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I, BM

299 792 458 ms^−1 6.67384(80)10−11 mkg^−1s−2 6.626 069 57(29) 10^−34 Js 1.054 571 726(47) 10^−34 Js 4π 10^−7 NA^−2 = 1.256 637 061... 10^−6 NA^−2 8.854 187 817... 10^−12 Fm−1 376.730 313 461... Ω 8.987 551 787... 109 NmC^−2 1.602 176 565(35) 10^−19 C 9.274 009 68(20) 10^−24 JT^−1 7.748 091 7346(25) 10^−5 S 12 906.403 7217(42) Ω 4.835 978 70(11) 10^14 HzV−1 2.067 833 758(46) 10^−15 Wb 5.050 783 53(11) 10^−27 JT^−1 25 812.807 4434(84) Ω 5.291 772 1092(17) 10^−11 m 2.817 940 3267(27) 10^−15 m 9.109 382 91(40) 10^−31 kg 1.166 364(5) 10^−5 GeV^−2 7.297 352 5698(24) 10^−3 4.359 744 34(19) 10^−18 J 1.672 621 777(74) 10^−27 kg 3.636 947 5520(24) 10^−4 m s^−1 10 973 731.568 539(55) m^−1 6.652 458 734(13) 10^−29 m 0.2223(21) 1.660 538 921(73) 10^−27 kg 6.022 141 29(27) 10^23 mol^−1

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Posted 02-18-2009 at 01:36 PM by Bullet Magnet
Professor PZ Myers brought this to my attention over at Pharyngula

A member of the Discovery Institute sent an invitation (or rather, a request to be invited) to debate intelligent design to Professor Nicolas Gotelli at the University of Vermont.

Quote:
Dear Professor Gotelli,

I saw your op-ed in the Burlington Free Press and appreciated your support of free speech at UVM. In light of that, I wonder if you would be open to finding a way to provide a campus forum for a debate about evolutionary science and intelligent design. The Discovery Institute, where I work, has a local sponsor in Burlington who is enthusiastic to find a way to make this happen. But we need a partner on campus. If not the biology department, then perhaps you can suggest an alternative.

Ben Stein may not be the best person to single-handedly represent the ID side. As you're aware, he's known mainly as an entertainer. A more appropriate alternative or addition might be our senior fellows David Berlinski or Stephen Meyer, respectively a mathematician and a philosopher of science. I'll copy links to their bios below. Wherever one comes down in the Darwin debate, I think we can all agree that it is healthy for students to be exposed to different views--in precisely the spirit of inviting controversial speakers to campus, as you write in your op-ed.

I'm hoping that you would be willing to give a critique of ID at such an event, and participate in the debate in whatever role you feel comfortable with.

A good scientific backdrop to the discussion might be Dr. Meyer's book that comes out in June from HarperCollins, "Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design."

On the other hand, Dr. Belinski may be a good choice since he is a critic of both ID and Darwinian theory.

Would it be possible for us to talk more about this by phone sometime soon?

With best wishes,
David Klinghoffer
Discovery Institute
And he replied:

Quote:
Dear Dr. Klinghoffer:

Thank you for this interesting and courteous invitation to set up a debate about evolution and creationism (which includes its more recent relabeling as "intelligent design") with a speaker from the Discovery Institute. Your invitation is quite surprising, given the sneering coverage of my recent newspaper editorial that you yourself posted on the Discovery Institute's website:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/

However, this kind of two-faced dishonesty is what the scientific community has come to expect from the creationists.

Academic debate on controversial topics is fine, but those topics need to have a basis in reality. I would not invite a creationist to a debate on campus for the same reason that I would not invite an alchemist, a flat-earther, an astrologer, a psychic, or a Holocaust revisionist. These ideas have no scientific support, and that is why they have all been discarded by credible scholars. Creationism is in the same category.

Instead of spending time on public debates, why aren't members of your institute publishing their ideas in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences? If you want to be taken seriously by scientists and scholars, this is where you need to publish. Academic publishing is an intellectual free market, where ideas that have credible empirical support are carefully and thoroughly explored. Nothing could possibly be more exciting and electrifying to biology than scientific disproof of evolutionary theory or scientific proof of the existence of a god. That would be Nobel Prize winning work, and it would be eagerly published by any of the prominent mainstream journals.

"Conspiracy" is the predictable response by Ben Stein and the frustrated creationists. But conspiracy theories are a joke, because science places a high premium on intellectual honesty and on new empirical studies that overturn previously established principles. Creationism doesn't live up to these standards, so its proponents are relegated to the sidelines, publishing in books, blogs, websites, and obscure journals that don't maintain scientific standards.

Finally, isn't it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern New England? Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.

So, I hope you understand why I am declining your offer. I will wait patiently to read about the work of creationists in the pages of Nature and Science. But until it appears there, it isn't science and doesn't merit an invitation.

In closing, I do want to thank you sincerely for this invitation and for your posting on the Discovery Institute Website. As an evolutionary biologist, I can't tell you what a badge of honor this is. My colleagues will be envious.

Sincerely yours,

Nick Gotelli

P.S. I hope you will forgive me if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you or from the Discovery Institute. This has been entertaining, but it interferes with my research and teaching.
Brutal. Concise. Perfect.
Posted in Science
Comments 6 Email Blog Entry
Total Comments 6

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Nate's Avatar
Nathan Rose likes this.
Posted 02-18-2009 at 03:50 PM by Nate Nate is offline

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Mac Sirloin's Avatar
Nick Gotelli is a badass.
Posted 02-18-2009 at 04:19 PM by Mac Sirloin Mac Sirloin is offline

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Wil's Avatar
Highly entertaining. Plus, its sheer length encouraged Tom to stop pestering me and go to bed.
Posted 02-18-2009 at 04:26 PM by Wil Wil is offline

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Xavier's Avatar
Really entertaining.
Posted 02-19-2009 at 01:35 AM by Xavier Xavier is offline

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OANST's Avatar
Funny stuff.
Posted 02-19-2009 at 08:47 AM by OANST OANST is offline

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bakaman99's Avatar
Oooh mental discussion! Nah Id rather murder celine dion then read dis sheet!
Posted 05-16-2016 at 11:12 AM by bakaman99 bakaman99 is offline

 

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