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Scientists Supporting Intelligent Design Gather

from The Associated Press

Prague, Czech Republic - Hundreds of supporters of "intelligent design" theory gathered in Prague in the first such conference in eastern Europe, but Czech scholars boycotted the event insisting it had no scientific credence.

About 700 scientists from Africa, Europe, and the United States attended Saturday's "Darwin and Design" conference to press their contention that evolution cannot fully explain the origins of life or the emergence of highly complex species.

"It is a step beyond Darwin," said Carole Thaxton of Atlanta, a biologist who lived with her husband, Charles, in Prague in the 1990s and was one of the organizers of the event. "The point is to show that there in fact is intelligence in the universe."

The participants, who included experts in mathematics, molecular biology, and biochemistry, "are all people who independently came to the same conclusion," she said.

Among the panelists was Stephen C. Meyer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that represents many scholars who support intelligent design.

He said intelligent design was "based upon scientific evidence and discoveries in fields such as biochemistry, molecular biology, paleontology, and astrophysics."

Many leading Czech thinkers, however, boycotted the conference, insisting the theory - which is being debated in the United States - is scientifically groundless.

Vaclav Paces, chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, called the conference "useless...the fact that we cannot yet explain the origin of life on Earth does not mean that there is [a] God who created it."


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