He blames the loss in Dover on everyone else: it was the Dover school board’s fault because they had religious motives (and Dembski doesn’t?), the judge was biased, the Thomas More Law Center alienated anybody who was anybody in the ID movement. He tried to claim the the Discovery Institute saw the case was a loser right from the beginning, conveniently glossing over the fact that Dembski himself was actually going to testify as an expert witness in that trial, and threatened to sue to get paid for his services. The Discovery Institute praises Of Pandas and People, the creationist textbook criticized in the trial, and Michael Behe, one of the stars of the DI, did testify to hilarious effect. Making cheap excuses is not persuasive.
Dembski’s argument is that the problem is that we should teach only the controversies about evolution, not the controversies about intelligent design. That’s exactly backwards, of course—if you’re trying to push a new science into the classroom, it’s your job to defend that idea, not just flail at existing ideas and assume you can just win by default. He did admit, though, that the Dover case was a major setback on the public policy front, and then was so bold as to say that what they need to do now is the hard work of doing the science. That was one funny moment in the whole interview: they don’t do science.
He was obviously insincere about that, because the very next question was about what the Discovery Institute’s next move should be, and it wasn’t to do science…it was to “galvanize and mobilize young people”. He seems to have a jesuitical plan to get the child to win over the man ten years later, but unless he’s planning to put those kids in labs doing experiments, I think he’s given the lie to the DI’s need to do research. Instead, he’s claiming that evolution is the boring old status quo, and that ID is rebellious and new and will attract the young. All those young people who think Reverend Paley is a real hep cat, no doubt.
He dredges up the usual ID cliches—”molecular machines” and “hallmarks of design”—without a shred of evidence. He claims that critics haven’t read any of the ID literature, which is bogus—I’ve read Dembski and Wells and Behe and Johnson and the whole painful lot of them. I don’t think he considers reading the work that important, anyway, because he also dabbles in a bit of crude demagoguery, saying that the “elites” (he’s no fan of elites), like the National Academy of Sciences, hate ID…but the “unwashed masses” (yes, that’s the term he used) love it, and the “unwashed masses” pay the salaries of the elite. Dembski to his most precious fans: take a bath!
He appeals to authority, citing the Nobelist in chemistry, Richard Smalley (note: not a biologist), as saying Intelligent Design will be a mainstream idea in 5 years, and that Darwinism will be dead in 10. Dembski was somewhat more pessimistic, and said it would be about 15 years, and that’s when it would be obvious where all the interesting articles were being published, and who was winning the Nobel prizes. Mark your calendars; he said that in 2005, so let’s just see if Dembski or Behe or some other DI clown can get their Nobel by 2020.
It is a ridiculous prediction, but then, creationists predicting the imminent demise of evolution is one of the hoariest cliches around. They’ve got no science now, their strategy for the future is to indoctrinate kids to accept their ideology, and they expect to be running an internationally recognized and respected research program in the next decade? These guys are completely out of touch with reality.