Dear Friend of the Foundation,
In spite of the widespread economic downturn, a wonderful opportunity to continue expanding our outreach has come to FTE. Please give me just 15 minutes to consider together first, what great things are going to happen in 2009, and then, this very strategic opportunity.
Open DoorsFTE's books are 1) generating interest and winning acclaim from more and more influential and strategic people, and 2) with the support of new technologies, they are entering many new markets and reaching more readers, including numbers of students. Professional groups that we are working with now or that are currently reviewing our books with that purpose in mind include The Heritage Foundation, The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, The Discovery Institute, Amazon.com, The C.S. Lewis Society, The Conference on Faith and History, Faculty Commons, Google Book Search, and others.
But the biggest doorway is that opened by scientific work that affirms intelligent design. Quietly and largely unnoticed, we have entered a new era in this century–a major era. On the 10th anniversary of his best-selling book, Darwin's Black Box, Prof. Michael Behe acknowledged the heated rhetoric wars that had arisen between Darwinism and intelligent design. Then he added something profound: he said he knows that in the end, science, not politics will settle this dispute. Now, we are not predicting a settlement in just a year or two, but still you can see today how this is going to come about.
An Example? Some Amazing Things Happened in 2008Historical, even revolutionary things . . . in science. In a section of The Design of Life titled "How Many Genes Must Change?" the authors discuss these questions: What is the minimal number of mutations required to form a new structure in a species? and How likely is it that that many mutations could occur in a single organism and actually produce the new structure? (The authors were considering earlier work by British biologist E. J. Ambrose, who said a minimum of five mutations would be needed.) With due caution and generous concessions to Darwinism's creative capacity, Dembski and Wells demonstrate that the probability of some favorable new structure arising in a population is nil. But the Darwinists yawned. This is dismissed as speculation. There remained a need for clear research to determine if evolution could deliver the estimated five mutations needed for an organism to produce the new structure.
That was then, and this is now. In fact, experimental research has been underway throughout most of this decade, long enough for us to get a very satisfying glimpse of where this is going. Dare I say it? Earth-shattering breakthroughs are on their way. Future science textbooks will one day open new chapters recounting this landmark progress. A prime example is the research that has been conducted since 2005 by Ralph Seelke, Prof. of Biology at the Univ. of Wisconsin - Superior. Dr. Seelke's research is looking for an answer from the much studied tiny organism, Escherichia coli. Specifically, he is researching the question, when just two mutations are needed to produce a new, functioning structure – one that would give an organism survival advantage – can E. coli do that? So far, his answer has been a very solid "NO!"
His research makes Dr. Seelke an ideally qualified scientist to carefully review the way DoL's authors handled the Ambrose "minimal gene mutations" question. Here, then, are a few of Prof. Seelke's comments: "I got a chance to read Dembski's discussion of Ambrose's work, and it's a good analysis of the problems with forming a new structure."
I can't say that we actually know what's involved in forming a new structure, but five [genes] would be a minimum estimate. Ambrose's discussion also assumes that you have five genes that are already close–very close–to being what you need for that structure. He then gives very generous probabilities for a useful change to occur. However, the results are again a dismally low probability.Much more research should and will follow. But we've crossed a continental divide, folks. The biochemical research open to this question is well underway, and so far, Darwinism has fallen flat on its face on the laboratory floor.
In the latest advance in the continuing stream of technologies brought to the task of marketing DoL, FTE has become a Google Book Search Partner, meaning anyone anywhere on the worldwide web can go online and, when searching on a phrase anywhere in the book, DoL will come up in the listings, with a picture of the book and a link to our web site where it can be ordered.
Despite so many encouragements, FTE has a very serious financial situation. We must raise $100,000. In addition to the $50,000 we need to give all our books strong backing in their various markets as we enter the new year, we need to pay at least $35,000 of debt, and, after that, as much back salary as possible.
Multiplication: FTE's Strategic Opportunity! As we said in our last letter, a group of FTE's faithful partners have come forward and are offering all our other partners a 1:1 match of whatever you contribute to FTE between now and January 15! We are extremely grateful to these friends, and with them, appeal to you now to give to the work of FTE for the exciting year ahead. The total of the matching funds is $35,000. So every dollar of the first $35,000 to come in will be matched. That's $70,000 of the $100,000 we need.
Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help. We are at a fork in the road, and we must not let this wonderful opportunity slip by!
As our way of saying thank you for contributions of $50.00 or more, we are happy to provide a copy of Dembski and Wells' How to Be An Intellectually Fulfilled Atheist–or Not (endorsed by the producers of the documentary EXPELLED).
P.S. We realize that most people will want their contribution to count for and be receipted in 2008. However, there may be some who prefer to date their check January, 2009 and have it deposited in 2009. We can do either, and will carry out your exact wishes.
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