Intelligent Design

by John Holbo on September 11, 2005

A few days ago I finished The Right Nation, by Micklethwait and Wooldridge, a pair of "Economist" writers. Perhaps you recall their June 21, 2005 WSJ op-ed, “Cheer Up Conservatives, You’re Still Winning,” in which they declare “the right has walloped the left in the war of ideas.” Ahem:

One of the reasons the GOP manages to contain Southern theocrats as well as Western libertarians is that it encourages arguments rather than suppressing them. Go to a meeting of young conservatives in Washington and the atmosphere crackles with ideas, much as it did in London in the heyday of the Thatcher revolution. The Democrats barely know what a debate is.

Well, the book is not such a polemical and high-handed affair as that portends. Mostly. It’s really – like a long "Economist" article. At many points it has that signature ‘it’s a golden age but there are storm clouds on the horizon/it’s cloudy but there’s a silver-lining’ rhythm. It’s worth reading, like an “Economist” article, but affords many irritations to the non-conservative reader. "In this exercise, we may have many weaknesses, but we would like to claim one strength: we are not members of either of the two great political tribes that dominate the American commentariat. Throughout this book, we have tried to avoid using any of the jibes that are commonplace on both sides of the debate" (p. 24). This is mostly true, but the authors still enjoy toying with the idea that America is a 50/50 nation, half of which isn’t really American, but more … European. They equivocate between using ‘right nation’ as a tag for America, and a tag for half of America. "To people who wonder "What sort of place is Texas? the simplest answer is that it is America exponentiated. Texas is America’s America, or at least conservative America’s America" (p. 134). Lots of little nudges like that. Also: American conservatism is given credit for resisting the emergence of extreme forms of itself, but the fact that the American left stayed moderate is credited to the constraining effects of the ‘conservative’ American Constitution. The authors basically have a Louis Hartz ‘liberal consensus’ argument. Do a change-all ‘liberal’ to ‘conservative’. Which is really a substitution they ought to think through a bit harder. Since they cite much of the same evidence Hartz cited for his thesis way back when.

All in all, they don’t belly up to the bar and drink the conservative kool-aid, but they do take many a debonair, pinky-raised sip. Then, on p. 159-60 these Brits do some Texas-style kool-aid bong hits. (PZ Meyers is going to go spare! He’ll throw a wobbly! as Nobby Nobbs might say.)

Discovery is also the leading proponent of an increasingly influential idea on the Right: "intelligent design." The intelligent design movement, according to Chapman [Bruce Chapman, Discovery founder], holds that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not as a part of an undirected process, such as natural selection." In other words, Darwinian theory does not wholly explain either the origin of life or the development of species. Chapman, a committed Christian, first got interested in the subject because of worries about free speech: in 1995 he rallied to the defense of a California science professor who was threatened with the sack merely for arguing that evolution does not explain everything. [Anyone know the real details of this case?] Most orthodox scientists dismiss intelligent design as upmarket creationism. But books and papers spew out of Discovery’s Center for Science and Culture, and Chapman points to several victories in his battle against what he calls the neo-Darwinists …

The intelligent design movement is an example of the Right’s growing willingness to do battle with what it regards as the liberal "science establishment" on its own turf, using scientific research of its own. Right-wing think tanks have attacked scientific orthodoxy on stem cells, arguing that there is no need to harvest embryos, as it should be possible to extract stem cells from adults. They have also pored over the data on global warming. Bjorn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001), an indictment of green overstatement, is a cult hero in places like the AEI and Discovery. There are also battles brewing on animal rights, euthanasia and the scientific origins of homosexuality [science causes gays?] So far the science establishment has given little ground to the conservative upstarts, particularly on intelligent design. In Ohio, some scientists equatted supporters of intelligent design with the Taliban. But the Right is clearly extending the battle of ideas into new territories, just as Milton Friedman and others did in economics forty years ago.

Puts the ‘crack’ back in ‘crackle of ideas’, you might say.

This encapsulates the main problem with the whole ‘conservatives are winning the battle of ideas’ thesis/meme. There isn’t any intellectual quality control in the strategic assessment. Of course the authors would reply that it is very hard for anyone to assess whether the quality of left or right ideas is better absolutely. Leftists say the left is better, the right says the right – obviously, otherwise the sides would switch. But, still: if you are going to count any effective rhetoric as ‘winning the war of ideas’ – if you don’t even make any attempt to test, prima facie, for intellectual seriousness and credibility – then you ought to just ‘fess up that you mean ‘winning the culture war’, which sounds less intellectually high-toned.

