Never trust a creationist ellipsis — Hector Avalos on the Gonzalez emails

| 45 Comments

Hector Avalos sent me his response to the Discovery Institute's 'shocking' revelation that people had been discussing Guillermo Gonzalez's affiliation with Intelligent Design creationism before they denied him tenure. It's a classic pointless objection: of course they were, and of course his openly expressed, unscientific beliefs which were stated as a representative of ISU were a serious consideration. It does not speak well of the Discovery Institute that they had to cobble together quote-mines from the email to try and make a non-case for a non-issue.

Continue reading "Never trust a creationist ellipsis — Hector Avalos on the Gonzalez emails" (on Pharyngula)

45 Comments

And yet, ID proponents continue to be aghast anew over each time scientists accuse them of being dishonest.

Hypocrites.

Some 106 biology profs dismayed by the ouster of Chris Comer signed a letter supporting evolution

http://www.texscience.org/reviews/b[…]r-letter.htm

Steve-o-meter is 1. Last time I checked the steve-o-meter had gone past 820 or so in talkorigins.

The Steveometer was at 853, as of December 13, 2007.

Moved meta-talk to the Bathroom Wall.

So a Steve-O factor 100.12!

This isn’t a creationist troll, just a genuine question - I’ve noticed some creationists using the accusation that initially the university and the pro-evolution crowd swore blue that intelligent design had no bearing on Gonzalez’s tenure case whatsoever, but now that the emails show it did, the line has changed to “of course it did, why shouldn’t it?”.

not that I disagree, there are obvious (even to me) reasons why Gonzalez was not suitable for tenure. what i’m asking is, are these creationists right about the story being changed? If they are, it’s disappointing that people weren’t honest about it in the first place.

Talking about Hector Avalos. I would just like to say that if you have not read any of his books do so now and I mean right this moment. I am currently reading The End Of Biblical Studies and next on my agenda is Fighting words. He has made me change my opinion on many things and made me think differently about many of our religious brothers and sisters. If you happen to read this Mr Avalos I just wanted to thank you for for at least one excellent book. I am in your debt.

James Wrote:

This isn’t a creationist troll, just a genuine question - I’ve noticed some creationists using the accusation that initially the university and the pro-evolution crowd swore blue that intelligent design had no bearing on Gonzalez’s tenure case whatsoever, but now that the emails show it did, the line has changed to “of course it did, why shouldn’t it?”.

not that I disagree, there are obvious (even to me) reasons why Gonzalez was not suitable for tenure. what i’m asking is, are these creationists right about the story being changed? If they are, it’s disappointing that people weren’t honest about it in the first place.

That’s a good question, and I can see how the impression would be formed from the various comments threads on this topic.

I think there are a couple of things to bear in mind here:

(1) All of the comments are various people’s opinions on why Gonzalez was not granted tenure. Many are backed up with facts, and some are not. I guess that most of the commenters (myself included) have not had direct contact with people involved in the decision over Gonzalez’s tenure application.

(2) Until all of the facts are in the public domain, we are all forming judgements on a basis of limited (or at least incomplete) information, with the exception of those who were actually involved in the decision.

The key messages before the emails came out seemed to me to be along these lines:

(1) Gonzalez was not granted tenure because he was not doing good science, not because he was an ID proponent.

(2) Academics who publicly support antiscience (including Gonzalez) should not be granted tenure in science departments. (I recall some commenters stating that Gonzalez’s support of ID should have been considered, at a time when most commenters believed it had not been.)

(3) Gonzalez’s public support of ID raised serious doubts about his ability to recognise good science.

Some of the comments were phrased in such a way that they may have appeared to claim that Gonzalez’s work on ID was not a part of the decision, and some commenters may have directly claimed that it was not a part of the decision.

However, after the emails came out, some more facts were available. Some of these came to light as a response to the emails, and some had been available before but were not widely bruited.

The DI is claiming religious persecution, thus trying to both have their cake and eat it.

