News & Events
Student Interest Growing: 7 IDEA Clubs Formed this School Year on U.S. University Campuses - April 6, 2005
One New Club also Formed at a San Diego area High School
It appears as if the eight new IDEA Clubs are evenly split between "red" states and "blue" states.
Student interest in IDEA Clubs seems to be growing, particularly at the university level. The IDEA Center is pleased to announce the formation of seven new IDEA Clubs at universities around the United States over the past few months, and one new club at a high school.
- This fall, an IDEA Club started at Westminster College in Missouri. This club has already been quite active as 0n March 9th, 2005 it helped spur a debate between Michael Shermer and Stephen Meyer on intelligent design on March 9, 2005. Westminster College is a leading liberal arts college in the Midwest. Regarding the Shermer-Meyer debate, the president of Westminster College, Fletcher Lamkin, stated,
“This kind of open forum for discussion of thoughts and ideas is at the heart of liberal arts education ... Westminster is pleased to host this debate, and I am proud of our student body for seeking out this type of balanced debate and learning opportunity with such acclaimed experts.”
(Westminster College to Host Two National Speakers for Debate about Evolution vs. Intelligent Design)
- Also in the fall, a club began the process of forming at Western Baptist College [apparently soon to be renamed "Corban College"] in Oregon. Undergraduate Lydia Eaton is leading the process of making this club official at this Christian liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon.
- Near the end of 2004, a club arose at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Formed by active internet-debater Salvador Cordova, this club has since spun off a sister club at James Madison University. George Mason University is a member of the University of Virginia public university system. This club was the third IDEA Club to form in the past year in Virginia.
- These past few months, a club arose by popular demand at James Madison University in Virginia. Founded by undergraduate integrated science and technology major John Fletcher, this club has been working closely with the IDEA Club at George Mason University in nearby Charlottesville. From what we are told, this club has been extremely active despite its recent origins. There has even been talk about high levels of student interest in teaching alternative viewpoints about origins at the school. A survey conducted by the club reports that upwards of 70% of the students randomly surveyed wished to have the opportunities to take courses where they could learn about creationism and/or intelligent design. This included over 60% of JMU biology majors who wished they had the opportunity to take a course in intelligent design.
JMU was originally founded in 1908 as the Virginia "State Normal and Industrial College for Women." Today it is a coeducational school that is affiliated with the Virginia state school system, boasting nearly 15,000 undergraduates. This is now the fourth IDEA Club to form in the past year in what has become a nucleus of IDEA Clubs in the state of Virginia.
- In January, an IDEA Club formed at Poway High School just north of San Diego, California. This club was founded by some high school students who have been attracting up to 15 students per week to watch various videos about intelligent design.
- We are also excited to announce the founding of an IDEA Club at Cornell University in New York. Sophomore Hannah Maxson is interested in helping her fellow students learn about intelligent design. She reports to us that her biology TA told her she was a rare dissenter from evolution in the classes. Hannah hopes that she can help spread information which many students at Cornell are not learning about in their classes.
- This February, a club has formed at the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign. Formed by undergraduate biology major Jaclyn Wegner, she hopes to help expand student understanding of intelligent design. Amazingly, her school boasts over 10,000 graduate students! This is the first IDEA Club formed in the University of Illinois system.
- Lastly, an IDEA Club has formed at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Founded by law student Ben Wright, this club has already attracted the interest of some undgraduate leaders and leaders who are law students. With such a synthesis of leaders, the club hopes to become place where people can explore the scientific, philosophical, and legal avenues of the debate over intelligent design. We at the IDEA Center think that a club founded by someone who is Ben Wright could never be wrong.