Better Letters

A couple of letters to the editor caught my attention this last weekend, one in the Salt Lake Tribune and another in The Advocate in Baton Rouge, LA. The Salt Lake Tribune letter is interesting because the writer takes the Tribune to task for the editor’s unwillingness to have the paper’s editorial pages engage in a dialogue.

Taken to Task: California Academy of Science Mag Publishes Scott’s “Mea Culpa”

In the wake of a libel lawsuit, NCSE, Inc. Director Eugenie Scott has a published a letter retracting her prior false statements concerning California parent Larry Caldwell. The letter is published in California Wild, the magazine of the California Academy of Sciences — and the same magazine that published her earlier article containing her false assertions about Caldwell. (Available online, here.) Caldwell’s letter in response to Scott was also published in California Wild. John West has previously blogged about Scott’s defamatory article and attacks on Caldwell (here, here, and here). As Caldwell noted in a press release from last month: It’s a shame it took a lawsuit to get Scott, the author of the article, to retract some of the Read More ›

Darwinists Continue Smear Campaign against Ohio Grad Student

Just in time for the anniversary of the Scopes trial, the folks over at Panda’s Thumb are continuing their unseemly crusade against Ohio State doctoral candidate Bryan Leonard. Even though these Darwinian fundamentalists don’t support academic freedom for teachers and scientists who are skeptical of Darwin, you’d think they might draw the line at going after students. Apparently, however, their bigotry and intolerance knows no bounds. Unhappy that Leonard’s dissertation committee has effectively refuted the misinformation spread by Panda’s Thumb and others, blogger Richard Hoppe has responded with even more smears. Here are replies to some of the new disinformation put out by Hoppe:

Newsweek Letter: ID Arguments are Testable

My letter responding to George Will’s “A Debate That Does Not End” appears in the July 18 print edition of Newsweek. George Will says the theory of intelligent design isn’t falsifiable—isn’t “a testable hypothesis.” Actually, particular design arguments are falsifiable. Design theorist Michael Behe, for instance, argues that we can detect design in the bacterial flagellum because the tiny motor needs all of its parts to function at all. That’s a problem for Darwinian evolution, which builds novel form one tiny functional mutation at a time. How to falsify Behe’s argument? Provide a detailed evolutionary pathway from simple ancestor to present motor. The flagellum might still be designed, but Behe’s argument that such design is detectable would have been falsified. Read More ›

The Privileged Planet Co-Author Strikes Back

Last week a colleague of Guillermo Gonzalez’s had a decidedly nasty letter published in the Ames Tribune. Rather than address any of the scientific arguments raised by Gonzalez and co-author Jay Richards in their book The Privileged Planet, this letter writer instead pens an ad hominem diatribe full of misinformation and falsehoods. The Ames Tribune has published Gonzalez’s response. While the letter tries to make out all ID supporters as ultra right-wing zealots — even to the point of comparing ID scientists to the Taliban — Gonzalez points out: