When the controversy over Richard Sternberg and the publication of the now-infamous Meyer paper broke, we heard quite often that Sternberg was not an ID advocate, merely an open-minded scientist (contrasted, of course, with the more-infamous – and mostly mythical – Darwinian Establishment that daily grinds to dust anyone who dares to question evolution). Jack Cashill, for instance, claims that Sternberg is “not himself an intelligent design (ID) theorist or an advocate of the same” (and note that the Discovery Institute reprinted that article without disputing that claim).
Fellow ScienceBlogger John Lynch came across a rather interesting interview with Paul Nelson that clearly shows otherwise. I’ll post a long excerpt below the fold:
micah (ID=10) (Aug 8, 2002 5:08:15 PM)
Paul, could you make a few comments on the ID movement in general, where you see it going, etc.
Paul Nelson (Aug 8, 2002 5:09:51 PM)
ID is struggling to grow up. We need to move from what I call the “bag of intuitions” stage to a real, testable theory. We need to make some discoveries of our own. All this is possible, but stubborn courage is needed.
Paul Nelson (Aug 8, 2002 5:12:11 PM)
I’ve got an unshakeable optimism that ID is going to do great things.
Paul Nelson (Aug 8, 2002 5:13:59 PM)
There’s a research meeting in Southern California, scheduled for October, where this “how do we grow up” problem will be on the agenda. I’ll be there, as will Bill Dembski, Jed Macosko, Scott Minnich, Rick Sternberg from the Smithsonian, and several others.
That research meeting was the RAPID conference, the same one that my friend Wesley Elsberry tried to register to attend only to be informed that the meeting was for ID advocates only. And notice also that he represents Sternberg as being a Smithsonian employee. During the controversy, this was a serious issue as it is against the rules for Research Associates (a courtesy position that allows scientists access to the Smithsonian collections) to represent themselves as affiliated with the Smithsonian. Sternberg worked, and works, at the NIH. The Discovery Institute has consistently listed Sternberg as a Smithsonian employee despite that fact for many years.
It should perhaps also be noted that, 5 years later, the ID movement still has not come up with a “real, testable theory” nor have they made any discoveries of their own. All of their published work, like Behe’s most recent book, is still focused solely on trying to poke holes in evolution on the assumption that if evolution can be challenged, ID must be true. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.