by TFN

January’s evolution show trial put on by the Texas State Board of Education gave the anti-evolution Discovery Institute a warm fuzzy because one of its co-founders got to share the stage with real scientists. (If you missed it, check out our live blogging that started here.) Because they can’t provide a shred of real scientific evidence to support their anti-evolution babble, the Disco folks try to set up “debates” in reputable venues just for the publicity. The Texas scientists who shared the microphone at the state board hearing didn’t have much choice — state board members had appointed them to a review panel that was part of the formal process for revising public school science curriculum standards.

But given a choice, most scientists aren’t willing to participate in a “debate” with folks from the Discovery Institute. Why? Because the Disco folks haven’t bothered to do the hard work of providing scientific evidence to support their positions. Now PZ Myers tells readers that the Discovery Institute recently asked a professor at the University of Vermont, Nicholas Gotelli, for a debate about evolution and “intelligent design” on his campus. In short, Prof. Gotelli’s answer was along the lines of “you’re joking, right?” You can read the whole delicious exchange for yourself, but here’s a taste of the professor’s stinging reply:

(I)sn’t it sort of pathetic that your large, well-funded institute must scrape around, panhandling for a seminar invitation at a little university in northern New England? Practicing scientists receive frequent invitations to speak in science departments around the world, often on controversial and novel topics. If creationists actually published some legitimate science, they would receive such invitations as well.