In the AP’s coverage of OK state Rep. Thomsen’s efforts to … expel … Richard Dawkins, the Disco. Inst. gets dissed. “We’re all for the freedom of Richard Dawkins to speak,” says an interviewee, who adds “Where is a similar high-profile person debating him?”
This person must not be aware that John West, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, and Casey Luskin, who is decidedly not a fainting dachshund, also of the Discovery Institute were both at the University of Oklahoma recently, presenting a view decidedly contrary to Dawkins’. What’re they, chopped liver? Who would dare…
Oh, wait, that quote comes from John West. He apparently either forgot that he already had a chance to respond to Dawkins’ basic line of argument, or who doesn’t think he’s of the same stature.
Now, I agree. Dawkins is a widely-published biologist who has now branched out in a different direction later in his career. John West, … umm, … He runs the creationist branch of a conservative think tank, and I think he wrote a book last year for a Christian conservative publisher, but like so many books, it sank beneath the waves. So I certainly wouldn’t say that he’s of Dawkins’ high profile.
But usually when anyone dares mention that the Disco. gang aren’t quite top-tier, they go berzerk. Perhaps they’ve come to their senses.
But beyond that, who do they think is of equally high profile and would disagree with Dawkins in the ways that Disco. seems to think especially relevant? There are no professionally active and widely recognized scientists who reject evolution or want anything to do with ID creationism. And if we’re looking outside of science, what about the debater’s profile is meant to be equal to Dawkins’?
And furthermore, when did it become a requirement of free speech that every perspective be balanced? Disco. boss Bruce Chapman certainly doesn’t seem enthused by the idea when he satirized it in this op-ed from two summers ago. Unless the parts that seem like they’re supposed to be funny but aren’t are actually serious.