Skip navigation

About IDEA Center

News & Events



IDEA Student Clubs


Contact Us



Comments Regarding Description of the IDEA Center at

A brief explanation (first written 6/1/04, first posted 6/2/04)

Casey Luskin

Putting out fires from appears to be my hobby these last few days, and I'm beginning to get behind in other things, including responses to! Hopefully I can take care of this one quickly:

1. Calling the IDEA Center a "ministry."

At, there are some comments being made about the description of the IDEA Center. Namely, at "", my bio was given as: "Co-president of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, a ministry focused on equipping students to promote Intelligent Design." I never gave them a bio for me nor did I ever instruct them to say anything about me. Quite frankly, I agreed to speak at this conference a long time ago and my name wasn't even up on the site until very recently, much less this description of the IDEA Center.

Obviously the word "ministry" implies we are a religious organization. Let me say that I was very shocked to see this wording, and as soon as I just read over the PandasThumb thread and found out about all this, I e-mailed Sondra Lantzer, a staff member at the church hosting the conference, and I asked her to change it to: "Co-president of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, a non-profit organization focused on helping students to understand and debate intelligent design theory." The latter is an accurate description of what we are. I don't think it is fair to call us a "ministry" because quite frankly, we spend the vast majority of our time talking about scientific issues and a very small minority of our time talking about religious matters. When IDEA Clubs form, we encourage them to register as educational organizations because that is what they are: they host debate forums where people can have friendly, informed, and informal discussion about ID and evolution with individuals of various viewpoints.

We send each which forms a number of resources for the club. These include scientific articles from mainstream scientific journals, handouts discussing the scientific literature, books like "The Design Revolution," and videos like "Unlocking the Mystery of Life." We don't send them Bibles, Bible studies, or videos about preaching dinosaurs.

I also just called the church to see if this could be changed on the website. I spoke with Sondra and she said she would forward the request to the appropriate person. After explaining the reason for the change, she also said I had permission to say that they acknowledge that this statement about the IDEA Center was made without our knowledge and that it was a mistake on the part of the church. She also gave me permission to give out the church's phone number so anyone who is wondering can call them and confirm that this is the case. The church is named Highlands Community Bible Church and their number is (828) 526-4685.

Finall, I also asked that the name "IDEA Center Session" be changed to "Luskin Session" because, as I will be speaking as an individual and everything I say may not be completely representative of the IDEA Center.

I want to make it clear that I have no hard feelings for Sondra or the church whatsoever for this--it was a mistake. I have no knowledge about who is putting together this website, and I only have a bit more knowledge about the conference. All I know is that I was asked to give a talk on how high school students can promote intelligent design in high schools. Yes, I will mention IDEA Clubs and I will also talk a bit about worldviews, but I'm not there to speak entirely on behalf of the IDEA Center but to give the talk they asked me to give: how to promote ID in high schools and to help tie together various other issues discussed at the conference.

Quite frankly, I haven't looked that closely at the website until today, and hadn't really thought about it much, given that I just finished law school finals a few days ago and this entire conference issue arose amidst studying for law finals. All I have to say is that there are some aspects of this conference which I don't think belong at a conference calling itself an ID conference. I am trying to figure this out along with the rest of you: I do notice that the student conference is titled, "Worldviews What's the Difference" and is not titled "Intelligent Design for Kids." The student conference is about worldviews, and it appears as if a number of people who have experience dealing with intellectual issue which impact worldviews (such as myself), who just happened to be involved in the ID movement, who will be speaking there.