Jeffrey Schloss, and Now Richard Weikart’s Reply to Him
|August 7, 2008||Posted by William Dembski under Expelled, Intelligent Design|
Jeff Schloss, formerly an ID supporter and Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute (until August 2003 — click here for Way Back Machine), has since been distancing himself from ID and even going on the offensive against it. I witnessed the beginnings of this offensive at a symposium featuring Ron Numbers, Howard Van Till, Schloss, and me in 2007 at Grove City College (go here for the program). His criticisms of ID at that event seemed to me naive and ill-considered. Yet he did seem to advance them sincerely, and I hoped to have an opportunity try to persuade him otherwise, which unfortunately never happened.
Schloss’s critical review of EXPELLED, however, raised his opposition against ID to a new level and frankly upset me for what I perceived as its disingenuousness (the review appeared with official sanction of the American Scientific Affiliation [ASA] on its server here). By offering so many nuances and qualifications, his review missed the bigger picture that many ID propoents really are getting shafted. I confronted Jeff about this and we had an exchange of emails. As it is, Jeff and I go back and had been friends. He contributed to the MERE CREATION volume (1996) that I edited (his essay was a fine piece on altruism and the difficulties conventional evolutionary theory has in trying to account for it). I even had occasion to visit him in the hospital after he had a surfing accident. The exchange ended with my asking him to admit the following four points:
(1) ID raises important issues for science.
(2) Politics aside, ID proponents ought to get a fair hearing for their views, and they’re not.
(3) A climate of hostility toward ID pervades the academy, which often undermines freedom of thought and expression on this topic.
(4) That climate has led to ID proponents being shamefully treated, losing their reputations and jobs, and suffering real harm.
As it is, Schloss never got back to me. I suppose I could have responded to him on the ASA website — Randy Isaac, the executive director of the ASA, invited me, as an ASA member, to do so. But by putting Schloss’s review front and center as the official position of the ASA on EXPELLED, I saw little point of trying to argue for EXPELLED in that forum.
In any case, Richard Weikart has now responded to Schloss’s review on the most controversial aspect of EXPELLED, namely, the Nazi connection. Weikart’s response may be found by clicking here.