In What’s the Matter with Kansas?, Thomas Frank has a description of the Second Annual Darwin, Design, and Democracy Symposium, at Rockhurst College , Kansas City.

Modeled after an academic conference, the keynote speeches and panel discussions all aimed to publicize the much ballyhooed theory of Intelligent Design. The inevitable Jack Cashill [see below] kicked things off with a denunciation of Hollywood for accepting a God-free vision of the universe. He kept things lively by showing clips from sinful films supposedly influenced by the doctrines of Darwin, such as Hud and High Plains Drifter. Cashill was followed, however, by an Intelligent Design theorist who lectured monotonously on the faked evidence supposedly used by evolutionists, and heads began to nod. To everyone’s relief, the speaker finally yielded the stage to the Mutations, "three fine Christian ladies" in pink dresses who strutted and whirled like an early-sixties girl group and proceed to sing "Overwhelming Evidence," a ditty set to the pulsing beat of "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough." Comically assuming the voice of the arrogant science establishment, the women pretend-derided the audience, singing that "the truth is what we say" and that, as professional scientists, "we don’t have to listen to you!" The audience had plainly been bored by the preceding recitation of science’s errors, but this lighthearted bit of presecuto-tainment hit exactly the right note, and sent everyone home with a smile on his or her face. (p. 214)

Ah, if only the Democrats remembered what a debate is: namely, an expression of populist ressentiment at perceived cultural elites. It really is very shameful that these British Tories, who I don’t suppose believe in ID, find it sufficiently amusing that liberalism is taking kidney shots from these people that they are willing to check their intellectual consciences at the door, for the sake of ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’. (Who doubts this is the reason why Southern theocrats and economic libertarians are under the same tent? Who thinks they are really staying for the rigorous arguments, across their respective positions?)

Oh, and Cashill – the guy Frank mentions – is a Kansas City publisher and pundit; and author (in 1996) of a novel, 2006. [You can read the first five pages at Amazon.] Here is Frank’s summary:

America is enduring the second term of the Al Gore presidency and the common people lie prostrate beneath the iron heel of liberalism. The old-school Populists were fond of a novel called Caesar’s Column, a vision of a hideous future in which nineteenth-century capitalism had expanded without restriction. And Cashill gives us the contermporary equivalent: a vision of a hideous future in which all the elements of the conservative persecutation fantasy have flowered just as grotesquely. The government has forced Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has been assassinated, and SUVs are no longer being manufactured. Runaway trial lawyers have destroyed the tobacco industry, and the wineries are next. Laws against "hate crimes" are being used to punish ordinary speech, motorcycle riders have to wear helmets, as do Amish factory workers, and jack-booted federal thugs dispense stiff jail sentences to patriotic Americans. It’s what the world would look like if some evil sorcerer made reality conform to the op-ed apge of the Wall Street Journal.

So anyhow, Cashill’s protagonists – a bunch of Latin-mass Catholics, Indians, and gun fanciers, all led by a sportswriter – form a militia, stage a heroic rebellion, and capture several of the nations most ee-vil liberals. One of these soulless creatures has to be shot, and a special South African gun for which considerable admiration has been expressed gets to do the honors. Before its steely Boer chastisement, this liberal scoundrel, his body as hollow and corrupt as his politics, simply flies to pieces. (p. 163-4)

Another passage from Micklethwait and Wooldridge:

Yet from the first, Bush saw that conservative intellectuals could be useful – much in the same way that an R&D department is useful to a chief executive. His formative experience in Washington was to watch his father’s administration disintegrating, in large part for want of "the vision thing." …. Nobody would pretend that Bush, a man who regarded Yale University as a drinking competition (which he damn-near won), spends his evenings reading Strauss’s Xenophon’s Socratic Discourse. But he knows the importance of people who do. (p. 156-7)

This reminds me of a quote from Mill I like:

Speculative philosophy, which to the superficial appears a thing so remote from the business of life and the outward interests of men, is in reality the thing on earth which most influences them, and in the long run overbears every other influence save those which it must itself obey.