Gonzalez listed Privileged Planet in his tenure dossier, thus asking the ISU tenure committee to consider his work on ID. So, they did consider his ID-oriented publication, but this was at Gonzalez’s request. Guess what? They decided that, in addition to his failure to bring in grants, publish lots of papers and get his students through their higher degrees, his claims in Privileged Planet also disqualified him from deserving tenure.

So, the claim that the story has changed is kinda correct, but the way it has changed makes no difference to the big picture.

Academic tenure must be earned. Gonzalez did not meet the required standard.

James:

This isn’t a creationist troll, just a genuine question - I’ve noticed some creationists using the accusation that initially the university and the pro-evolution crowd swore blue that intelligent design had no bearing on Gonzalez’s tenure case whatsoever, but now that the emails show it did, the line has changed to “of course it did, why shouldn’t it?”.

not that I disagree, there are obvious (even to me) reasons why Gonzalez was not suitable for tenure. what i’m asking is, are these creationists right about the story being changed? If they are, it’s disappointing that people weren’t honest about it in the first place.

I think that if you look it up you will find that this isn’t true. Even the ID perps over at the Discovery Institute put up examples of other members of the department admitting that they didn’t think that ID was science, and they mentioned Gonzalez. What I repeatedly read was that it was not a major factor in his tenure review. Even in this email contained in this thread, what is going on?

Siding with the ID perps on something like this isn’t the brightest thing that anyone could possibly do. These are the guys that are running the bait and switch on their own supporters. Gonzalez signed up with them, what does that tell you? These guys sold the teach ID scam for years, but what happened in Ohio when they had their first chance to teach the science of ID back in 2002-2003? They ran the bait and switch and the Ohio creationist rubes ended the switch scam that doesn’t even mention that ID ever existed. What does it tell you about someone’s scientific credibility to be associated with such an organization? Even if Gonzalez was just an ignorant dupe, it doesn’t look good. He still wants the Discovery Institute on his side, so my take is that he signed on knowing the score and probably bought the whole Wedge scam.

http://www.antievolution.org/features/wedge.html

The Discovery Institute owned up to writing the wedge document, but (if you can believe it) their excuse was that it was a “fund raising” document. They would rather be known as dishonestly scamming funds from unsuspecting creationists than admit to their dishonest political junk.

If you have any clue about this issue you know that the Discovery Institute has been hawking the teach ID scam since the mid 1990’s. This is the switch scam that they gave the Ohio rubes instead of anything to teach about ID:

http://www.ohioscience.org/L10-H23_[…]is_March.pdf

Try to find the ID in the new creationist scam.

If you don’t believe that these guys are running the bait and switch just watch what happens in Florida. You have a group of creationist rubes that bought into the teach ID scam, but what will they soon be singing?

I wish ID were not an issue, but that isn’t reality. Gonzalez could have quit the Discovery Institute the first time that they ran the bait and switch, or the second, the third etc., but he is still on board for the ride. The only creationist legislator or group that hasn’t taken the switch or dropped the issue was Dover, and look what happened there. Why are there any science fellows at the Discovery Institute?

ID is science so bad that if it were not even lightly considered at the tenure review it should have been. If the ID perps really believed that they were doing real science, why are they running the bait and switch scam? If people like Gonzalez have a clue about science why do they associate with the Discovery Institute? If you mix bad science with religion and dishonest politics shouldn’t you get what you deserve?

From the 2005 WSJ article about Ingebritsen mentioned in the Avalos email.

WSJ Wrote:

High Tensions

Tensions are running high at Iowa State, with Mr. Ingebritsen playing a key role. Joining the Iowa State faculty in 1986, he specialized in studying how cells communicate, but ended his research about 10 years ago and took up developing online biology courses. Shortly before that career change, he had converted from agnosticism to evangelical Christianity. As he explored whether – and how – modern science could be compatible with his religious beliefs, intelligent design intrigued him.

