Honors College to present Challenge Week

The UCA Honors College and the Department of Biology will look at an emerging theory called Intelligent Design during Challenge Week, a multi-event symposium, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 14.

According to Dr. Rick Scott, director of the Honors College, proponents of Intelligent Design attribute evolution to a guiding intelligence instead of random variation and natural selection, while critics describe it as another form of Creationism that infuses science and religion.

During Challenge Week, the nation?s leading proponent of this theory, Dr. William Dembski, and its critic, Michael Ruse, will present their views of Intelligent Design. Dembski?s presentation, “Darwin?s Unpaid Debt,” will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14 in Ida Waldran Auditorium.

Ruse?s presentation, “Darwin and Design: From Religion to Science and Halfway Back,” will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15 in Ida Waldran Auditorium.

Dembski and Ruse will join in a question and answer session during X-period (1:40 p.m.) on Thursday, Oct. 16 in The Student Center Ballroom. All Challenge Week events are free and open to the UCA and local community.

According to the Honors College director, the discussions surrounding Intelligent Design theory will create a complex debate.

“Jumping into this debate without any background will be difficult,” he said. “However, the presenters will be clear in their explanations so that the general public will be able to understand the discussions.”

In an effort to provide background information on Intelligent Design theory and the Challenge Week presenters, the Honors College has created a Web site with useful information and links to background resources. A full schedule of events also can be found on the site.

Challenge Week has been a regular event presented by the Honors College for nearly a decade. Challenge Week 2003 was funded in part by a grant from the UCA Foundation and the Honors Center Society.

-Jennifer Boyett