The president of the University of Idaho has, in a maladroit attempt to avoid controversy, created a controversy. He put out a statement the other day that in the scientific departments of the university, the teaching of Intelligent Design was verboten-idea-kind-of-thing. Science is based on evidence, he said, and then issued a decree from on high on what the evidence would be allowed to show. Least around these parts. Turns out the standard is actually approved and processed evidence, evidence that is to real evidence what Velveeta is to sharp cheddar.
What I would like to see:
1. A follow-up letter clarifying that he did not intend the abandonment of intelligent design in the engineering departments;
2. A clarification of the follow-up letter, saying that he did not mean to imply that the philosophy department had already abandoned intelligent design;
3. A press release saying that scientists at the UI who may or may not believe in intelligent design in the recesses of their own hearts may continue to do so, and that intellectual schizophrenia works for him;
4. A second press release saying that the UI really is committed to academic freedom, appearances notwithstanding;
5. A press conference in which he confirmed or refused to confirm the report that this bizarre action was taken in response to a complaint made about a substitute professor who may or may not have connections to shady underworld characters like myself.
There was a beer commercial from many years ago which about sums up my feelings on this exactly. It just doesn’t get any better than this.