He taught “God and Science” for three years starting in 2000 without incident. But when he again proposed the seminar in 2003, members of the honors curriculum committee sought outside opinions from colleagues in biology and philosophy of science. They reported that the course relied on a textbook by a Christian publisher and slighted evolution. “I have serious worries about whether a course almost exclusively focused on the defense of Christian views is appropriate at a secular, state institution,” wrote Michael Bishop, then philosophy chairman. The committee rejected the course by a 5-4 vote.

After protesting to a higher-level administrator to no avail, Mr. Ingebritsen revised the syllabus, added a mainstream textbook, and resumed teaching the course in 2004.

Ingebritsen joined ISU in 1986. Assuming the usual trajectory, he would have been granted tenure 6 years later, in 1992. A couple of years later, he finds religion and about 1995 stops doing scientific research. He has four research papers after 1993 (year chosen to allow for research done in the final year of his probationary period to be published), one each in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998. From 1978-1993, he had about 30 peer-reviewed research articles.

Looks just like Behe’s pattern. At least he is transferred his energies into something (hopefully) productive when his beliefs prevented him from doing scientific research (developing education via the internet).

[research article stats from Google Scholar]

James: what i’m asking is, are these creationists right about the story being changed? If they are, it’s disappointing that people weren’t honest about it in the first place.

Creationists are masters in public relations, spreading propaganda. Like small guerrilla forces that harass large and lumbering armies with great success, they know how to play large and lumbering organizations like a fiddle. They put the academics in a no-win situation.

The committee members did not respond individually publicly to the allegations of DI. For legal reasons they left it to the univ, may be voluntarily, may be by univ policies. Like all big organizations they respond in a defensive posture, dry statements, lawyerly language. The univ depends on the state for funding, and it has to answer to political committees and political appointees. The univ admin and bureaucracy does not come out swinging in the attack mode.

It is understandable too. The creationists don’t care how many people they antagonize, how much credibility they lose on people outside their hardcore group of supporters. The univ could not operate under the same rules of engagement.

Now it is time to go in for a kill with “this contradicts with that”, “that contradicts with this” so there must have been hanky panky. The trial lawyers suing big corporations hold huge press conferences in the court house steps with lots of sob stories. The corporations put out old balding men in black suits who deny “categorically all allegations”! Same thing going on here. Did you wonder why they did not release whole emails? Just snippets strung together by ellipses?

OK, now that you say you are not a troll and you express “disappointment” with the way “people were not honest”, let us see how disappointed you are about the creationists side.

In Dover trial the creationists lied under oath. Did you express your disappointment in creationists’ blog?

Every day they tell their religious followers “ID will let you introduce God back into the school”. And simultaneously they say that their position is not religious to courts and scientists. Have you commented on that dichotomy?

They want ID to be taught as science in high schools. And belief in ID to be treated as protected religious belief for university professors.

When someone makes you angry at yourself, that person is your friend holding up a mirror to make you face something you would rather not.

When someone makes you angry at others, watch your wallet buddy. You are primed to be ripped off. Those who are inciting the people of faith and fanning their anger are who you should guard against.

James:

This isn’t a creationist troll, just a genuine question - I’ve noticed some creationists using the accusation that initially the university and the pro-evolution crowd swore blue that intelligent design had no bearing on Gonzalez’s tenure case whatsoever, but now that the emails show it did, the line has changed to “of course it did, why shouldn’t it?”.

not that I disagree, there are obvious (even to me) reasons why Gonzalez was not suitable for tenure. what I’m asking is, are these creationists right about the story being changed? If they are, it’s disappointing that people weren’t honest about it in the first place.

James, I think you are making the ISU case much stronger than it was. ISU has been saying that Gonzalez was not denied tenure because he supports ID, but because his work is not up to standard.

On the other hand,the DI has now claimed that the emails prove that Gonzalez was singled out because of his beliefs.

