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The Sciences

Intelligent Designers’ nonsense, part n

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApril 4, 2006 7:49 AM


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I had to read this page twice, because the first time I thought it was a satire. William Dembksi is perhaps ID's most vocal proponent. His blog (I won't link to it, ewww) is so full of holes you could ride a Galapagos turtle through them. But he's now gone much farther than simply mislead people with fallacious logic: according to that link above, he's reported a scientist to Homeland Security. That link above, written by my friend Wes Elsberry, tells this tale. Read the page, but here's a brief synopsis. This (real) scientist, Eric Pianka, says (I am paraphrasing) that humans have so overpopulated the Earth that we are soon due for a "crash", as most populations which get too big often do. It means a huge die-off, as much as 90% of a population dying. Mind you, he is simply saying this is a typical biological situation of overpopulation, and that's what happens quite often. He is not, say, advocating this position. Merely stating it as a scientific possibility. Enter Forrest M. Mims III, an antievolutionist. He claims that Pianka is openly advocating the literal decimation of the human race. Then enter William Dembski, who decided that someone who would do such a thing should be reported to the government, to Homeland Security. This is disgusting on every way. Demsbki has long said he advocates freedom of expression, since he wants to get ID into schools, yet here he is openly trying to suppress someone whose opinion he disagrees with -- scratch that, whose falsely made-up opinion he disagrees with. It would be awful enough if Pianka did advocate genocide, but the IDers made that up! It's a lie. And to call Homeland Security on someone who disagrees with you brings to mind such visions as the 1950s Soviet Union, or Afghanistan in the late 1990s. If you disagree, then read what PZ Myers has to say about the grief the Texas Academy of Science is getting over this. If there was some reason William Dembski wasn't a mile beneath your contempt before, he's got a shovel and he's digging away. An academic, a scientist, an educator, should never, ever have to fear that their government will investigate them for simply stating what they see as truth. That is one of the scariest forms of government I can imagine. Even Dembski has the right to say what he wants. But the price of free speech is eternal vigilance. If you believe in ID or not, Dembski is contemptible. And if you do believe in it, do you really want that guy speaking for you? This is precisely the kind of garbage some advocates of anti-science will pull, all the while saying it's their freedom they want to protect, and they they are the ones being suppressed by the mainstream. I urge any and all fellow scientists reading this to put links in your blog to Wes and PZ's pages. Give this some air time and let Dembski humiliate himself on an even larger scale.

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