This is damn embarrassing.
It is not on the basis of its offense to Christian living that I find Dembski's active role in such a project embarrassing. I'm neither a prude nor a fundamentalist—I don't offend easily. (Although I was in sixth grade the last time I found the sound effects used in the animation funny.) No, I'm embarrassed that someone in his position—a professor, author, and leader of an allegedly scientific movement/revolution—could behave so unintelligently. And be so proud of it!
And I think that if I were still in good standing with the ID community, that even if I were a contributor to Uncommon Descent†, that I would still be embarrassed.
In his latest post on the subject, Dembski admits to being the voice of Judge Jones. He ends his post with the childish comment:
A disgruntled former UD commenter KeithS slowed it down and lowered the pitch. Well, it’s true, it actually is me. But that's only temporary. We are inviting Judge Jones to do himself. Stay tuned.This post was on the adult blog, Uncommon Descent, not on that lasting tribute to misjudging both the intelligence (where it is underestimated) and the sense of humor (like missing the side of a barn let alone a bull's-eye at the edge of the universe—let the reader understand) site for teens: Overwhelming Evidence.
I'll never know, but I have to wonder if others in the ID community look at Uncommon Descent and think: Oh, brother.
UPDATE: Sadly, it gets worse. To the point of causing me to give a He Lives first-time-ever favorable link to Panda's Thumb. As reported here, Dembski sent a letter to those whose images were depicted in the animation:
There’s a Christmas present for you at www.overwhelmingevidence.com
– a flash animation that features each of you prominently (some of you are probably aware of it already). We’re still planning a few enhancements, including getting Eric Rothschild in there and having Judge Jones do the actual voiceovers himself (right now it’s me speeded up though it’s his actual words). In return for the judge doing himself, we’ll drop some of the less flattering sound effects. We would have included Prof. Padian, but the images of him on the internet weren’t of sufficient quality (I’m copying Prof. Padian – if you send me a hi res jpg of yourself, I’m sure we can work you in – you were after all the expert witness at the trial).
The PT spin from Nick Matzke sounds about right. Rather than admitting that his involvement in the flash animation was ill-conceived, Dembski tries invoking a nervous-bravado cover. I'm just one of the guys, all in good fun, I really do believe that Jones will say "man, that's hilarious, sure I'll do the voice over. And thanks Bill for taking the time from your scientific research to fill-in for me."
UPDATE 2: Dembski defends his animation this way:
I see the JJSchLaw [the flash animation] as an instrument of grace to bring Dawkins and others to their senses
I have no response to that.
UPDATE 3: The sound effects have been removed.
†I was once offered the job as a UD contributor. I still have the email containing the offer. I declined because—even though this was long before I fell from grace—I pointed out that I didn't think ID was science and I always acknowledge the designer as God—so I would not fit in.