Well, it all depends on what influences it must obey. If it has to obey politicians, who treat philosophers more like PR consultants than R&D researchers …

One last passage from Micklethwait and Wooldridge:

Here it is worth making a subtle distinction. Bush’s enthusiasm has generally been for business, particularly big business, rather than for the free market. His own career was a textbook example of Texas crony capitalism, characterized by a succession of takeover deals in which outside investors with ties to his father periodically stepped in to save one floundering oil company after another. Arbusto Energy became Bush Exploration, which merged with Spectrum 7, which merged with Harken Energy. Bush’s equity magically increased in value, despite a dismal oil market. Then in 1990 he sold 212,000 shares in Harken stock for $848,560 to pay for his investment in the TExas Rangers baseball team. Construction of a spanking-new ballpark in Arlington was subsidized by an increase in the local city sales tax.

This sort of buddy capitalism is hardly the stuff of Harvard Business School case sudies. Yet Bush still saw himself as a businessman, and his base has always been the business class. Texas was an ideal state for such a politician because the state’s campaign-finance laws placed almost no limits on contributions. In his 1994 and 1998 gubernatorial campaigns, more than half the contributions came from corporate executives (including hefty contributions from Ken Lay, the boss of Enron). And he eventually used his business connections to create the most successful fund-raising machine in presidential history. (p. 142)

It is worth pointing out that the difference between the free market and cronyism is not really subtle – and getting less subtle by the minute, as the resumes of FEMA execs. rise to the surface of the floodwaters. (Maybe someone should write a post-apocalyptic novel "ripped from the headlines" about how, in the last years of the Bush administration, the United States of America was reconstituted as Iraq-or-Bust-o-Energy, then Bush Exploration, then Remnant 7, then …) OK, one final stray note for the night.

It’s interesting that, less than a year ago, Newt Gingrich was playing this tune: "Given an electorate in which values really do matter to a large segment, one wonders how comfortable many Democrats will be having a minority leader (Rep. Nancy Pelosi) from San Francisco, one of the most liberal districts in the United States." [link to an old post of mine. The original link within the post is dead or down.] But now (via Kos):

Gingrich argues that the values debate that has divided America so sharply during the past decade is over. There’s a broad consensus about most issues, and anyway people realize that the country’s big problems aren’t about morality but performance. "We’re not in a values fight now but over whether the system is working," Gingrich told me. "The issue is delivery." And that’s true at every level—city, state and federal.

Yet surely the result of ‘winning the war of ideas’ – this sea to shining sea (except for the coasts) coalition of drown it in the bathtubbers and God-botherers – is a big tent of conservative rhetoric that forbids precisely this shift in favor of an ethic of competence. The very notion: that government might be subject to intelligent design! After 40 years in the wilderness, conservatives seize control of all the levers of the government only to realize that the liberal consensus was right all along?

Neither Grover Norquist nor James Dobson can possibly stump for a government (large or small) of elite, performing technocrats who have managed to put ideology behind them, or to one side, for the sake of figuring out how government can solve the nation’s (non-moral) problems.

And if you’ve lost Norquist and Dobson, who’ve you got? Olympia Snowe and whose army? Are we going to start hearing about neo-Rockefeller Republicans. (Modern Rock-cons, they might call themselves.)

Didn’t Dukakis run on the slogan: "competence not ideology"? I would like to think Democrats could win on such a platform, but the past suggests caution. I suppose the next thing we’ll hear is that only Nixon can go to China. Only the Republicans can be the party of "competence not ideology". Honestly, if they would even try it, I wouldn’t mind losing to them so much.

{ 28 comments }

1

Walt Pohl 09.11.05 at 11:17 am

What a joke. The actual identities of the people lumped together on the left has long ago been replaced in the minds of “conservatives” with a complete fantasy version. If you take the sum total of people who have the label “liberal” pinned on them, they agree on almost nothing, except a certain amount of social libertarianism and a belief in the value of a world where who your daddy was should not be a decisive factor in whether or not you become President. The “left” these days stretches from Warren Buffett to the Young Spartacist League. If you put everyone who gets lumped into the left by conservatives in a room together, it would surely end in violence.

You’d think writers for the Economist would appreciate the importance of economics. The effect of the triumph of “intelligent design” in the United States would be exactly as if fundamentalist Christians decided in the 70s that computers were a tool of the devil and all further research on them must be stopped. The next great wave of technological advance is clearly going to come from biology. If intelligent design wins, you might as well just put a bullet in the head of the US economy now, or make sure your children learn Mandarin so that they can better take orders from their future bosses.

