Ok, I’m coming to this one a little late. It’s something Bair got me on to a while ago but I’m only just following up now. It started with a link to PZ Myers blog Pharyngula and it all snowballed (or should that be Wombled?) from there.
Everyone thats seen a creationist in action knows how slimey and duplicitous they can be, some are inept and don’t do it with finesse (think Nephy here) and others are dangerously slick and smooth (but it’s clear to those watching). This story starts with the Geological Society of Americas conference, one of the things us Geologists like to do at such gatherings is to go and find some hapless field locations to molest (and some pub action too). It turns out that one of the trips that was organised was put together by some well known American creationists…..
The main drive for creationists to do things like this is the desperate need to gain some credibility, in a good number of ways (and this is me being honest) I would love to see any creationists found at such an event to be tarred, feathered and run out the venue….. Whilst this isn’t perhaps the most civilised thing to do, or contemplate, it does give me much satisfaction to imagine as they are pissing on the subject that I am very passionate about.
However I actually agree with Steve Newton from the NCSE, in an article he posted last month he pointed out that banning creationists from joining in at events like this would actually build them up for being martyrs. They’ed get to be all ‘woe is us we’re being bullied and shunned’ and claim that we’re doing it out of fear that they’re right (Wegner was mocked for suggesting that the continents moved, but he was right).
I just wish that they had the balls to pony up and say what they believed and not lie and wheedle their way into conferences. They don’t say what they believe though as that would probably end up in them NOT being able to give talks or present posters at conferences. What we need is to raise the awareness of other academics/students to this sort of thing and to make sure that they get picked up on their beliefs in question and answer sessions just as Joe Meert did with Marcus Ross. If we don’t do this standing up to them it means that they get to do this and declare victory.
P.S. For those of you that couldn’t work out which option I voted for in the poll I went for Yes, but only so i could heckle them 😀