Discovery Institute-Mackenzie is the result of several years of discussions with the leadership and faculty of Mackenzie University, culminating in an official agreement of cooperation signed last year.
There’s no mention of funding, which is crucial in such matters. Perhaps the Discoveroids’ generous patrons are helping with that. The Discoveroid post ends with a quote from Westie:
“Mackenzie University provides a strategic platform to reach the more than 200 million people in Brazil,” said West. “But more than that, it can provide a model for other academic institutions around the world about how an intelligent design perspective can encourage first-class scientific research as well as forge a constructive relationship between science and culture.”
It sounds glorious, but we suspect that Brazil will continue to be known primarily for the bossa nova and the beaches at Rio de Janeiro.
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