Discovery Institute flak David Klinghoffer is getting all misty-eyed about the tenth anniversary of Jonathan Wells’ book Icons of Evolution. Doubtless you recall the book, which contained very little that was true. What struck me, though, was this statement from Klinghoffer:
When I say the book is sweetly reasoned, I don’t only mean that it’s well reasoned but that there’s an appealing geniality, a sweetness, to the man’s writing …
Geniality? Somehow that was not the word that came to my mind. Here’s Wells:
As we saw in Kevin Padian’s “cracked kettle” approach to biology, dogmatic Darwinists begin by imposing a narrow interpretation on the evidence and declaring it to be the only way to do science. Critics are then labeled unscientific; their articles are rejected by mainstream hournals, whose editorial boards are dominated by the dogmatists; the critics are denied funding by government agencies, who send grant proposals to the dogmatists for “peer” review; and eventually the critics are hounded out of the scientific community altogether.
In the process, evidence against the Darwinian view simply disappears, like witnesses against the Mob. Or the evidence is buried in specialized publications, where only a dedicated researcher can find it. Once critics have been silenced and counter-evidence has been buried, the dogmatists announce that there is no scientific debate about their theory, and no evidence against it. Using such tactics, defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy have managed to establish a near-monopoly over research grants, faculty appointments, and peer-reviewed journals in the United States. (p. 235-236)
How terribly genial.
See also Larry Moran'”s take on this.