The article by Hector Avalos is important because he shows that the DI took the following:

1. Intelligent Design has become a significant issue in science education, and it has now established a presence, even if minimal, at Iowa State University.

2. Accordingly, if you are concerned about the negative impact of Intelligent Design on the integrity of science and on our university, please consider signing the “Statement on Intelligent Design by Iowa State University Faculty” below.

3. We, therefore, urge all faculty members to uphold the integrity of our university of “science and technology,” convey to students and the general public the importance of methodological naturalism in science, and reject efforts to portray Intelligent Design as science.

And from the bolded portions produced this:

Hector Avalos, outspoken atheist Professor of Religion at ISU: Then: In the summer of 2005, Avalos e-mails ISU faculty, inviting them to sign a statement calling on “all faculty members to … reject efforts to portray Intelligent Design as science” because of the “negative impact” due to the fact that “Intelligent Design … has now established a presence … at Iowa State University.” Guillermo Gonzalez, being the only well-known ID proponent who has “established a presence” at ISU, is the undeniable target of such a statement. Later: Avalos asserts publicly in the ISU Daily, “The statement we wrote was in no way targeted specifically at Gonzalez.”

Avalos further notes that Gonzalez is not the only ID supporter on the ISU faculty and that nothing he wrote ever mentions Gonzalez. I recommend reading the entire article.

As Nigel D notes, Gonzalez himself made ID an issue by including Privileged Planet in his dossier making ID fair game. However, as another post notes, Gonzalez’s publication output took a major nosedive after he got to ISU–that alone would put tenure in doubt and put the lie to DI’s posturings that Gonzalez is a top-drawer scholar persecuted for his beliefs.

RE: Comment #137920 on December 14, 2007 4:46 AM

Oskar: Thank you very much for the plug for The End of Biblical Studies, which is now energizing the wrath of many creationists and other types of fundamentalists.

Side issue, Gonzales has been writing nasty shit about atheists for some time now. Typical “atheists are to blame for everything” that you see spewed from the DI.

I love it when attempts to advance the wedge strategy, such as this one, get shot down.

I can’t wait to see which bible school grants GG tenure. I wish him well!

I don’t know if the administration and faculty at ISU have considered the implications of having a “critical mass” of ID supporters on the faculty. The incident at Ohio State, in which ID supporters attempted to subvert the rules for thesis advisors and dissertation committees in order to graduate “one of theirs”, should be of concern also. Since this type of subversion is part of the playbook of the ID/Creationists, it would make academic standards much messier to uphold and would have the university constantly bogged down in litigation.

At some point, if this Wedge Strategy continues to make inroads at colleges and universities, faculty will have to confront this fraud head on and label it for what it is. Playing defensively while attempting to avoid “prejudice” just makes ID/Creationism look like a “respectable” viewpoint. Instead of focusing on the bogus ideas of the ID/Creationists, everyone should now be focusing on their tactics. That it what really identifies them for what they are.

It is my understanding that former Prof. Gonzalez was given a written statement detailing why he was denied tenure. The position of the university is that they are estopped from releasing this document because of privacy concerns. However, former Prof. Gonzalez has no such restriction and can release it at any time. So far he has declined to do so. Obviously, his refusal to release the subject statement speaks volumes.

It is my understanding that former Prof. Gonzalez was given a written explanation as to the reasons for denying him tenure. The position of the university is that it is estopped from releasing this document because of privacy concerns. However, former Prof. Gonzalez has no such restriction and could release it at any time. The fact that he has declined to do so speaks volumes.

SLC:

It is my understanding that former Prof. Gonzalez was given a written statement detailing why he was denied tenure. … So far he has declined to [release them]. Obviously, his refusal to release the subject statement speaks volumes.

If Gonzalez sues the university, that document would that document become public?

If the document were subpoenaed and put in evidence, it could still be placed under seal if the judge heard a good argument to do so. But any discussion of it in the transcript would still be public.

