Denyse O’Leary still doesn’t get it. Although if she is correct in claiming that Charles Walcott willfully ignored the implications of the Burgess Shale, which he discovered, then there might be an appropriate criticism to be made. But given that he gathered tens of thousands of specimens and returned to the site repeatedly, he was hardly interested in covering up his discoveries. Rather, he may perhaps (if Stephen Jay Gould is correct) have imposed the categories of known phyla on the fossils, rather than proposing that they were new ones. But this, if anything, shows the power of prevailing paradigms, and the dangers of compartmentalization in the sciences and the academy more generally (perhaps a biologist would have more quickly realized these were new phyla than this paleontologist did).
But the utter irony is that O’Leary is criticizing an individual scientist for doing what young-earth creationists and proponents of intelligent design do as a rule, consistently, all the time, namely refusing to take seriously the evidence against their views, and allowing their views to be shaped by older paradigms that have been replaced in mainstream science by ones that better fit the evidence.
If only O’Leary had learned the basics of Christian humility, perhaps she would have recalled when writing this the old childhood lesson that whenever you point the finger at someone else, you have three fingers pointing back at you. Instead she directs criticism at others that applies as well if not better to the movement for which she is a spokesperson.