Sunday, December 02, 2007


Power of the Press

Well, I did wonder if the Discovery Institute was going to issue a press release to announce the announcement of the announcement of the press conference they are holding on December 2nd concerning Guillermo Gonzalez.

Almost. Here is Bruce Chapman at the DI's Kvetch & Release blog reporting on the report of the Des Moines Register on Gonzalez and reminding everyone of the press conference to cover the same report and more. Or something like that.

But it is becoming clear that the DI intends to dance the neat little two-step I've been predicting, that goes like this:

ID is a scientific position but the academic world perceives it as religious and, therefore, they are discriminating based on a perception of Gonzalez's religious beliefs, which is just as bad as doing it based on his actual beliefs.
This is how Chapman is putting it:

It never dawned on me back in 1958, however, that once in power atheists like Hector Avalos and his allies would be allowed to punish people they suspected of religious belief. The shoe of religious bigotry is now on the other foot and its wearers appear ready to use it to kick their targets very hard. Professor Gonzalez is not merely being censored, after all, he is being driven out of the university.
Note that "suspected of religious belief." And Chapman goes on about how he doubts many of Gonzalez' critics on the faculty bothered to read The Privileged Planet or knew about "the internationally prominent scientists who praised Professor Gonzalez' work."

In other words, the DI will hump the idea that the faculty vote was based on the religious prejudice of those nasty atheists "in power" at the university, who never even bothered to learn how scientific ID really is. It's obvious to anyone awake that this is an admission of ID's religious nature. But it is an argument that I don't think a judge can dismiss out of hand. Still, it has enough problems (the possibility of opening up the whole question of 'is ID science' again and the unlikelihood of proving that atheists are in power at the university) that I'm still betting no lawsuit results.

How it will play in Peoria, however, is another matter.

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