Shooting For All Ten

I recently accused proponents of intelligent design of serious violations of the moral principles their organizations claim to be fighting to uphold. Apparently someone noticed that I was unable to list all the commandments and has taken measures to rectify the matter.

A number of blogs such as ERV, Pharyngula and Paralepsis are currently suggesting that Bill Dembski has added theft to the list of sins of which proponents of ID can be accused. Although we all knew they are willing to ignore the context of the quotes they mine from mainstream scientists, apparently they are also willing to take simulations others have created and use them for purposes antithetical to that for which it was created, without permission or royalties.

I am not going to get too excited about the fact that Bill Dembski seems to have engaged in plagiarism. Although I doubt anyone would ever mistake the clip from the Simpsons or something else I use in class for my own creation, there is a bit of grey area regarding what constitutes fair use. But certainly if Dembski has taken credit away from where it rightly belongs, that deserves to be pointed out, at the very least. And if someone can fine or sue them and get some of the money that is being wasted on intelligent design to be redirected towards something more useful, more power to them.

But can anyone really be surprised at proponents of intelligent design being accused of plagiarism? After all, which of their ideas could ever have been seriously considered new?