Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

[UD Exclusive:] “The Strange Case of Steve Rissing” by Jerry Bergman

arroba Email

Steve Rissing is a biology professor at Ohio State University involved in attempting to deny a Ph.D. student, Mr. Bryan Leonard, his degree. The trigger for Leonard’s problems began when Rissing (a well known active opponent of anyone who questions Darwin), and a math and anthropology professor wrote a letter claiming that “There is evidence that Mr. Leonard’s dissertation committee has been improperly constituted and that his research may have involved unethical human-subject experimentation.” The letter was sent to Carole Anderson, interim dean of Ohio State’s graduate school, in a clear effort to prevent Leonard from earning his doctorate at OSU (Hall, 2005). The “experimentation” the letter refers to is actually Leonard’s normal state approved high-school student instruction! The objectors also claimed the “panel is stacked with creationists and the research might be unethical.”


I have to agree with GilDodgen on this one. For a theory that has "overwhelming evidence" Darwinism does seem to keep running away from scrutiny. I agree also with LowenheimSkolem. What made me read more ID material (blogs, articles, etc), and the controversy around it, was Dr Steven Meyer's paper, and the Darwinian response (Dr Rick Sternberg's incident). Mats
Sagebrush Gardener has a point. I had been dipping a toe in the ID swimming pool for a good while, but one of the things the really got me interested in learning more (and led me to take ID seriously) was reading up on the Richard Sternberg incident. Maybe it's just me, but typically people do not go to such great lengths to quash meaningless, unimportant ideas. If ID were as devoid of content as folks like to claim, then why not publish the article without a fuss and let it sink or swim on its own merits. LowenheimSkolem
>The best way to deter students or post grads from becoming interested >in ID is to have people in tenured power like Dr Rissing, threaten >their future. I was wondering if the opposite might be true. There's nothing like repression of an idea by the authorities to make someone of college age take notice. The more vociferously (and underhandedly) they fight it, the more attention it will bring to the "forbidden knowledge". sagebrush gardener
Based on available evidence, it appears that Rissing is a certifiable nutcase. His campaign against Leonard is evidence of the fact that proponents of the reigning academic orthodoxy are aware of the precarious nature of Darwinism's claims. If logic, science and evidence were on their side, people like Rissing would not feel the need to resort to such unethical and nefarious tactics. GilDodgen
The best way to deter students or post grads from becoming interested in ID is to have people in tenured power like Dr Rissing, threaten their future. It is a desperate but often effective tactic from the Darwinists. It shows we have definitely moved from the "laugh at you" to the "fight you" in the Gandhi stages. Next stage we win. idnet.com.au
Your message has been forwarded to Prof. Dembski. -ds RClayderman
Please correct me if this is mistaken, but there is another reason why the answer to the multiple choice question should be (d), all of the above. Rissing is presumably implying not only that ID fails to contribute to the understanding and treatment of those 3 diseases but also that Darwinism _does_ contribute in important ways. The ID response is that the only productive contributions made by Darwinism in this area all pertain to small scale microevolutionary changes, and ID has no quarrel with NDE that RM+NS does occur, and does exert some influence, but only at a microevolutionary level. This means that NDEers don't "own" the scientific usefulness of the idea of microevolutionary changes any more than IDers do; it is a shared viewpoint, outside the scope of the debate. Yaakov
I wonder what the current status is on Mr. Leonard's dissertation? This Rissing fellow sounds like a real flake! jacktone

Leave a Reply