Nick Matzke posted Entry 2790 on December 20, 2006 07:25 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2780

The email exchange between Dembski and Richard Dawkins continues. Dawkins just posted an email that Dembski sent to him in 2004 (2003 actually, referring to “early next year”, which would be 2004).

It sparked a memory that I had seen it before. So I asked around. It turns out that in late 2003 Dembski sent the following email to most of the people he is spamming right now. In response to this letter in the UK Guardian by Dawkins, Dembski emailed the following. It really…well, any comment would be superfluous.

X-Sender: [Dembski’s email at discovery.org] (Unverified)
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 21:11:27 -0600
To: Richard Dawkins [email]
From: “William A. Dembski” [email]
Subject: President Bush
Cc: “Eugenie C. Scott” [email], [Daniel Dennett email], [Paul Gross email], [Barbara Forrest email]

Dear Prof. Dawkins,

I enjoyed this bit of fun in last week’s Guardian. It might interest you to know that Senator Rick Santorum, who is close to President Bush, endorsed my forthcoming book The Design Revolution. It might also interest you to know that President Bush lives in the same Texas county that I do (McLennan County – his home is about 35 miles from my home). It might futher interest you to know that my university, Baylor, today made a bid on the George W. Bush Presidential Library (for the news conference, go to www.baylortv.com).

Why might all this interest you? With the recommendations by Senator Santorum and others close to President Bush, I plan to pay him a visit at his home early next year and have a frank discussion with him about the future of science in the United States and the possibilities for public funding of intelligent design research. I expect your remarks below will help me make my case.

Thanks for all you continue to do to advance the work of intelligent design. You are an instrument in the hands of Providence however much you rail against it.

With all good wishes,
Bill Dembski

As Dave Barry says, I Am Not Making This Up. Whatever you think of Bush, odds are he’s never heard of Dembski, and Dembski’s apparently confident plan that he was going to drive over to Crawford and gain legitimacy for ID by explaining it to Bush is pretty incredible.

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Comment #151231

Posted by TomS on December 20, 2006 8:11 PM (e)

Readers may recall the Doonesbury cartoon:

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/uclickcomics/20061207/cx_db_uc/db20061207>

Comment #151235

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on December 20, 2006 8:58 PM (e)

Well, who knows - maybe the meeting did happen, and that’s why Bush said a little while later that he thought ID should be taught. Alas, as seemingly every other ID move, this too turned out to be just a short-lived PR coup with no substance whatsoever.

Comment #151236

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on December 20, 2006 9:11 PM (e)

Oops, I should have read Dawkins’s site first. Apparently Dembski later wrote:

“I’m afraid with the war in Iraq and the election, I decided to postpone getting in touch with President Bush.”

LOL - I am sure Bush was devastated by Dembski’s decision to postpone the meeting.

Comment #151237

Posted by steve s on December 20, 2006 9:17 PM (e)

Comment #151235

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on December 20, 2006 8:58 PM (e) | kill

Well, who knows - maybe the meeting did happen, and that’s why Bush said a little while later that he thought ID should be taught. Alas, as seemingly every other ID move, this too turned out to be just a short-lived PR coup with no substance whatsoever.

GWB: “Hey good to see ya Mr. Dempski. I read all aboutcha.”
WAD: “Pleasure to meet you Mister President. I’m here to discuss Intelligent Design.”
GWB: “That’s right. I’m in favor of that. Creationism is great.”
WAD: “Well it’s…um…it’s not creationism exactly.”
GWB: “But you talk about the Creator, right? Supernatural creator? Not Darwin?”
WAD: “Well, yeah, uh, we talk about a Transcendent Designer.”
GWB: “Oh, yeah, I like that stuff. I’m all about Jesus.”
WAD: “Uh…well, see it’s not about Jesus, really, it’s about science…”
GWB: “Wait a minute I thought you said it was the book of john in science talk.”
WAD: “Well…uh…it’s totally separate from christianity–“
GWB: “Jesus is separate from christianity? That doesn’t make no sense.”
WAD: “This isn’t about the bible. It’s about very scientific math and terms and it’s not just christianity.”
GWB: “Not christian? You mean its atheist? Like the commies? I thought this was creationism.”
WAD: “Well no, it’s…um…it’s…okay like I said it’s not really creationism…”
GWB: “But you got a Creator, right? And the Creator, that’s Jesus, right?”
WAD: “Uh…uugggghhhhhhh.”
GWB: “Don’t worry man I’m in your corner. I think the earth is 6,000 years old too.”
WAD: “AAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!”
GWB: “Hey whatever happened in that Dover case? How’d that go?”
WAD: [runs out of room]
GWB: “That guy was high strung. And tall like a string bean. I’m gonna call him Stringy.”