I think that it is likely, but not certain, that it would become publicly accessible if this goes to trial.

In short form, Gonzalez wasn’t censored for believing in ID, but for offering up his ID work to be considered as part of his scientific achievements.

We’d better watch out - Dembksi’s warming up another Waterloo!

http://www.ci.waterloo.ia.us/

In short form, Gonzalez wasn’t censored for believing in ID, but for offering up his ID work to be considered as part of his scientific achievements.

He wasn’t censored, he was denied a job promotion.

Ravilyn Sanders:

OK, now that you say you are not a troll and you express “disappointment” with the way “people were not honest”, let us see how disappointed you are about the creationists side.

well, the “dissapointment” was qualified with an “if” - it was a question rather than a statement. It’s impossible for me to be dissapointed with the creationists side, as i expect nothing but lies and stupidity from them. I was just seeking clarification really, as it would be kind of annoying for the creationists to be able to point out some actual misconduct on the part of the pro-science crowd.

J-Dog wrote:

“We’d better watch out - Dembksi’s warming up another Waterloo!”

Well, this can’t really be a Waterloo for evolution since that isn’t even the issue here. And win or lose, the decision cannot lend any validity to ID, since that is not the issue here either. The issue is the tenure decision, so I guess it could be a Waterloo for the tenure system but that is about it.

If Gonzalez loses, that will simply mean that he could not prove that he was unjustly denied tenure. It will not mean that his personal beliefs have no merit or that there was no validity to any of the claims he made in the movie. Of course, that won’t stop him from claiming he was discriminated against anyway.

However, if Gonzalez wins, it will mean that he probably was denied tenure unfairly. If he was denied tenure based on his personal beliefs, then that would probably be a good thing. It will still not mean that his personal views are valid or that there is any scientific merit to any of the claims he made in the movie. Of course, that won’t stop him from claiming that his views are valid and that he has been vindicated. What is will probably mean is that the tenure system will come under increasing attack from these type of people, if they think that this is one way that they can get the courts to legislate science. If that makes the tenure system better, that can only mean that it was flawed in the first place. But if it means that tenure decisions become politicized to the point where they lose all meaning, that would indeed be a Waterloo for the tenure system.

Either way, ID will not be any more science that it ever was and our planet will still not be priviledged - except maybe in the eyes of some of the sacs of mostly water that inhabit it - but then again they may be a bit biased.

From what I’ve been reading, GG’s productivity (virtually nil) is going to speak a lot louder than his beliefs, which said beliefs will shrink to insignificance compared to how much he actually hasn’t done since arriving at ISU.

I was trying to discuss these issues in a civil manner on Bill Dembski’s Uncommon Descent blog and I’ve just had my posts banned. Not only am I not allowed any more posts but they have excised many of my past posts in old threads (although not always the responses to them).

This would be my personal biggest criticism of ID proponents: they don’t play the game. They don’t seem to encompass criticism and all the new research.

The one question I never got answered that was pertinent to this issue is: Was the tenure committee right to refuse tenure because in their opinion the candidate did not support the established consensus in their discipline?

That question is considerably watered down and fence-sitting but I still never got an answer. Sad.

Jerad:

I was trying to discuss these issues in a civil manner on Bill Dembski’s Uncommon Descent blog and I’ve just had my posts banned. Not only am I not allowed any more posts but they have excised many of my past posts in old threads (although not always the responses to them).

I very much doubt they did that by hand. There must be a script to go through everything and 1984 “ministry of truth” someone. Question for the administrator: is this only abuse of a normal function available to a blog admin, or did someone at UD have to write such a draconian function?

However this pans out it is undeniable that once ID became his focus all science stopped (just as it did with Behe). That’s a pretty big elephant for the tenure committee to ignore since promotion generally recognises advancing ones career, not retarding it; ID = Intelligence Demise - look at the facts!

