Friday, December 22, 2006

Blame the victim: ID critics attack Sternberg

Link to: original blogpost - comments

Categories : Intelligent Design, The Critics

Editor :

published: jeudi 21 décembre 2006 23:23:17

The case of Richard Sternberg, the editor who allowed an article friendly to intelligent design to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. After the publication, he reported harassment at the Smithsonian, where he is a research associate, and an investigation was launched by the Office of Special Counsel.

Its pre-closure report was published in August last year and found in favor of Sternberg, although questions of jurisdiction prevented it from pursuing the matter. Now, the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform have published their report (PDF), and that too finds in favor of Sternberg. Even more interesting than the report, though, is its appendix (PDF), containing the internal emails exchanged by Smithsonian employees regarding Sternberg. These emails revealed a work environment of vicious rumors about Sternberg, inquiries into his political and religious beliefs, attempts to have him fired, and hysterical fears about the "fundies" invading academia.

Deciding that a strong offense is the best defense, many ID critics have tried to counter the report by attacking Sternberg for having borrowed too many books from the library and accusing him of having mishandled specimens. Ed Brayton, a member of the anti-ID blog The Panda's Thumb, has written a post, claiming that nothing really happened to Sternberg and that whatever did happen was his own fault. Along the way, he also exhonorates his friends at NCSE from any wrongdoing, despite clear-cut evidence implicating them in the spreading of false rumors about Sternberg.

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