Comment #151243

Posted by Pigwidgeon on December 20, 2006 9:37 PM (e)

steve, if there’s a post of the month on panda’s thumb, that gets my vote ten times over. XD

Comment #151246

Posted by Hrafn on December 20, 2006 10:07 PM (e)

Amusing that Dembski is no longer at Baylor, Santorum is no longer a senator and Bush’s approval rating is so deeply in the tank that he is a complete lame duck, lacking the political capital to achieve even his core agenda, let alone political puffery like ID.

Comment #151247

Posted by Gerard Harbison on December 20, 2006 10:10 PM (e)

“Delusions of grandeur” is the technical term.

Comment #151248

Posted by waldteufel on December 20, 2006 10:36 PM (e)

Is this Dembski clown sane? I know George B. is probably not sane, but Professor Doctor Doctor Dembski?

Comment #151252

Posted by Sophist on December 21, 2006 12:25 AM (e)

“I’m afraid with the war in Iraq and the election, I decided to postpone getting in touch with President Bush.”

Yes, I’m sure it was his decision. Just like when he decided that he would to allow the sun to set and that the tide would be permitted to come in. I’d say more, but I have to go sanction the continuing operation of the strong nuclear force.

Comment #151257

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 21, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

Just like when he decided that he would to allow the sun to set and that the tide would be permitted to come in.

Absolutely; he’s a “tool of Providence”.

Comment #151271

Posted by k.e. on December 21, 2006 2:19 AM (e)

Maybe its time for a lullaby for ID

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
Theres nothing at all
But what a fool believes he sees…

What A Fool Believes.

Comment #151299

Posted by Dene Bebbington on December 21, 2006 5:21 AM (e)

The most amazing thing about Dembski’s letter is reference to a President Bush library. I thought Bush has admitted that he doesn’t read books?!

Comment #151300

Posted by Dene Bebbington on December 21, 2006 5:25 AM (e)

The most amazing thing about Dembski’s letter is reference to a President Bush library. I thought Bush has admitted that he doesn’t read books?!

Comment #151307

Posted by N.Wells on December 21, 2006 7:50 AM (e)

Steve S, thanks for the Christmas present.

Comment #151308

Posted by mark on December 21, 2006 8:00 AM (e)

wMAD wrote:

It might interest you to know that Senator Rick Santorum, who is close to President Bush, endorsed my forthcoming book The Design Revolution.

I know. That’s why I (with the help of many others) voted that moron out of office. It might interest you to know that President Bush works just down the road from me–I plan to pay him a visit and tell him what a jackass he is…unless something comes up and I don’t.

Comment #151310

Posted by Steverino on December 21, 2006 8:33 AM (e)

I think the email just serves to show how childish and how much of a flaming asshole Demski is.

I’m pretty certain, in his youth; Demski was no stranger to the term “Swirly”.

Comment #151311

Posted by Katarina on December 21, 2006 9:06 AM (e)

All this letter-writing to opponents. It smells of pathetic desparation.. Or, what is that smell? Time to open up the windows of heaven!

Comment #151312

Posted by Raging Bee on December 21, 2006 9:19 AM (e)

Actually, back then Dembski’s claim would have been quite credible, given how deep in the “Christian” “Right’s” pockets Bush was, and surely still is. Bush spent time chatting with even more ridiculous wingnuts, such as “al Qaeda Pat” Robertson, so a visit by Dembski would not have been that unusual.

…my university, Baylor, today made a bid on the George W. Bush Presidential Library…

They needed his copy of “My Pet Goat” to complete their scholarly archives. And that’s only the least significant part of America that Bush has been willing to sell to the highest bidder.

Comment #151313

Posted by Raging Bee on December 21, 2006 9:25 AM (e)

“I’m afraid with the war in Iraq and the election, I decided to postpone getting in touch with President Bush.”

Self-important and pathetic as it sounds, this is also credible: it’s possible that even Dembski was smart enough to guess that the Iraq war was one embarrassment he and the ID “movement” didn’t want to get close to. Yes, Dembski is stupid; but stupider than Pat Buchannan and Phyllis Shlafly? I don’t think so.

Comment #151317

Posted by Doc Bill on December 21, 2006 10:39 AM (e)

Apparently, Dembski has succeeded in establishing an ID beachead in Crawford, Texas.

Right on the edge of town you’ll find the following establishment:

Stringy Bill’s Intelligent Design, Hair Care and Tire Center

Get your hair washed, your brain washed and your tire fixed in one convenient visit!

Comment #151324

Posted by Adam on December 21, 2006 11:23 AM (e)

Ol’ Dave needs to read the Templeton Foundation’s STEP study and the MANTRA II trail, both of which concluded distance prayer doesn’t work. You gotta get closer before it’ll work, Dave.

Comment #151326

Posted by minimalist on December 21, 2006 11:30 AM (e)

I can meet with the Pope anytime I want, but I respect his privacy. He really needs a lot of “Pope Time.”