I wonder if this will result in more colleges taking a public stance on ICD, such as Lehigh did to distance themselves from Behe’s quackery?

Oskar:

Talking about Hector Avalos. I would just like to say that if you have not read any of his books do so now and I mean right this moment. I am currently reading The End Of Biblical Studies and next on my agenda is Fighting words. He has made me change my opinion on many things and made me think differently about many of our religious brothers and sisters. If you happen to read this Mr Avalos I just wanted to thank you for for at least one excellent book. I am in your debt.

I am such an ass, my use of “Mr” was not intended to be an insult as I hope shows in what I say. In Iceland we rarely if ever us e “Dr” at least in the chemical department, it was just stupidity. To try to atone I will use German Herr Doktor Professor Avalos.

I meant to say chemistry department

I think it is time for me to shut up now.

dhogaza:

In short form, Gonzalez wasn’t censored for believing in ID, but for offering up his ID work to be considered as part of his scientific achievements.

He wasn’t censored, he was denied a job promotion.

Tenure is both more than that and less than that.

More, for reasons that should be obvious. But also less, because when you sign on there’s not the slightest guarantee of continued employment beyond your seventh year.

This would be my personal biggest criticism of ID proponents: they don’t play the game.

Aha! You got banned because you asked them to play a game.:-)

Re “Well, this can’t really be a Waterloo for evolution since that isn’t even the issue here.”

Another question is of course to which nationality is evolution analogous in that analogy? ;)

Henry

Just to be clear: one editor/arbitrator stated publicly that another one had decided to ban my posts.

Go check out the latest thread; Dr Dembski has clearly stated (in his opinion) the designer is the Christian God.

Frank J: I suspect I did hit a nerve there. Sigh. Once I think I said that they could either hit the field and risk losing or stay on the sidelines and gain nothing. Is that offensive?

Every great thinker I have ever known has floated lots of goofy ideas that they quickly back off from when the fallacies were pointed out to them. But they weren’t afraid to stick their neck out nor were they afraid of admitting they were wrong. That’s the only game in town isn’t it?

Oskar Wrote:

I am such an ass, my use of “Mr” was not intended to be an insult as I hope shows in what I say. In Iceland we rarely if ever us e “Dr” at least in the chemical department, it was just stupidity

Oskar, I understand. When nearly everyone has a PhD it gets silly (not to say elitist) to call all the PhDs “Dr” all the time. In my own experience, in both accademic departments and industry, we call everyone by their first name (unless it is unclear which of several Steves we mean (to pick an example at random)).

Jerad Wrote:

Go check out the latest thread; Dr Dembski has clearly stated (in his opinion) the designer is the Christian God.

All the major ID players have said one way or another that they think, or at least hope, that the designer, is the (Judeo) Christian God, so I just don’t get why everyone keeps treating that as either big news or something that the DI is trying to hide. What should have been advertised all over the place for the last 2 years, yet is still unknown to most of the public, is how Behe admitted, under oath at Dover, that the designer could be no longer in existence, as in (gasp!) deceased.

My irony about “playing a game” is that everything those scam artists do is a game. They choose their words as carefully as possible. So I doubt that Behe truly believes that God is dead, but maybe that the possibly deceased - and possibly designed - designer that he believes he caught in his “mousetrap” may just be the last in a long line of designers that can be traced back to God.

Another DI word game that everyone but me seems to have “taken the bait” on is how Dembski recently admitted that humans and other apes probably didn’t evolve from common ancestors. Everyone reacted with “newsflash! Dembski rejects common descent!” But the key word is “evolved.” All that could mean is that, like Behe, Dembski thinks that humans and other apes share common ancestors, but that in-vivo “intervention” was required for species changes in one or more lineages. Dembski is probably even more aware than Behe of how he baits-and-switches, because once, in the same article, he compared how Behe accepts common descent (and Dembski had no problem with that) yet Carl Woese “explicitly rejects” it. If one takes the time to read what Woese himself said (& most of Dembski’s target audience would not), one would find that Woese only doubts “universal” common descent (a single Precambrian ancestor to archaea and eubacteria) and does not think that humans and other apes are products of 2 separete abiogenesis events. I don’t really think anyone at the DI does. Though they’d never admit it.

