Sunday, August 3, 2008

John West Lays out the Dishonesty of the IDers, Again

In a typical false comparison, John West of the Discovery Institute accuses a newspaper writer named Rekha Basu of inconsistency in her treatment of the case of ID promoter Guillermo Gonzales being denied tenure (which she supported), and Iowa community college professor Steve Bitterman being fired because he told "his students not to take the story of Adam and Eve too literally", which Basu did not support. West is obviously stretching things to say the least, since one is the promotion of pseudoscience, the other a wise suggestion when reading an ancient text. So how can one confuse the two you ask? Simple: pretend the issues aren't what they are, and that people didn't say what they said. The amazing part is how blatant West's dishonesty is:

While grudgingly conceding that “professors are entitled to their own beliefs,” Basu insisted that “Intelligent Design proponents are wrong to equate the exclusion of their theory from the classroom with academic bias. Professors are… not [entitled] to teach as science something that is not.” (Rekha Basu, “Bias over views or credentials,” The Des Moines Register, May 20, 2007, 30P. Retrieved through

So according to Basu’s cribbed version of academic freedom, a university has the right to impose an outright ban on the presentation of ideas in the classroom with which it disagrees.

Misrepresenting opponents' statements is old hat for IDers of course, but rarely are they so foolish to put the quote that reveals that dishonesty RIGHT ABOVE THEIR CLAIM! Basu did not say "ideas with which it disagrees". She said "teach as science something that is not". Agreement or disagreement didn't enter into it. West would be ashamed if he had any shame. But then, he clearly doesn't understand the first thing about the issue, or science, as revealed by his next statement:

"It turns out that Basu’s advocacy for university gag orders depends entirely on what ideas are being banned."

No shit Sherlock. Let me spell it out so even you can understand it. Scientific ideas, whether one agrees with them or not, belong in the science class. Pseudoscience like ID doesn't. Apparently to people like West, all "nonscientific" means is "I don't agree with it." No wonder he thinks ID is science.

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