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Dembski replies

At long last, Dembski has finally bothered to reply to the XVIVO plagiarism/copyright violation issue. Abbie addressed the broader issues pretty well. In short: when Dembski spoke at OU he used the “Inner Life of a Cell” video. The original narration had been stripped out and replaced with what Abbie called a “Big Gay Al” creationist-friendly voice-over.

Dembski’s defence has been to claim that he found it that way on YouTube. As he puts it

I took a version of the video that I found on the Internet, one with a voiceover that I thought would have the best educational value for my listeners. The version I used took the original soundtrack, which simply had some music, and added a voice. The voice, just to be clear, is not mine. I had nothing to do with modifying or recrafting the video. I received it, as it were, “off the shelf.”

In his world there are multiple versions of the animation on YouTube. Interesting that no one else seems to have come across the version that Dembski “found”. Interesting how he doesn’t say “and the video is/was available at [some url or other]”. Interesting that he seems unaware of the version with the original narration. DaveScot posted the original at UD nine months ago. I suppose Dembski has the good sense not to read anything DaveScot writes.

But even if this version of events were true, I am still stuck by the phrase: a voiceover that I thought would have the best educational value for my listeners. Doesn’t that just get to the heart of the intelligent design movement?

The intelligent design movement is premised on two ideas – that people stupid, and the Discovery Institute can use that stupidity to manipulate people by feeding them a misleading parody of reality. Although the talk was aimed at college students, Dembski decided that a scientific narrative was inappropriate for his audience – instead, a version which took out the science and replaced it with creationist propaganda was appropriate.

I’m happy to say that Oklahomans aren’t actually that stupid (despite the senators they have elected).

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2 Responses

  1. So, basically, he claims that somebody else plagiarized the video and rewrote the soundtrack and deleted the credits; we should’t blame him, he merely used the IP that somebody else stole. Not a very strong defense. And who does he think did steal it? Well, he doesn’t say.

    And I note he posts on a blog that doesn’t allow comments.

  2. […] Posts Dembski at OU: Why Atheism is no Longer Intellectually FulfillingDembski repliesVisting Lucy in HoustonSealing the dealJohn Angus Campbell and the North Mason School board Part […]

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