At CalPundit, Kevin Drum and many of his commenters are horrified by an L.A. Times story today on the debate over the handling of evolution in Texas biology textbooks. The story opens with a benign ancedote about William Dembski, an activist called "a scientist by trade, a Baylor University research professor." Writes Drum:
A scientist by trade! A research professor! A guy who struggles mightily to reconcile his faith and his science!
Hogwash. William Dembski has PhDs in mathematics and philosphy. He is not a research scientist and has no professional expertise in biology. Until recently he was a well known member of the Discovery Institute, the largest and best funded opponent of evolution in the country. He was head of a center at Baylor's Institute for Faith and Learning until a controversy in 2000 which he mistakenly hailed as "the triumph of Intelligent Design." Even Southern Baptist Baylor couldn't stomach that and he was fired two days later.
In other words, he's a longtime foe of evolution with no professional standing whatsoever in biology. So why is the Times bending over backwards to pretend otherwise?
I don't know if this explains it, but here's a clue. The reporter on the story is Scott Gold, the Houston bureau chief whose story on abortion earlier this year was singled out by editor John Carroll as an example of illicit liberal bias at the paper.