PvM: My apologies to Lauri Lebo for misspelling her name as Laurie
Ben Stein wrote:
There are a number of scientists and academics who’ve been fired, denied tenure, lost tenure or lost grants because they even suggested the possibility of intelligent design. The most egregious is Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian, the editor of a magazine that published a peer-reviewed paper about ID. He lost his job.
Ed Brayton not PZ wrote:
Except that Sternberg did not lose his job. He didn’t even lose his unpaid courtesy position at the Smithsonian. In fact, even after everything that happened, the Smithsonian still extended an invitation after his Research Associate position had expired to remain as a Research Collaborator.
and Lauri Lebo
With “Expelled,” proponents of Intelligent Design prove that they are much better at marketing than they are at science.
On Intelligent Design
Despite what the movies leads one to believe, there is no such thing as intelligent-design research. Money spent on ID goes to bankroll glossy marketing campaigns, such as Expelled, and to lobby lawmakers, as with the “academic freedom” bills being pushed now in state legislatures across the country.
Mencken’s remarks that we have the right to hold controversial and even stupid beliefs is not without merit. It’s a beautiful idea, and a wonderfully American notion – this innate sense of democratic principles that we all have a say in how things should be.
Expelled takes this idea and perverts it, arguing that truth and evidence is irrelevant. All sides should be treated as equal.
But as Mencken said, free speech does not give one the right to demand that these ideas be treated as sacred.