Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Interesting Exchange A while back I reported on a review of the Pro-ID book Darwinism and Public Education: The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design by Francis Beckwith that appeared in the Harvard Law Review. For an ID book to receive favorable mention in so prestigious a venue was a major coup for the ID's, and they wasted no time in advertising it as such.

Actually, the review in question was written not by a professor or by an editorial board, but by a single law student. This was a ``Book Note'' not a review. The standards for such notes are far lower than for actual reviews.

The blogosphere has been all abuzz about this issue for the last several days. Defending the forces of truth and light is Dr. Brian Leiter, Professor of Law and Philosophy at The University of Texas. The ID's are represented by Lawrence VanDyke (the student who wrote the original review) and Hunter Baker (a free-lance writer who wrote an article on this subject for National Review OnLine

First the links:

Here is VanDyke's original review.
Here is Dr. Leiter's reply to the review.
Here is VanDyke's reply to Leiter.
Here is Baker's article for NRO.
Here is a further post on the subject by Dr. Leiter.
Here is a concluding post by Dr. Leiter.

Other bloggers have weighed in as well:

Here is blogger Pharyngula's (also known as biologist P.Z. Myers) take on the VanDyke review.
Here is Ed Brayton's take on this subject.
Here is blogger Chris Mooney's take.

Many of these links contain further links that are worth reading, but this is enough to get you started. Leiter, Myers, Brayton and Mooney have made the correct points with force and eloquence, so I find I have little to add.

ID theory is vile and loathsome not because it represents a challenge to prevailing scientific orthodoxy, but because it is based entirely on phony science, ad hominem attacks on scientists of genuine accomplishment, and thinly-veiled religious propaganda. Those points are amply demonstrated in the links above.


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