Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Teach the Controversy"

The Intelligent Design movement recently hired a PR firm to promote its views. A critic using the name "vax" commented on this at William Dembski's (the "Isaac Newton" of ID) blog:
Why would ID need to be ‘promoted’? If it is science (as claimed) then the arguments and facts and should speak for themselves.

If it’s just a public relations exercise combining religion, politics and deceptive scientific-sounding jargon, however…

This led to a response from "Dan":

It is obvious why it needs to be promoted…because it is being shut out by radical left wing atheists that control the science ciriculum at the University level who control the peer reviewed journals. Also, ID is young and it has the right to have time to germinate or die-with a fair hearing.

To which "vax" replied:

Sounds a bit paranoid to me - not all scientists are “radical left wing atheists”! In fact there are scientists across the globe of every political hue and holding every creed who understand that all living beings on this planet share common ancestry. How do they know? Because the hypothesis has stood up to intense scrutiny over the past 150 years. ID is not science because there is no hypothesis; nothing that could be falsified.

“ID is young and it has the right to have time to germinate or die-with a fair hearing.”

Yes, that’s true, but ID proponents don’t want a fair hearing. They want to bypass the hypothesis, the data collection, the analysis, the peer reviewing etc, and have their ideas placed straight into school science classes! To be taken seriously by the scientific community (radically left wing or otherwise) perhaps the discovery institute would be better off using their money to fund actual research rather than for hiring a top public relations firm (Creative Response Concepts).

The result of this exchange? William Dembski bans "vax":

Vax, you are repeating the party line. I have no patience for it here. You are out of here. –WmAD

More commentary may be found at The Panda's Thumb blog.

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