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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Rob Pennock on Antievolutionist Bad Behavior

Professor Robert T. Pennock of Michigan State University has an online opinion piece at US News and World Report. The topic? A response and rebuttal of various slurs against Pennock made in that venue by Discovery Institute spokesperson Casey Luskin, plus some very pertinent remarks about the unseemly and violent rhetoric being deployed by the religious antievolution movement.

Luskin accused Pennock of employing intimidation and name-calling, and provided a quote to make his case. Here's the relevant parts of Pennock's reply on that score:

Now on to Luskin's claims. Commenting upon myself and Richard Katskee, Luskin writes that we and other "Darwinists" aim to "stifle debate" and that we use a "poison pen" and "name-calling" as "intimidation tactics" to silence anyone who dares speak up in favor of ID.


So on what basis does Luskin accuse me of wielding the poison pen of name-calling and intimidation? He quotes an E-mail I wrote that referred to an article he posted on a DI blog protesting a talk I had been invited to give at University of California San Diego. Contrary to Luskin's claims, the truth of the matter is that my E-mail was a brief, private reply to an E-mail I received from the dean's office following my talk, drawing my attention to Luskin's article (which mostly consisted of disparaging claims about what he predicted I would say in my talk) and requesting my advice as to whether they should reply. I pointed out that Luskin's article was deceptive and contained factual errors (and gave an example), but my recommendation to them was to not respond in kind, and to let it pass. Neither I nor UCSD made any public objection, let alone engaged in any name-calling or intimidation, to Luskin's attack. And how did my out-of-context quote become public? Some unknown person at UCSD forwarded my private E-mail, without permission, to the Discovery Institute. It was Luskin himself, also without asking permission, who published this out-of-context quotation on a DI blog to attack me personally. So who is the character assassin here?

Casey Luskin has a history of concern trolling, though he seems to have no problem in dishing out the personal abuse, as the excerpt comparing Eugenie Scott to Darth Vader in that link shows.