2

Gene O'Grady 09.11.05 at 11:57 am

Couple of comments based on personal experience:

(1) I’ve known more than my fair share of (California, at any rate) trial lawyers. My brother is a trial lawyer. The notion that trial lawyers would go after the wine industry is the most improbable canard in the history of American politics.

(2) What’s this with Nancy Pelosi? A self-described conservative Catholic mother of a large family who got into congress by defeating the sybaritic self-indulgent gay Harry Britt? My sense from the gay SF voters I knew at the time was that Harry went down because he was in bed with the bathhouse owners and had basically little other connection with their community. My office mate used to rant that the guy hadn’t done a tenth of the work on AIDS that Dianne Feinstein had. I suspect the real reason they take after Pelosi is that if you really look at her she’s able to hold together a variety of things that the right would like to see as irreconcilable opposites.

3

Uncle Kvetch 09.11.05 at 12:45 pm

a vision of a hideous future in which […] SUVs are no longer being manufactured

Thanks; I really needed a good laugh today.

Great post, John.

4

abb1 09.11.05 at 1:00 pm

Great essay, but this is bullshit:

Only the Republicans can be the party of “competence not ideology”. Honestly, if they would even try it, I wouldn’t mind losing to them so much.

They are a party of ‘competence not ideology’. They are extremely competent and they get exactly what they want: ignorant, gullible serfs and massive redistribution of wealth upwards. The proof is in the pudding.

5

mythago 09.11.05 at 1:14 pm

Ah, this must be the pair who wrote the recent article wailing about how Lawrence Summers was “persecuted.” Funny how when the Left actually debates conservative ideas, the accusations of “PC” and “persecution” and so on fly. Their idea of a debate is very Platonic; the role of the other side is merely to offer up a feeble struggle before promptly and quietly expiring.

6

RedWolf 09.11.05 at 1:25 pm

The concept that the “right has ideas” and the “left ran out of steam” has been around for about 20 years. The media bought it slowly but hook line and sinker. There is very little fight back from within the media on that sun burned stepped on banana.

7

PZ Myers 09.11.05 at 1:42 pm

Nowadays, when I’m tempted to throw a wobbly over ID, I just remind myself of all the dead in Iraq and NO, and it puts things in their proper perspective.

Of course, that perspective involves fantasies of putting every Republican in Washington on trial, but that’s how it goes…

8

Matt McGrattan 09.11.05 at 2:15 pm

Conservative ‘philosophy’ always seems to be best described by Galbraith’s much quoted line that:

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

9

JR 09.11.05 at 3:38 pm

Re ID killing the US economy, an anecdote – a couple in bio-engineering (both professors) left Arkansas, moved to Canada, because they didn’t want their children learning creationism in schools.

10

Kevin Vallier 09.11.05 at 3:54 pm

John,

You write: “It is worth pointing out that the difference between the free market and cronyism is not really subtle – and getting less subtle by the minute, as the resumes of FEMA execs. rise to the surface of the floodwaters.”

This is a good point. It is by and large true that while Republicans have employed free-market rhetoric they have not cared about genuine free markets. It’s a good way to rile up the electorate, but when it comes to the business class fairly competing against smaller upstarts or foreigners, no thanks. And that’s been the Republican Party’s *consistent* attitude for 150 years. That small government thing? It’s always been a lie; they’ve only wanted a smaller government than the populists, managerical progressives, New Dealers, and Great Society supporters, which isn’t really saying very much.

Matt McGratten: What an obnoxious thing to say about conservatives. They really do have a philosophical tradition – Burke, Hume (yes, Hume), Hamilton, Lord Acton, along with people today like Roger Scruton, Micheal Oakeshott, some Hayekians, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, Frank Meyer, Alasdair MacIntyre, and the list continues. You could throw Aquinas in there too if you want to go back that far.

One of the things that conservatives have emphasized is that in virtue of our natures we inherit positive obligations to our families and communities, and sometimes our nation-states. Conservatism has really been much more communitarian in its philosophical forms – first combatting classical liberalism, and then trying to resist socialism – it hates and scorns the individualism of both traditions, and in particular their sharen anti-authoritarianism.

