Saturday, March 14, 2009

More on the Michael Egnor's Letter from Pharyngula

PZ Meyers has pointed out a few things about Michael Egnor's letter that, in my frustration , I missed. Egnor writes:
Most Americans are creationists, in the sense that they believe that God played an important role in creating human beings and they don’t accept a strictly Darwinian explanation for life. And they think that they ought to be able to ask questions about evolution in their own public schools. They don’t share your passion for ideological purity in science classes.
To this, Meyers writes:
Note the open admission that the Discovery Institute's audience are the god-fearin' creationists, and that the people they regard as "on their side" are plain-and-simple, unmodified creationists, not just the usual Intelligent Design creationists. That's useful to see.
The DI is in danger of overplaying its hand. The testimony by Barbara Forrest and Robert Pennock at the Dover trial in 2005 clearly linked Intelligent Design with Christian backing, but that was never publicly acknowledged by the DI. Now it has been. Meyers continues:
I'm also confident that the people of Louisiana are a mix of the uninformed and the scientifically competent, and that many are good people who deserve better than the falsehoods institutions like the Discovery Institute will ladle out. It would be great to have more scientific conventions in New Orleans (if nothing else, because the cuisine is fabulous). However, when the government of the state promotes policies that are damaging to science, scientists have no choice but to reject them in any way they can.
The principle problem that I see here is that many evangelical Christians who have grown wary of the ICR (not sure how many that would be) might see the DI as their knight in shining armor and rally behind them, without knowing that they don't stand for any better science education than the ICR does. Beyond that, though, the "We don't need you. Take your ball and go home" attitude is petty and foolish and a disservice to Christians everywhere.

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