In his Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, Dr. Daniel C. Dennett, a professor of philosophy at Tufts University, and author of "Freedom Evolves" and "Darwin's Dangerous Idea, explains how supporters of Intelligent Design have spread the thinking that there is a legitimate scientific debate over Darwinism. There isn't. But Prof. Dennett says, "Instead, the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist's work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach.... Note that the trick is content-free. You can use it on any topic. "Smith's work in geology supports my argument that the earth is flat," you say, misrepresenting Smith's work. When Smith responds with a denunciation of your misuse of her work, you respond, saying something like: "See what a controversy we have here? Professor Smith and I are locked in a titanic scientific debate. We should teach the controversy in the classrooms." And here is the delicious part: you can often exploit the very technicality of the issues to your own advantage, counting on most of us to miss the point in all the difficult details." There's more in the article if you follow the link (NY Times registration required).
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