Michael Bérubé says something unwittingly accurate and inaccurate in his response. Alchemy and phrenology are indeed part of the backstory of modern science, and had they enough practitioners or believers today, they would be worth trying to incorporate in the science curriculum to illustrate the context of discovery. It’s interesting that Bérubé, who often strikes the pose of a pragmatist, fails to see the merit of this point himself.
The inaccurate part of his response is an inference that could be drawn by his use of ‘shill’ to describe my advocacy of intelligent design, which often suggests that the person has gained financially from the advocacy. It is true that I was instructed by defence counsel at the Dover trial to specify a notional expert witness fee. However, since the plaintiffs’ won, and the civil rights nature of the case meant that the defence was ordered to pay legal fees, which in turn bankrupted the school board, I was never paid a cent for my participation in the trial above expenses. Moreover, my subsequent ID-related activities have not appreciably increased my income.
posted by Steve Fuller
December 23, 2008