It was only a matter of time. The creationists, frustrated at continued legal losses and the complete lack of respect they receive from scientists, have finally past the threshold from trying to distort science in schools to attacking science in a more direct fashion. Today’s Denver Post contains a very short piece about an unnamed “religious group” leaving threatening packages at the CU Boulder ecology and evolutionary biology department, just up the road from where I work. (I’m a little disappointed that our campus didn’t receive this honor – but then again I could do without security crawling all over the place, making sure we have our ID badges displayed properly, etc.)
The messages included the name of a religious-themed group and addressed the debate between evolution and creationism, CU police Cmdr. Brad Wiesley said. Wiesley would not identify the group named because police are still investigating.
“There were no overt threats to anybody specifically by name,” Wiesley said. “It basically said anybody who doesn’t believe in our religious belief is wrong and should be taken care of.”
The first threat was e-mailed to the labs - part of CU’s ecology and evolutionary biology department housed in the Ramaley Biology building - on Friday. Wiesley said Monday that morning staff members found envelopes with the threatening documents slipped under the lab doors.
Unfortunately, the article is short on details. More about this as it develops. Update: In what should come as a surprise to no one, Rob Crowther of the Discovery Institute, on the basis of no evidence at all, implies that the biologists who received these threats lied to the police about them. He also has a hard time with basic reading comprehension:
But where’s the evidence that the perps are actually creationists, or religious at all?
Read the second sentence of the article (i.e. the first sentence I quoted above). The policeman investigating this incident informed the Post that the group is “religiously-themed” and that they made references to creationism. Then again, maybe Crowther thinks the police are lying too. It gets worse:
As one colleague pointed out, that is hardly the way religious believers refer to their own belief system. Rarely do Christian groups refer to their own “religious beliefs” — it is mainly secularists who refer to beliefs with the modifier “religious.”
Except the person who used the modifier “religious” was the policeman, not the perpetrators. We do not know at this point what exactly the perpetrators said. We don’t even know for sure that they’re Christian (methinks Rob doth protest too much…)