Now William Dembski, that untiring advocate of academic freedom and the open discussion of controversial ideas, has reported Eric Pianka to the Department of Homeland Security.

Could Pianka be charged with terrorism/conspiracy to commit a terrorist act? What happens if a student actually takes his suggestion to heart and kills a bunch of people? Why shouldn’t we think that Dr. Doom himself would commit the act of human destruction he is advocating? How is what he is saying any different from somebody at an airport saying that he plans to plant a bomb there.

Hmmm…anybody ever read any apocalyptic Christian literature? Did you know those guys are looking forward to Armageddon? Maybe the screeners at airports ought to arrest anyone caught carrying a Left Behind book…or a Bible. This is the crazy world to which paranoid kooks would lead us.

Although, actually, I don’t think Dembski is paranoid: I suspect there’s more a kind of vile glee at seeing a way to harass a scientist.


  1. #1 Chris
    April 3, 2006

    Looks like a lot of argumentum ad hominem on this thread. Newton was a fundamentalist Christian and an alchemist, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to disregard the mathematical relationship between force, mass and acceleration, or the inverse-square law of gravity. His optics work doesn’t hold up quite so well but is still useful for some purposes.

    The work can stand on its own even if the scientist lacks credibility because of personal belief in some kooky thing (especially when it’s outside his field).

    Sure, I’d be dismayed if I saw Gardner, or Randi, or Dawkins, or Shermer, or PZ pushing something I considered nutty (after looking at their claimed evidence). But it wouldn’t invalidate their other work.

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