Chabad Conference On Torah And Science To Feature Discredited Christian Proponent Of Intellegent Design
Chabad becomes more and more 'Christ-like' every day. The latest proof of this is Chabad's upcoming conference on Torah and Science, sponsored by Professor Herman Branover's B'Or HaTorah and the Chabad's Shul of Bal Harbor (Florida).
Branover is a very public messianist. But he won't be the most Christian presenter at the conference. According to this article on Chabad's official PR site, Lubavitch.com, a featured speaker at the conference will be William A. Dembski, the leading Christian proponent of Intellegent Design:
Day two of the conference will be devoted to the discussion of teaching the origins of the universe, an issue still under fierce debate, particularly among those whose scientific background is significantly at odds with their biblical beliefs. Conference organizers expect a large turnout of teachers, educators, and students from both Jewish and non-Jewish schools for this day’s sessions in particular. Addressing the theme will be Rabbi Professor Moshe D. Tendler, one of today’s most respected voices in Jewish medical ethics, Professor Eliezer Zeiger, Biology Professor at University of California in L.A., Rabbi Shalom Lipskar, Professor Branover, and others. Professor Dembski, considered by many to be the most articulate advocate of Intelligent Design, will address the place of intelligent design in the natural sciences, followed by an interactive question and answer period with the audience.
So who is William A. Dembski? Wikipedia reports:
Critics of the intelligent design movement frequently object that ID proponents have published no papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature in support of the conjectures of intelligent design. The same criticism has been levelled at Dembski's Design Inference. However, Dembski claims that the book has in fact been peer reviewed . Dembski states: "this book was published by Cambridge University Press and peer-reviewed as part of a distinguished monograph series, Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory". In fact, The Design Inference was reviewed by mathematicians and philosophers; the book does not apply Dembski's argument to biology and evolution, the battleground in which ID stakes its claim. The book's content is limited to examining the question of how to recognize intelligent design, Dembski's "explanatory filter"; it does not provide scientific evidence or justification for concluding that life was designed. Thus, while it is true to say that The Design Inference has been published in a peer-reviewed journal for mathematics and philosophy, it is false to claim that any work actually providing specific and detailed evidence for the existence of intelligent design has been so published in the arena of scientific press in which the topic is debated, which is what Dembski implies.
Baylor University controversy
In 1999, Dembski was invited by Robert Sloan, President of Baylor University, to establish the Michael Polanyi Center at the university. Named after the Hungarian theologian and scientist Michael Polanyi (1891–1976), Dembski described it as "the first intelligent design think tank at a research university". Dembski had known Sloan for about three years, having taught Sloan's daughter at a Christian study summer camp not far from Waco, Texas. Sloan was the first Baptist minister to serve as Baylor's president in over 30 years, had read some of Dembski's work and liked it; according to Dembski, Sloan "made it clear that he wanted to get me on the faculty in some way."
The Polanyi Center was established without much publicity in October 1999, initially consisting of two people — Dembski and a like-minded colleague, Bruce L. Gordon, who were hired directly by Sloan without going through the usual channels of a search committee and departmental consultation. The vast majority of Baylor staff did not know of the center's existence until its website went online, and the center stood outside of the existing religion, science, and philosophy departments.
The center's mission, and the lack of consultation with the Baylor faculty, became the immediate subject of controversy. The faculty feared for the university's reputation – it has historically been well-regarded for its contributions to mainstream science – and scientists outside the university questioned whether Baylor had "gone fundamentalist". Faculty members pointed out that the university's existing interdisciplinary Institute for Faith and Learning was already addressing questions about the relationship between science and religion, making the existence of the Polanyi Center somewhat redundant. In April 2000, Dembski hosted a conference on "naturalism in science" sponsored by the broadly theistic Templeton Foundation and the pro-ID Discovery Institute, seeking to address the question "Is there anything beyond nature?". Most of the Baylor faculty boycotted the conference.
A few days later, the Baylor faculty senate voted by a margin of 27–2 to ask the administration to dissolve the center and merge it with the Institute for Faith and Learning. President Sloan refused, citing issues of censorship and academic integrity, but agreed to convene an outside committee to review the center. The committee recommended setting up a faculty advisory panel to oversee the science and religion components of the program, dropping the name "Michael Polanyi" and reconstituting the center as part of the Institute for Faith and Learning.  These recommendations were accepted in full by the university administration. The committee also considered the legitimacy of research into intelligent design and gave it a lukewarm endorsement: "research on the logical structure of mathematical arguments for intelligent design have a legitimate claim to a place in the current discussions of the relations of religion and science."
In a subsequent press release, Dembski asserted that the committee had given an "unqualified affirmation of my own work on intelligent design", that its report "marks the triumph of intelligent design as a legitimate form of academic inquiry" and that "dogmatic opponents of design who demanded that the Center be shut down have met their Waterloo. Baylor University is to be commended for remaining strong in the face of intolerant assaults on freedom of thought and expression." 
Dembski's remarks were criticized by other members of the Baylor faculty, who protested that they were both an unjustified attack on his critics at Baylor and a false assertion that the university endorsed Dembski's controversial views on intelligent design. Charles Weaver, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor and one of the most vocal critics of the Polanyi Center, commented: "In academic arguments we don't seek utter destruction and defeat of our opponents. We don't talk about Waterloos."
President Sloan asked Dembski to withdraw his press release, but Dembski refused, accusing the university of "intellectual McCarthyism" (borrowing a phrase that Sloan himself had used when they first tried to dissolve the center). He declared that the university's action had been taken "in the utmost of bad faith ... thereby providing the fig leaf of justification for my removal."  Professor Michael Beaty, director of the Institute for Faith and Learning, said that Dembski's remarks violated the spirit of cooperation that the committee had advocated and stated that "Dr. Dembski's actions after the release of the report compromised his ability to serve as director."  Dembski was removed as the center's director, although he remained an associate research professor until May 2005. He was not asked to teach any courses in that time and instead worked from home, writing books and speaking around the country.…
Dembski became the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Theology and Science at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in June 2005, and also plans to establish a new Center for Science and Theology. According to Russell Moore, dean of the seminary's School of Theology, Dembski will help train ministers to counter the idea that "human beings are accidents of nature" with no spiritual character and no purpose other than to seek sex and power. The seminary teaches creationism but its professors vary on the details, with most adhering to the Young Earth creationist viewpoint of a relatively recent creation which occurred literally as described in Genesis; Dembski does not hold to Young Earth creationism. Despite such "acceptable" differences, Dembski noted in a statement when he was hired that "this is really an opportunity to mobilize a new generation of scholars and pastors not just to equip the saints but also to engage the culture and reclaim it for Christ."
But both Dembski and the late Rebbe share a common educational background. Both were trained primarily as philosophers of science, not as actual scientists. (In the Rebbe's case, this training consisted of a couple of audited classes at the University of Berlin and an EE degree from a small tech school, somewhat like a vocational school in America. The Rebbe was never enrolled in the Sorbonne. In Dembski's case, no peer-reviewed is very telling.) Chabad's endorsement of Dembski at a conference on Torah and Science is troubling.
[Footnote: Does Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler have any idea who he is sharing a stage with?]