Michael Egnor’s clumsy concern trolling

As many know, a “concern troll,” on the Internet, is someone who pops up on blogs appearing to give weight to one opinion while unabashedly favoring its opposite. The Discovery Institute’s Michael Egnor has admirably filled this role here. Ostensibly complaining about a state of Oklahoma’ legislator’s goofball move to try to keep Richard Dawkins from speaking on a university campus this month, he writes:

Dawkins himself has certainly been a vocal supporter of censorship in education
Dawkin’s [sic] intolerance and his personal support for censorship in academia
Ben Stein was recently dis-invited from giving the commencement address at the University of Vermont by Darwinist censors. Ironically, Dawkins himself was one of these censors

I know Dawkins can be insistent, but I’d like to see evidence that he is actually calling for censorship, or is in charge of it. There is none? Well, fuggedabout it–we’ll just keep ranting:

Dan Fogel, the President of the UVM, has been making it patently clear that supporters of intelligent design deserve second-class treatment at his school.

Yes, I’m sure students at my alma mater have been denied academic credentials thanks to the interference of atheists. Thank FSM I was there at a time when this couldn’t happen!
Egnor’s entire essay, as you can see, is a clumsy stab at equivocation–“The Darwninists have been wrong for squelching debate, so we shouldn’t make the same mistake.” He even manages to compare, with due inanity, the rise of King Henry VIII to the propagation of the therory of evolution. Left out of this, naturally, is the difference between presenting something in science class that qualifies as science and presenting something that qualifies as laughable bullshit.
Nowhere in this, of course, is a rationale for why ID creationism should be taken seriously. That’s no surprise.

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  1. #1 by Crazyharp81602 on March 7, 2009 - 1:29 pm

    I’ve handled trolls like that before. They get deleted whenever they show up on my blog.

  2. #2 by Bill Davison on March 9, 2009 - 12:25 pm

    I believe the reason TOE gets so much slander from DI is because Evolution completely undermines the principle tenet of Christianity: that there is a soul. If there is no soul to save and no eternal life, how does Christianity sell its message of salvation? DI is using every tool (but truth) to undermine the credibility of science as part of their “wedge” strategy.

  3. #3 by gingerbaker on March 9, 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Hey, credit where it is due. Egnor should get a point or two for publicly decrying the Oklahoma resolution on First Amendment grounds. Nothing wrong with that.
    But he mischaracterizes the protest of Ben Stein at UVM. I, as well as Professor Dawkins, wrote in protest of Stein, but our protests really don’t fall within the bailiwick of censorship, and certainly are not equivalent to the Oklahoma resolution.
    My protest against Stein was not to keep him from speaking at UVM, but to protest his appearance as a Commencement speaker, an honorary position which is not, I feel, commensurate with his intellectually repulsive dialectics about science, evolution, and the Holocaust. If UVM is foolish enough to invite him to give a guest lecture on his Expelled material, all fine and well – Stein will then be in a venue where his foolish and vile ideas can and should be challenged.
    So points taken away just as quickly as they are awarded to Egnor – Dawkins has not advocated censorship, and Egnor continues into negative award point territory with his attempt at historical revisionism re the Dover case. In case you have forgotten already, Michael, ID in the science classroom is legally classified as religious Darkness, not the “sunlight” of truth.

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