My Recent Debate With The Leadership of the Intelligent Design Movement
by Barrett Brown, Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 07:05:52 PM EDT
Over the last couple of days, I've been involved in yet another online exchange of hostilities with the folks behind the intelligent movement; this particular conflict began on Thursday evening when The Huffington Post published an article I wrote on the various strange and dishonest things that chief ID proponent William Dembski and his associates have done over the years since the 2005 Dover Trial. A couple of Dembski's colleagues have responded by pronouncing me "Barrett Clown," which is very painful to me. That's not how my name is pronounced.
I'm writing this post in order to ensure that a response I left in the comments section at Dembski's blog is reproduced in a more reliable little corner of the web; Dembski and his moderators are notorious for disallowing comments that they find uncomfortable. If you have no interest in intelligent design - though you should, as the movement constitutes one of the greatest threats to what we've gained as a species since the Enlightenment, and will continue to pursue its objectives even with decreased media buzz - then you should probably skip this.
Gil, if my work is so misleading that my readers have become my "victims," then you or Dembski or anyone else should refute the dozens of points that I have made about intelligent design and the telling behavior of its advocates.
Dembski has read my book or at least skimmed it. He has written two posts about it. But he has not actually refuted anything I have written. The sole exception was his objection to my references to the Book of Revelation; regarding prophecies of stars falling to the Earth, he cited C.S. Lewis's assertion that the Bible is written for "grown-ups" who know how to separate metaphor from literalism. It's a strange objection coming from him; millions of ID sympathizers believe that the Book of Revelation is to be taken literally and will play out more or less as described. Perhaps Dembski thinks that these Biblical literalists are not "grown-ups"? If so, he should say this plainly. He should tell the members of ID's "natural constituency" that their beliefs are childish.
The advocates of intelligent design cannot refute what I've written about their movement because there is nothing to refute. Also, I can ride my bike real fast.
Those of you who are interested in learning more about intelligent design and the threat that it represents to Western civilization should consider adding biologist PZ Myers' excellent blog Pharyngula to your daily bloggity blog blogosphere blog reading sessions.
Update - 7:52 EST
The comment I left at Uncommon Descent blog is still "awaiting moderation" nearly an hour after I left it, even as other comments posted after mine have already been approved for viewing. One would think that I would have the right to comment on a post concerning Barrett Brown insomuch as that I'm the world's greatest expert on Barrett Brown, but apparently not. This is the way these people operate; they are intellectual cowards.
Update - 10:04 EST
After I updated my Huffington Post article to note that they'd disappeared my comment, the folks at Uncommon Descent finally decided to let it through. Baby steps! Meanwhile, we're having a swell ol' debate over in the comments section of Uncommon Descent; those with an interest in the philosophy of science and related subjects might find it worth checking out. Also, Clive Hayden just accused me of having not written anything on the subject of intelligent design and its key proponents, which is actually one of the most bizarre assertions I've ever encountered insomuch as that he made it in the comments section of blog post about things I've written on the subject of intelligent design and its key proponents. Jesus Christ, so to speak...