A Science Professor’s Awesome Email Exchange with the Discovery Institute

Professor Callan Bentley has a habit of taking awesome pictures and posting them on his website. Like this one of Emerald Lake and the Burgess Shale:

That picture recently drew the interest of an author at the Intelligent-design-promoting Discovery Institute and his assistant sent Bentley a letter:

My boss Dr. Stephen C. Meyer at the Discovery Institute is finishing up a book that discusses various attempts to explain the Cambrian Explosion. It is called Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosion of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design.

I’d like to offer you $100 and a complimentary copy of the book in return for permission to use the photo. The book will be published in June 2013 by HarperOne Publishers San Francisco. If you agree to do this, can you please forward me a high-res version of the photo and your preferred wording for credit?

Bentley wasn’t about to let his image get used by people who don’t understand science yet promote their false beliefs anyway. So he wrote back to the assistant and didn’t hold back:

Hello Andrew,

Thanks for your interest.

I hold the Discovery Institute in the lowest regard, and it sounds like the new book will be a further perversion of reason in the name of pseudoscience. As a science educator, I could never support such an effort! I will not grant reproduction rights to any of my photos or drawings to any creationist effort such as the one you describe here.

Best wishes for your good health, and the speedy demise of the sham institution that employs you.

Callan Bentley

*Slow clap*

And that’s only the beginning of their conversation. You can check out the rest of it here :)

(Thanks to @LynnFDR for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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