April 10, 2007

"Framing? Hey, that's our turf!"

I note with bemused irony William Dembski's indignation over attempts by pundits to advise scientists on ways to resist the growing influence of pseudo-sciences, including ID creationism. In general, the advice runs to the idea of properly "framing" the issues such that those to whom one's arguments are directed are contextually prepared to understand them.

Well now someone with Dembski's high standards can brook none of this concept-tailoring, and his post on the subject receives a title imbued with classic Dembski petulance - “Framing Science” — Because the masses cannot be reasoned with but must be manipulated."

I have little problem with scientists who are engaged in these debates making use of reasonable rhetorical strategies for getting across their message with clarity and brevity. In fact I think it's high time those on our side started thinking in these terms. Why? Because this tactic - taken to a duplicitous extreme - is what the IDers have been up to all along. And this is, of course, the source of my bemusement at Dembski's pique.

I've spent a fair amount of time documenting the marketing strategies of the ID movement in posts here on this blog and in more focused papers dealing directly with this theme. I have also developed a glossary of terms to help with the inevitable befuddlement brought on by excessive exposure to ID-speak.

Manipulation? By our side?



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