An online clearinghouse for intellectual debate has discovered the apparent boundary for its controversial conversations: Intelligent Design.
Bloggingheads.tv posted a video interview between journalist John McWhorter and Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe in late August focused on the Lehigh University biochemistry professor's 2007 book The Edge of Evolution. It was taken down the same day after the website received a barrage of online criticism for not asking tougher questions of Behe and for hosting him at all.
The explanation given for pulling the interview: "John McWhorter feels, with regret, that this interview represents neither himself, Professor Behe, nor Bloggingheads usefully, takes full responsibility for same, and has asked that it be taken down from the site. He apologizes to all who found its airing objectionable."
Bloggingheads editor-in-chief Robert Wright reposted the interview four days later upon discovering the incident, but Behe says that action didn't erase what happened.
"Reposting the interview didn't make everything better," says Behe. "Yanking it down in the first place sent the strong message that this is a topic that can't be discussed rationally; it is beyond the pale, and an interviewer like McWhorter risks his career if he does otherwise."
The decision to repost the interview prompted notable scientists Carl Zimmer and Sean Carroll to publicly disassociate with the website because they believe Intelligent Design is not a serious scientific idea worthy of debate.
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