Just so you know … cdesign proponentsists

The blogosphere is structured like a bus of tourists heading into ever new territory being spoken to by a thousand guides with microphones in the front of the vehicle. Woe be it to any guide who points out something that the bus passed several blocks back. But sometimes it is appropriate to re-mention certain things else they fall into obscurity. Well, it’s great if certain things fall into obscurity, but not everything.

While doing a search for something else, I accidentally hit links to this particular issue, which played out quite some time ago. It is a wonderful story. Back in the Dover Trial days creationists had dropped their old label and tried to call themselves “Scientist” who proposed the new theory of life called “Intelligent Design.” In that trial, this actually became a critical issue: Is Intelligent Design a form of creationism or not? Evidence was put forth, and the judge eventually ruled that it was, and thus, since creationism was already considered by the courts to be a particular religious belief, not allowable as science content in public school classrooms.

One of the pieces of evidence was references to creationism in a will known creationist textbook called “Of Pandas and People.” The details are complicated, but suffice it to say that the ID proponents insisted that “creationism” did not have a role in Intelligent Design, as part of the theory, or as part of the community, or as part of the process of writing about it. But Barbara Forrest (author of Creationism’s trojan Horse) proved that there was a link by finding the phrase “cdesign proponentsists” in a version of the book, where someone had systematically gone through the text and replaced the term “cerationists” with the phrase “design proponents” but screwed up in this one place to get “cdesign proponentsists.”

That was actually used as evidence in the trial. One of the best descriptions of this event is by Nick Matzke at The Panda’s Thumb (click here) where he spoofs the creationists by describing “cdesign proponentsists” as a “missing link” between the era of “creationists” and “design proponents.”

So there you have it … an oldie but a goodie. Had you known about this already, I hope this reconstitutes a chuckle for you. If you had not heard of this before, well, you have now! Sometime it’s worth looking out the back of the bus to see what has been run over!

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