I think you’re just seeing the peculiar American interweaving of British Conservatism and British Liberalism and calling that “conservative”. Yes, it looks like a mishmash – that’s because it IS a mismash. There are two very different consistent political traditions doing a very complicated dance across American history that continues to this day.

11

Matt McGrattan 09.11.05 at 4:15 pm

Kevin Vallier:

There’s nothing obnoxious abut it, Galbraith’s statement is, I think, largely true of most self-labelled ‘conservatives’. Of course it’s not universally true, I’m sure, but it’s close enough.

Now you may be right, that I am talking about the current conservative political class rather than the ‘true’ conservative theorists you cite. And it may be true that the current right-wing political establishment doesn’t really embody many of the traditional ‘virtues’ of the conservative intellectual tradition but it hasn’t done so for at least 30 years. So much the worse for them.

Those people, the venal scumbags actually in political power, are the ones that matter.

P.S. Trying spelling my name correctly.

12

Kevin Vallier 09.11.05 at 4:23 pm

Matt M-c-G-r-a-t-t-A-n: Apologies for misspelling your name. Your comment was ambiguous regarding the content of “conservative” and you put “philosophy” in quotes so it was natural to think you were talking about the ideas many conservatives express.

Second, I take it that the Galbraith quote is not merely a reference to politicians. Am I wrong about this?

13

Dæn 09.11.05 at 4:28 pm

Yet surely the result of ‘winning the war of ideas’ – this sea to shining sea (except for the coasts) coalition of drown it in the bathtubbers and God-botherers – is a big tent of conservative rhetoric that forbids precisely this shift in favor of an ethic of competence. The very notion: that government might be subject to intelligent design! After 40 years in the wilderness, conservatives seize control of all the levers of the government only to realize that the liberal consensus was right all along?

Neither Grover Norquist nor James Dobson can possibly stump for a government (large or small) of elite, performing technocrats who have managed to put ideology behind them, or to one side, for the sake of figuring out how government can solve the nation’s (non-moral) problems.

But the right and left have very different conceptions regarding “whether the system is working.” Technocracy as practiced by conservatives would likely look very different from its liberal equivalent because the two groups have different priorities. Example: if you believe that health care for all is important, a “working system” could be defined as a single-payer scheme featuring a pervasively high quality of treatment and low average wait times. But if you believe in “every man for himself” and don’t want the government using your money for involuntary national risk-pooling, the system isn’t working properly–in fact, it needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

Everyone believes that the government would work wonderfully if only they were in charge, even those who speak in colorful metaphors of its glorious demise.

14

des von bladet 09.11.05 at 5:50 pm

I am willing to pretend (albeit unconvincingly) in public that I don’t believe Mill could possibly have been that stupid if it prpvokes a traceable citation.

(That’s really still pretty fucking stupid, though, even for Cap’n Stoopid himself.)

15

Stephen M (Ethesis) 09.11.05 at 7:23 pm

Texas is America’s America

That is a curious quote.

Less than 50% white?

Most major metropolitan areas controlled by Democrats (even more so with the refugees who are all about to become Texas voters)? (Note, the counties they are in are usually Republican, but the cities tend to be Democratic, except for Austin — but Austin did not take tens of thousands of refugees like Houston, Dallas or San Antonio).

That is an amazing statement.

16

jholbo 09.11.05 at 8:10 pm

The Mill quote is from the first page of his essay, “Bentham”. Lots of sources online.

17

John 09.11.05 at 10:24 pm

Stephen M, regarding Austin:

According to the local paper, Austin is hosting 4,200 hurricane evacuees. This may not be as many as the cities you mention, but they are also larger cities than Austin.

Austin is, furthermore, a Democratic-leaning city. Within Texas it has a reputation for liberalism.

Travis County, which contains Austin, voted 56% for Kerry, 42% for Bush, in last year’s election (compare to Dallas County, which went 50% for Bush, 49% for Kerry), which is represented in Congress by a Democrat, and although Texas mayors are elected on a nonpartisan basis, the mayor of Austin says he votes Democratic.

18

John Kozak 09.12.05 at 2:31 am

I can’t believe this of the former home of Alistair Burnett and Graham Hancock.

19

Doug 09.12.05 at 4:45 am

American conservatism is given credit for resisting the emergence of extreme forms of itself,

Except of course the extreme form that blew up a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing more than 150 of conservatices’ fellow Americans.

