Academic persecution of ID proponents

What do you all think about such things? Should academia be allowed to kill a promising academic’s career just because she shows doubt in evolution, let alone interest in ID, when otherwise the academic’s work and comportment is outstanding?

In my opinion it is the best calling card for ID. No way I would have been interested in the movement otherwise. Your normal person does not have the chops to process all the quite technical ID arguments. On the other hand, nothing says ID is onto something when otherwise outstanding scientists get shut down just for showing interest in the idea and doubt of evolution.


Not unless their doubts in evolution or interest in ID are demonstrably and adversely affecting the quality of their work, or giving rise to workplace malpractice or misconduct. In which case, it needs to be the poor quality of their work, or their workplace misconduct, and not their interest in ID, that is the factor under consideration.

I personally take the view that critiques of ID (and, for that matter, young-earth creationism as well) should be limited to questions of honesty, factual accuracy, technical rigour, and quality control.

Critics of ID often berate it for being “religion, not science,” or “introducing religious presuppositions into science.” But unless they go beyond that and explain what facts ID proponents are not getting straight, and what technical standards they are not adhering to, then those critiques are religion, not science as well.

In any case, if ID is “religion, not science,” then that means it is a protected characteristic for equality and diversity purposes. That is the reason why Andrew Snelling was eventually given a permit to collect rock samples in the Grand Canyon a couple of years back.


interesting, so the work should not be blocked just because of possible implications?

No. It should only be blocked if it fails to meet the necessary standards of rigour and quality.

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It depends on what part of academia. If you are in a nonscientific department then your position on this issue should have no bearing on your ability to do your job. In fact, I don’t see why it would come up in any but the biology department.

In science it doesn’t matter what your religion is. But ID is pseudoscience. You take the pseudoscience out of ID and you just have theism. So yes if they bring religion into a science classroom or lab then apparently they either don’t know the difference or they don’t care – either of which is ample reason to be fired from a position in the the biology department. If they just speak to this stuff outside the classroom or lab, then it still reflects badly on the university and such politics does play a role in universities.

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should we look at the actual results of their work, or should they get cancelled because of someone’s opinion about ID?

What they say and write is part of their work.

Well yes, but you need to define what you mean by “pseudoscience.”

Unfortunately, when I see statements such as this one:

that just presents me with a definition of pseudoscience as “introducing religion into science” – and that reinforces the perception that science is a domain of inquiry that discriminates against religious faith. It may not be your intention to say that, but it is the message that people hear and understand, and it is that message that feeds the persecution narrative that ID supporters capitalise on.

Instead, as I said, we need to stick to a definition of pseudoscience as “claiming to be science while not meeting the standards of rigour and quality control demanded by the scientific method.”

There is no doubt whatsoever that YEC qualifies as pseudoscience by this definition. Young-earth “creation science” is a joke, with its tiny samples and huge error bars presented as “overwhelming” evidence for absurd new laws of fantasy physics that would have vaporised the earth if they had any basis in reality. The situation with ID may be more complex, but it needs to be assessed and evaluated on the same basis.


Remember that ID sees itself as a “big tent” that incorporates both young earth creationists, old earth creationists, and I don’t know what else. They therefore don’t have a position on the age of the earth. But at the ID debate at the AMNH, Robert Pennock pointed out that the different branches of sciences are integrated; you can’t just lop off the parts you wish to ignore.


a younger science will have competing hypotheses

everyone used to believe in ether until einstein came up with relativity

Except that they’re not competing in the ID world. ID uses a “big tent” strategy.

Yes, if ID includes YEC, and it does, then it can’t expect to be taken seriously by scientists, academic or otherwise, and can expect to be discriminated against, unless somehow it can divorce itself from YECism. ID’s big tent might as well include flat earthers. Winston Ewert is the only one who has come close to being scientific, and it seems he has stalled.

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I think there’s a bit of equivocation going on here. The fact is that the term “ID” gets used to refer to two different things. On the one hand, there is ID as a hypothesis — namely, that design is detectable in nature. On the other hand, there is ID as a movement — namely, a group of people who want to attack “Darwinism” (whatever they mean by that) as typified by people such as the Discovery Institute.

I understand people’s concerns with ID the movement. From what I can see, most of them seem to be more interested in rhetoric and politics than in actual science, and to be frank I don’t find them all that honest in the way they’re going about it.

As for ID the hypothesis, however, that needs to be discussed separately. Is it a rigorous science? If not, could it be improved to become a rigorous science? Maybe or maybe not, but these are questions to that need to be addressed solely in terms of whether or not it meets the necessary standards of quality control. Nothing more, nothing less.


Do you have a particular case in mind?


I dont get it. Instead of showing how science does not disregard christianity they attacking it? Instead of focusing on science what should they do is focus on archeology and history. Science is a lost debate for them

There are a number of non christian and atheist ID proponents.

Two I know of where careers were ended is Caroline Crocker and Guillermo Gonzalez. Douglas Axe lost his job as lab director at Cambridge. I know of a recent case where career was threatened becuase of the academic’s ID writing unrelated to their work, and they were told to stop.

Thanks, I’ll have to look those up. Assuming stories might have been written about this online?

No such thing as a promising ID academic.

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