Posted by Gary Hurd on August 17, 2005 03:43 PM
I compiled an appendix for “Why Intelligent Design Fails” sometime in the summer of 2003. The appendix is a list of internet resources, both pro-science and pro-creationism, usually with brief descriptions of the target website. Generally, I merely copied some text from the site itself as the descriptive text.
Some months ago intelligent design creationist Casey Luskin sent me the following email:
Dear Dr. Hurd,
Greetings. My name is Casey Luskin and I am the co-president of the IDEA Center. I wanted to contact you because I was recently reading the appendix of “Why Intelligent Design Fails” and found some fairly benign but clear factual mistakes. These are basically factual inaccuracies which you’d probably want to correct in future versions of “Why Intelligent Design Fails.”
I was wondering if you are interested in hearing more about these. If you are interested in knowing more details about them, please let me know and I will briefly outline them for you. In fairness, I should let you know that I am writing a response correcting the inaccuracies for the sake of readers who own your book. I’ll probably post it on the IDEA website sometime in the near future.
In any case, I will definitely pay you guys one compliment regarding your volume: “Why Intelligent Design Fails” is the best book out there providing a scientific critique of ID and when I want to know what the critics are saying, it’s the best resource out there (in my opinion).
I hope to hear from you. Thanks and take care.
I saw no point in responding, particularly as Luskin could have simply presented what ever errors he had in mind, and I had no interest in playing “cat n’ mouse” games. Further, as indicated in the portion of his email that I have highlighted in bold, he was planning to post his discoveries anyway, and I was quite able to wait – there wasn’t an opportunity to correct any errors at this point anyway.
And in due course, said mistakes appeared on Mr. Luskin’s intelligent design website, “Appendicitis: Corrections to the Appendix of Why Intelligent Design Fails”
The greatest ire seems to have been the outrage of Mr. Richard Deem, an Old Earth Creationist whom I incorrectly infered to be a Young Earth Creationst. Mr. Deem’s “review” of WIDF posted to Amazon.com reads as follows:
“You know a book is bad when authors can’t even get some obvious, basic facts correct. Regarding my website, “Evidence for God from Science,” Hurd states in the appendix, “These web pages, hosted by God and Science.org, illustrate the intelligent-design support among young earth creationists.” The problem is that God and Science.org is presented from a decidedly old earth perspective. In fact, young earth creationism is specifically denounced on numerous pages - two pages of which even call it heresey. The fact that Hurd missed this obvious fact (check out the website yourself)demonstrates his shoddy, sloppy scholarship.”
We have posted a link to Luskins website also on the WIDF web page maintained by Taner Edis under “errata.”
Not WMDs, but errors anyway. Minor corrections were made between the first and second printings. We are currently in the third printing, but I have no idea if there will be any further printings, or even if I would have the opportunity to delete the offending URLs and other errors discovered by Luskin. “Man tun was man kann.” If I can- I will.
(I’ll leave comments open for while.)