Except of course the extrem form that firebombed abortion clinics and advocated the murder of doctors who performed abortions.

Gotta admire that restraint.

20

jet 09.12.05 at 7:06 am

Are you channeling Socrates?

But, still: if you are going to count any effective rhetoric as ‘winning the war of ideas’ – if you don’t even make any attempt to test, prima facie, for intellectual seriousness and credibility – then you ought to just ‘fess up that you mean ‘winning the culture war’, which sounds less intellectually high-toned.

21

des von bladet 09.12.05 at 7:07 am

Thanks!

22

Davis X. Machina 09.12.05 at 11:15 am

Thomas Frank has a description of the Second Annual Darwin, Design, and Democracy Symposium, at Rockhurst College , Kansas City.

What the hell is a Jesuit — and therefore supposedly orthodox and intellectually elite — university doing playing footsie with these types?

Would Georgetown do such? Or Fordham?

What is happening out there?

23

299792458 09.12.05 at 1:48 pm

Des,

What do you find stupid in the quote and what do you think makes Mill “Cap’n Stoopid” generally?

24

des von bladet 09.13.05 at 10:40 am

299792458: (a) It is utterly and obviously false, is what. (b) He is the epitome of haplessness, surely? A more detailed answer will have to wait until I read some of his stuff though. (I went shopping today to that end.)

25

Steve Reuland 09.13.05 at 4:33 pm

What the hell is a Jesuit—and therefore supposedly orthodox and intellectually elite—university doing playing footsie with these types?

I don’t know about this specific case, but the ID movement has a long history of renting out space at colleges and universities, and then implying that these get-togethers were hosted by those universities. Thus they’ll refer to the “Yale Conference”, which really means that they rented out a room at Yale and hosted the same 10-15 speakers who been saying the same self-referential and self-congratulatory things for years. Of course anyone with sufficient funds could have rented out the room, and Yale was probably not a convenient spot to begin with, but hey, perception is everything.

26

Steve Reuland 09.13.05 at 5:05 pm

Chapman, a committed Christian, first got interested in the subject because of worries about free speech: in 1995 he rallied to the defense of a California science professor who was threatened with the sack merely for arguing that evolution does not explain everything. [Anyone know the real details of this case?]

This is almost certainly referring to Dean Kenyon of SFSU. You can read a short account by Philip Johnson here. According to Johnson, Kenyon was never threatened with the sack, and it was students, not administrators, who complained that he was teaching religion in the guise of science. Even still, he was allowed to keep teaching his biology class without sanction. (And note one subtle difference between reality and the retelling: Kenyon was advocating ID outright, not merely “arguing that evolution does not explain everything.” This is a common bait-and-switch.)

Now Philip Johnson is hardly a credible source, but even his account contradicts the basic retelling by Micklethwait and Wooldridge (which they probably adopted nearly verbatim from Chapman). This is typical. IDist martyrdom stories become exaggerated and mythologized faster than fishing tales about the one that got away. Chapman, who is an extremely dishonest individual, seems to specialize in blowing otherwise mundane inquiries about impropriety all out of proportion, all but declaring them to be literal witch hunts. Thus he feeds the irrational persecution complex that has infected religious conservatives in this country.

27

Steve Reuland 09.13.05 at 5:33 pm

Here’s a bit more about the Kenyon affair from an article in Science, excepted here:

But Kenyon’s views have been a matter of chronic concern since he began injecting them into his teaching more than a decade ago, says university dean James Kelly, an oceanographer. So “18 years of student complaints” seemed like enough evidence. Department chairman John Hafernik adds that there was no due process to violate. He calls Kenyon’s reassignment a “scheduling decision” that shoukld never have gone outside the department. But it did and now it’s back. Kelly said Kenyon (who is now teaching only labs) has been offered a chance to conduct an advasnced seminar where his ideas can be explored. But Kenyon wants his into course back, saying “I’m not going to drop this issue.” He won’t get more specific, but university officials fear a lawsuit in the making.

If there is persecution going on, one has to wonder just who it is at the receiving end. The people at the Discovery Institute seem far more inclined to threaten lawsuits than to conduct any research.

28

Steve Reuland 09.13.05 at 5:36 pm

Sorry, I’m having issues with the formatting. Hopefully you can pick out which parts are mine and which one were from the article based on the indentions.

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