Joined: May 2002
advocates of Intelligent Design often hold seminars and conferences to present their arguments to the public. some of these seminars are held in churches or community centers, but a sizeable number of them take place in well-respected research institutions. this does not require the endorsement of the institution itself (or i think even their knowledge of what the event is about), as any university club can book a room on campus for their events. however, through clever word play, IDists can give the appearance that their position is officially acknowledged.
for example, this announcement was posted on ARN, under the title, "Dembski at UC-Davis":
Lecture: "Detecting Design in Biological Systems"
Friday, 16 January 2004
194 Chemistry Building
University of California, Davis
as is, it seems pretty innocuous, although the choice to present it in a building named after an entire field of science, and the title of his talk, leave the impression that somehow this talk is affiliated with the chemistry department of UC davis. however, there's no overt deception here.
but who is sponsoring the talk? not the chemistry or biology departments, but the grace valley christian center under the "faith and reason" seminar series whose express purpose is to:
|The Faith and Reason series seeks to bring eminent scientists, logicians, and theologians to Davis to|
speak on issues regarding the proper relationship between human reason and vital Christian faith.
The purpose of this series is to demonstrate that the Christian worldview correctly defines ultimate
reality and is consistent with all that is known about the world through the proper application of
logic and the scientific method.
although i think it would have been fairer had the poster of this event mentioned who was sponsoring it, i don't think he was trying to be deceptive. but when an ID critic did mention who the sponsor was, they were immediately accused of trying to dismiss the talk as religiously-motivated. look how one IDist responded:
|I suppose that in your perspective there's no overlap between the 'scientific' and 'religious'. So by saying the talk has a 'religious goal', it's automatically not a scientific goal or a scientific talk, even though given in a science department of a major university.|
and so now we see the strategy come full circle. while there was no attempt by the original poster (or the sponsors of the talk) to imply that the talk was endorsed by either UC davis or its biology or chemistry departments, the net effect is that people come away with the impression that the talk is endorsed by those groups.
i'd like this thread to be a place where people can cut and paste examples like these. so if you see a flyer or website for an ID-related event at a university, where the language implies that the university endorses ID, feel free to post it here. i'd also like to see examples where IDists post comments like the one above, mistakenly interpreting the location of an ID event at a university for the university's endorsement of it.