Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hector, Say It Ain't So! Avalos Accuses Telic Thoughts of Starting the "Atheist Plot" Rumor

Hector Avalos has now revealed the source of the conspiracy theory that he "spearheaded an atheist plot in Iowa." And he has provided the smoking gun link. The shocking truth, according to Avalos, is that it was none other than "bipod" at the Telic Thoughts blog!

Of course, the post to which he cites says nothing about any dastardly Atheist Plot. And the humor of this allegation is apparent to anyone who is familiar with the Telic Thoughts blog. Here is what the post actually says:
Most of us here at telicthoughts would rather there not be a political issue so that we could get on with the fun of exploring scientific questions. With that said, I cannot stand back as a wussy religious instructor leads a religious crusade against a legitimate astrophysicist.

So let's get this straight. Hector Avalos, an atheist at Iowa State University, is leading a crusade of Scientific McCarthyism against Guillermo Gonzalez. The stated reason by Avalos: ""We certainly don't want to give the impression to the public that intelligent design is what we do." Now Avalos and the other 120 signers of the document will deny that they're doing anything inappropriate, but let's be serious.This is Scientific McCarthyism in a cheap tuxedo;-)

"Mr. Avalos said the statement was not intended to silence Mr. Gonzalez, or to get him fired…"

Sure. Then why single him out?

"A crusade of Scientific McCarthyism" is quite different from an "atheist plot." A "plot" suggests a secret plan or scheme [or conspiracy] to accomplish some purpose, esp. a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose. A "crusade" is usually quite public. The key element of the alleged "crusade" was "Scientific McCarthyism," not atheism. The post only mentioned in passing that Avalos was an atheist, and in no way suggested that all who were part of the "crusade" were atheists.

If that is the best that Avalos can provide, I can only view it as confirmation that Avalos himself started the "atheist plot" conspiracy theory rumor.

Note as well that Avalos does not explain why his actions should not be viewed as "Scientific McCarthyism." He invents a straw man accusation and addresses that, rather than addressing the real points made in the post to which he cites.

We are getting irony upon irony here.


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