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Darwinist Faculty Members Attempting to Deceive ID-Proponents

Casey Luskin

We recently discussed how New Scientist reporter Celeste Biever unnecessarily used a fake identity to talk to the IDEA Club at Cornell. Over the past year, I’ve had a few analogous encounters where Darwinist biologists have used their positions at major secular universities to feign being pro-ID in an unnecessary deception to engage in dialogue. One very recent example is a biologist at Northeastern University in Boston named Donald M. O’Malley.

In September, 2006, Dr. O’Malley wrote me an e-mail saying that he was pro-ID and that “the grandest of designs [is] the central nervous system.” He said that he shared this information “in confidence” because “there are certain parties that certainly would not be sympathetic to my views” and therefore wanted to stay “under the radar.” He even said, “I am having trouble getting my research refunded by NIH (20 rejected grant applications in a row). If they identify me as a design theorist, this would only get worse, I expect.”

I responded to O’Malley with the usual kindness which I extend to anyone, whether pro-Darwin or pro-ID. He then replied back:

You have been a kind and understanding person and so it is with some regret that I must tell you that my emails to you were misleading. . . . As a bit of a subterfuge, I feigned sympathy for the ID movement, within the context of understanding how the CNS works. . . . My writings were tailored to lead you to a false perception and I not only apologize for this deception, but I am also frankly embarrassed by my actions.

Ironically, O’Malley also claimed that the reason he contacted me with deception was because he was “originally interested in trying to understand how an intelligent person could hold [your] beliefs.” If he wanted to know my reasons for holding my scientific views, all he had to do was ask and disclose his true identity and intentions: I’m willing to talk to anyone as long as they are being honest with me, and I regularly engage in friendly dialogues with Darwinists.

Dr. O’Malley was a rare case of a Darwinist who ultimately followed his conscience and disclosed his true identity. That should be to his credit. Another example will be discussed in the coming days who does not seem to have yet admitted anything. But the moral of this story is that the public should be aware of this pattern: some Darwinists at major U.S. universities and in the media are using their power and position in order to deceive people through unnecessary lies–claiming they are pro-ID and attempting to get information from those who are pro-ID.


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



Celeste BieverDonald M. O'Malley