Monday, October 16, 2006

Cosmological ID talk Cancelled

Talk about timing! I was about to post details regarding a fine-tuning talk I was going to give for the New Hampshire Astronomical Society meeting on October 20th at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH. However, before I finished composing that post I received an email informing me that my invitation was rescinded.

Apparently, all hell had broken loose.


Because, according to the email:
Some members of the club Googled your book title, found that it was recommended on several sites supporting Intelligent Design, and assumed this would be the topic of your talk. While I have assured our membership that your presentation would not be on a religious note, the issue very quickly got out of hand with many members stating they would not attend, and several others saying they would not renew their membership.
Not renew their membership! Amazing.

This is interesting on numerous fronts:
  1. Yes there would have been some religion--what's to be expected from an Cosmological ID talk entitled Cosmological ID: Is God In the Details? One difference between my talks and other ID talks is that I am very up-front about the religious overtones, and don't hide them behind a "the designer could be an alien" ruse.

  2. Nevertheless, there is real scientific meat in the talk (though, as you would expect if you know my position, I never say ID is science.) I have given this talk (a souped-up version of the one I give at churches) for university physics departments. It always generates a lot of interesting and friendly discussion.

  3. I hope this isn't a trend--the ID movement has poisoned the well as far as the public schools are concerned, but this is the first time fallout from their political maneuverings has contributed to a cancellation of one of my talks outside the public schools.

  4. Having placed partial blame on the ID Movement, the membership of the NHAS is not without culpability. What would motivate scientists to go into a hissy-fit because an invited speaker's novel received a good review on an ID-friendly web site? It also received a good review from the local science writer for the Nashua Telegraph whose is adamantly opposed to ID.
I am interested in what the anti-IDers who read this blog think about the NHAS canceling the talk for the reasons given.

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