Comment #151328

Posted by PvM on December 21, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

On Pharyngula, George notices that

I first noticed signs that Bill is finally cracking up back in October, when he posted this statement:

“I am Richard Dawkins’ worst nightmare.”

Dembski seems to be an intellectual giant in his own mind…

If only he had not sent that darn victory email…

Comment #151335

Posted by ben on December 21, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

Ol’ Dave needs to read the Templeton Foundation’s STEP study and the MANTRA II trail, both of which concluded distance prayer doesn’t work. You gotta get closer before it’ll work, Dave.

Maybe prayer works via gravity and is thus inverse to the square of the distance between prayer and, uh, prayee.

Comment #151336

Posted by slpage on December 21, 2006 12:39 PM (e)

Unreal…

Let’s see:

‘Senator’ Rick Santorum was booted from office

Bush has the lowest approval rating of his presidency

Republicans lost both houses of congress

Providence, indeed…

Comment #151340

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on December 21, 2006 2:04 PM (e)

You guys who aren’t on the CC list for these various emails have a glimpse here of what you’ve been missing all along.

Comment #151342

Posted by chunkdz on December 21, 2006 2:57 PM (e)

Dembski’s right about one thing - Dawkins is a tool.

Comment #151348

Posted by MarkP on December 21, 2006 5:33 PM (e)

I’m sure your opinion will keep him up at night.

Comment #151390

Posted by deadman_932 on December 22, 2006 12:48 AM (e)

Dembski’s right about one thing - Dawkins is a tool.

Well, Dawkins **work** is perhaps like a literary laparoscope that wedged its way into your sphincter and allowed a glimpse of your brain, right here, online.

There seem to be bats and other objects in there, too. You may want to douche.

Comment #151394

Posted by Thinker on December 22, 2006 2:18 AM (e)

All I can say is: “Billy, you’re doin’ a heckuva job!”

Comment #151407

Posted by blipey on December 22, 2006 4:43 AM (e)

Posted by ben on December 21, 2006 12:33 PM (e)

Ol’ Dave needs to read the Templeton Foundation’s STEP study and the MANTRA II trail, both of which concluded distance prayer doesn’t work. You gotta get closer before it’ll work, Dave.

Maybe prayer works via gravity and is thus inverse to the square of the distance between prayer and, uh, prayee.

And since gravity is the strongest force in the universe, he should be getting an answer any moment now.

yikes.

Comment #151422

Posted by John Phillips on December 22, 2006 7:46 AM (e)

Thank you one and all, well nearly all, they say laughter is the best medicine and I have been feeling rather shxxxy but reading these posts has been better than all my meds put together. Thanks again. Sometimes I almost wish there was a god so that I could give thanks to someone for unintelligently designing the Dumbskis of the world to amuse us with their self important posturing.

Comment #151452

Posted by STEVE on December 22, 2006 12:42 PM (e)

Dembski’s apparently confident plan that he was going to drive over to Crawford and gain legitimacy for ID by explaining it to Bush is pretty incredible.

In fact, Dembski’s plan is highly credible and worrisome, at least before the Dover trial. After all, Michael Crichton was a hosted at the White House in January 2005 to present his fictional anti-global warning global warming views to the President. [Also see Michael Crawley’s follow-up on this story.]

The salient question is not why Dembski imagined that he would have such an opportunity, but who in the Administration might have been working toward these ends. Bush’s ultimate endorsement of ID didn’t come from thin air.

Comment #151526

Posted by Popper's ghost on December 22, 2006 8:38 PM (e)

Yes, Dembski is stupid; but stupider than Pat Buchannan and Phyllis Shlafly?

As unpleasant as those two are, they both opposed the war in Iraq, and I’d say yes, certainly, they are brighter than Dembski.

Comment #151529

Posted by jeroboambramblejam on December 22, 2006 8:57 PM (e)

After I heard today about a $500M W. library - and got up off the floor - I reserved the domain georgewbushpresidentialLIBARY.com … couldn’t resist. It will probably consist of links to the many fine collections of Bush witlessisms and malaprops. Suggestions are welcome at the Gmail of the same name.

Comment #151532

Posted by Robert O'Brien on December 22, 2006 10:09 PM (e)

Dembski’s right about one thing - Dawkins is a tool.

Yep.

Comment #151788

Posted by wamba on December 24, 2006 6:10 PM (e)

I reserved the domain georgewbushpresidentialLIBARY.com

I’d say it needs an entire section devoted to nukular physics.

Comment #152600

Posted by Gene Goldring on December 31, 2006 7:45 PM (e)

“I’m afraid with the war in Iraq and the election, I decided to postpone getting in touch with President Bush.”

Dembski actually seems to be a pretty thoughtful guy. He didn’t want to bother Judge Jones either.