Jerad Wrote:

Every great thinker I have ever known has floated lots of goofy ideas that they quickly back off from when the fallacies were pointed out to them.

One reason that I’m so fascinated with this subject is because, early in my career as a chemist, I (hardly a “great thinker”) had a hypothesis that I thought was promising. But little by little it became clear that the data just didn’t support it. Because it was novel, and potentially financially rewarding, I wanted to believe it in the worst way, and initially even made excuses to myself when the data weren’t going the way I wanted. I faced the “fork in the road” that DI fellows faced in the 1990s. Like them I even had a “support group” encouraging me to take the wrong path.

Re Wesley R. Elsberry

I am not an attorney and have no legal training. However, I fail to see under what interpretation of the law that the document given to former Prof. Gonzalez detailing the reasons for denying him tenure could be kept out of the public record in the event of a lawsuit challenging the decision. If the subject document refutes the Gonzalez claim of discrimination, the university has every right to submit it as evidence and cross examine Prof. Gonzalez as to its contents. As I understand it, in a civil case, the rules of evidence are far less strict then in a criminal case. I will guarantee the readers of this thread that Prof. Gonzalez will be closely cross examined as to the issues raised in the document during his pre-trial deposition and during any subsequent proceedings in the unlikely event that the case ever gets to trial.

SLC -

Wesley’s not saying that it can’t be used during the trial. What he’s saying is that it could be kept sealed, so that only those people authorized by the court are allowed to read it. Anything said during testimony would, of course, be public knowledge, but the document as a whole would not. The same thing happened in Dover with the draft of The Design of Life. It’s quite common.

If one takes the time to read what Woese himself said (& most of Dembski’s target audience would not), one would find that Woese only doubts “universal” common descent (a single Precambrian ancestor to archaea and eubacteria) and does not think that humans and other apes are products of 2 separate abiogenesis events.

Yep, with the question of whether there’s a common ancestor, it does matter if one is talking about (1) the domains of archaea, bacteria, and eukaryote, or (2) algae, amoebae, plants, animals, and fungi (subdivisions of eukaryote).

Henry

Frank J said (137972): “… yet is still unknown to most of the public, is how Behe admitted, under oath at Dover, that the designer could be no longer in existence, as in (gasp!) deceased.”

We don’t have to look that far to see some seemingly unchristian words by Behe. In “The Edge of Evolution” (2007), Behe states that the designer could be evil. Pages 237-39: “Malaria was intentionally designed.… What sort of designer is that?… Maybe the designer isn’t all that beneficent or omnipotent.

His purpose in saying that immediately follows the preceding sentence: “Science can’t answer questions like that. But denying design simply because it can cause terrible pain is a failure of nerve, a failure to look the universe fully in the face.” So his remarks about an evil designer are only said to make a rhetorical point about uncoupling ID from religion.

Olorin,

We can find lots of of things that IDers say that could make their followers cringe. But those followers need those words “shoved in their faces,” otherwise they’ll just gloss over them and just seek out only the sound bites that feel good. After more than a decade I’m still scratching my head at how many YECs raved about “Darwin’s Black Box,” even though Behe plainly admits an old-Earth-and-common descent.

ID is not a science it is a school of thought that is clearly lacking any and all serious scientific credentials. IDers only skin over those words because they think that they can find whatever they like in them and they do not want to look at things without a religious leader looking over their shoulder. Again I say that intelligent design and creationism are not sciences because they only provide a religious way of lookiing at the world and not a serious investigation.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on December 13, 2007 11:47 AM.

Released Gonzalez e-mails lack context was the previous entry in this blog.

Texas-sized liar is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter