Recently, in a guest edited issue of philosophy journal Synthese, anti-ID Louisiana U prof Barbara Forrest broomsticked – of all people – Baylor prof Frank Beckwith, framed as an ID supporter. And anyone who keeps up with the issues knows he isn’t. The scandal here is that Forrest is supposed to be a big expert on ID (testified at the Dover show trial), but didn’t seem to know that easily found fact. Synthesedisowned her article, putting a disclaimer on it. Meanwhile, another far better known philosophy prof, Larry Laudan, is outraged at being broomsticked in the same issue of Synthese by Robert Pennock, another anti-ID-for-a-living prof.
A friend just whisked this under my nose:
There is a discussion online about the close dates between Francis Beckwith’s submission to Synthese [in response
to Forrest] and its acceptance. What has not been brought up—if the right information was given—is the submission and acceptance dates of the articles in the evolution/ID issue. It turns out all of the articles in that issue of the journal (except one), including Forrest’s, had the exact same turn-around time as Beckwith’s. So, if Beckwith’s article is problematic for a quick turnaround, then so is virtually the entire issue. Here are the submission and acceptance dates for the articles in question:
Branch: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Wilkins: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Smith: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Ellsberry/Shallit: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Sarkar: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Shanks/Green: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Forrest: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Fetzer: Received: 23 March 2009 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
(Yes, you are reading right; they all feature the same submission and acceptance dates.)
Of course, because the universe we live in does not feature design, this is a pure coincidence, and not evidence of close and careful co-ordination by, oh possibly, a Darwin in the schools lobby. It gets better:
The only article in that issue that does not fit this pattern is Pennock’s:Received: 18 April 2007 / Accepted: 25 March 2009
Time must be allowed,of course, for Darwinian evolution.
Even scholars who don’t like Beckwith are enraged that he was (in one such person’s emphatic phrase) “wronged” in this way. One puzzle is, why won’t the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby just quit drawing attention to their debacle? Why upgrade it to a [debris] storm? Must they make the sequel to Expelled – for a much broader audience?
Talk about a smashbox special: The Darwin lobby puts its best face on the matter – a face for radio and a voice for print.