Monday, December 18, 2006


ID: Science, Except When It's Religion

WorldNetDaily reports that Congress has slammed the Smithsonian Institution's "anti-religious attacks."

Well, not exactly, the report in question isn't by Congress at all. It's by a staffer for Mark Souder a right-wing Republican from Indiana. As such, it will have all the impact -- in the memorable phrasing of the late Senator Everett Dirksen -- "of a gentle snowflake falling on the broad bosom of the Potomac."

The staffer's report concerns Richard Sternberg, a crypto-creationist research associate at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History and (former) journal editor who surreptitiously slipped a paper by the Discovery Institute's Stephen Meyer, a proponent of intelligent design, into print without first advising his publishers he was doing so.

When other members of the "Proceedings" editorial board learned of Sternberg's breech of trust they subsequently voted to rescind the dubious article.

Interestingly, both the report, WorldNetDaily, and the Discovery Institute characterize the response of Sternberg's Smithsonian colleagues to his duplicity as "imposing a religious test on scientists." There's a "strong religious and political component" to the dispute they say.

Does the reaction of Sternberg's colleagues represent an anti-religious attack? How could it, when all along we've been told this is a scientific controversy. ID, they say, has nothing at all to do with religion.


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