Self-proclaimed "journalist, author, and blogger" and all-round Canadian pseudo-scientific quack and Intelligent Design dingbat Denyse O'Leary can't figure out what all the ruckus is about:
U of T course generates huge rage? Why?
Apparently, a vast fracas started on the Small Dead Animals blog, sparked by some alarmblog comments about my course in the intelligent design controversy starting this coming Tuesday evening at the University of Toronto. I posted the following response: ...
If Denyse is truly baffled as to why some folks who care about science might be a bit miffed, I'd be happy to clear this up for her.
First, let's notice something fairly significant: O'Leary's course is not an official U of T offering that is part of any established programme. Rather, it's being offered under the aegis of the U of T's St. Mike's College as a non-credit, continuing education course, which means (not to put too fine a point on it) that there's nothing stopping it from being utter rubbish. Not to sound unsympathetic, but that's kind of what "non-credit, continuing education" means. And if St. Mike's wants to offer that, they're certainly free to do so, and more power to them. That's not the problem.
The problem (if you haven't figured it out already) is O'Leary's slimy tendency to refer to her offering as a "U of T course" without qualifying its potential worthlessness. Just look at O'Leary's innocent protestations above, where you read the phrases "U of T course" and "my course in the intelligent design controversy starting this coming Tuesday evening at the University of Toronto" with no disclaimer that it's a non-credit, cont-ed course. And, yes, that carefully-excised bit of information makes a world of difference.
So if Denyse wants to teach scientifically illiterate nonsense through St. Mike's non-credit, cont-ed program, hey, go wild. But she shouldn't be allowed to puff up her credentials by describing it as a "U of T" course, and she should be corrected vocally every time she does.
You're not a faculty member at U of T, Denyse, so let's quit trying to leave that impression, shall we?