Yes, we’ve read it. But the claim that 70,000 Australian scientists oppose ID is comparable to saying that hundreds of thousands of U.S. scientists oppose ID because the AAAS has formally denounced it. Here’s something just in from an Australian colleague:
One issue which has really been irritating is the ‘error’ which appeared in the national ‘Australian’ Newspaper (now being promulgated in other media, including overseas, e.g. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/21/intelligent_design/), in which it is claimed that 70,000 Australian scientists endorsed an open letter condemning ID as “unscientific”, and calling on schools to ban it from their classrooms. The actual web site from which the letter originates, although on the attack, doesn’t even say this: http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/2005/intelligent.html. In fact I would be classed as one of these 70,000, as I am a professional member of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP), which is affiliated with the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), which one of the signatories represents! The first time that such a letter was mentioned in the media came at the end of a 15 min story about ID that aired the night before on the half-hour, prime-time Australian TV science show called ‘Catalyst’ (transcript can be found at: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1486827.htm).