Is this ethical of Pennock? I dont think so. Surely a critic can make enough
criticisms of ID without resorting to this type of tactic?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Billy Grassie" <grassie@METANEXUS.NET>
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 3:26 AM
Subject: [NEWS] Press Release: Dembski attacks Pennock and MIT Press
> January 8, 2001: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> STATEMENT BY WILLIAM A. DEMBSKI ON THE PUBLICATION OF ROBERT PENNOCK'S NEW
> BOOK WITH MIT PRESS
> How Not to Debate Intelligent Design
> By William A. Dembski
> Intelligent design has many critics. Some play hard and fair. Robert
> Pennock is not one of them.
> Pennock has just published _Intelligent Design Creationists and Their
> Critics_ with MIT Press. It includes two essays by me. Pennock never
> contacted me about their inclusion. Indeed, I only learned of their
> inclusion after his volume was published and became available to the
> last week.
> It appears that Pennock and MIT Press are legally in the clear -- Pennock
> selected pieces for which he was able to obtain copyright permissions
> without having to consult me.
> There's more to ethics, however, than legalities. What Pennock and MIT
> Press have done is emblematic of the viewpoint discrimination that
> dissenters to Darwinism face in American academic culture. Pennock's
> is supposed to constitute a definitive refutation of intelligent design,
> allowing intelligent design proponents to have their say and then meet
> their strongest critics. Instead, it is a shabby ploy to cast intelligent
> design in the worst possible light.
> Imagine if someone critical of Darwinian evolutionary theory decided to
> publish a book titled _Dogmatic Darwinian Fundamentalists and Their
> Critics_, managed to obtain copyright permissions for pieces by prominent
> Darwinists (mostly outdated pieces at that), and then situated their
> within a collection of critical replies designed to make them look
> ridiculous. Substitute intelligent design for Darwinism, and that's what
> Pennock and MIT Press have done.
> In my case, Pennock chose a popular 2,000 word essay of mine titled "Who's
> Got the Magic?" and followed it with a 9,000-word rebuttal by him titled
> "The Wizards of ID." For the other essay of mine, Pennock chose
> "Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information," which was a popular piece
> on information theory that's now five years old. I've written much on that
> topic since then, and the essay itself is now outdated. Moreover, Pennock
> followed that essay with three critical responses. One of those responses,
> by Elliott Sober, was a lengthy technical review (from the journal
> _Philosophy of Science_) of my technical monograph _The Design Inference_
> (Cambridge University Press, 1998). No portion of that monograph or
> anything comparable from my work was included in Pennock's book. Finally,
> was given no chance to respond to my critics.
> I contacted both Pennock and MIT Press to register my concerns. I would
> like to have seen a public apology by Pennock and some notice by MIT Press
> indicating that my essays appeared without my knowledge, that they
> represent my popular rather than technical work on intelligent design, and
> that I was not given a chance to reply to my critics. Pennock indicated
> that unless I chose to pursue legal action, he considered the matter
> closed. MIT Press ignored my concerns and indicated they would be happy to
> hear about any other concerns I might have.
> I do not plan to seek legal redress, though it seems to me that Pennock
> MIT Press have deliberately tried to undermine my standing in the academic
> community. Pennock chose popular and outdated work of mine, positioned
> various critiques of my work with it, gave me no opportunity to reply to
> critics, and packaged it all in a volume titled _Intelligent Design
> Creationists and Their Critics_, thus casting me as a creationist, which
> contemporary academic culture is equivalent to being cast as a flat
> earther, astrologer, or holocaust denier. There's no way I would have
> allowed my work to appear under such conditions if I had any say in the
> matter. Pennock saw to it that I had no say in the matter.
> Some critics of intelligent design play hard and fair. They allow
> intelligent design proponents to put their best foot forward and they in
> turn produce their strongest counterarguments to intelligent design.
> Pennock, by contrast, is like the Emperor Commodus in the movie
> _Gladiator_, who first needs to hamstring his opponents before he tosses
> them into the arena.
> Episodes like this are bad for American academic life. They undermine free
> and open exchange. They make for bad feelings on all sides. And they
> prevent ideas from getting the critical scrutiny they need. Intelligent
> design needs critical scrutiny. But by rigging the debate the way he did,
> Pennock ensures that intelligent design will continue to be politicized.
> Pennock's new book is an object lesson in how not to debate intelligent
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