Here is the Dembski quote I was looking for:
By the way, you may be wondering why I don't here simply provide a list of peer-reviewed articles by design theorists from the biological literature that support intelligent design. The reason is that I want to spare these authors the harassment they would receive if I listed their work in this book. Overzealous critics of intelligent design regard it as their moral duty to keep biology free from intelligent design, even if that means taking extreme measures. I've known such critics to contact design theorists' employers and notify them of the "heretics" in their midst. Once "outed" the design theorists themselves get harassed and harangued with e-mails. Next, the press does a story mentioning their unsavory intelligent design associations. (The day one such story apperaed, a close friend and colleague of mine mentioned in the story was dismissed from his research position at a prestigious molecular biology laboratory. He had worked in the lab for ten years). Hereafter, the first thing that an Internet search of their names reveals is their connection with intelligent design. Welcome to the inquisition. (Dembski, The Design Revolution, p. 305).
I'm sorry, Blue Devil Knight, but this is not the normal quality control engaged in in the normal course of academic life. If this is true, this is a deliberately conceived witch-hunt aimed and destroying ID by intimidation. It is treating ID not merely as a false idea (many false ideas have made tremendous contributions to the history of science) but as a disease that must be eliminated root and branch. Does science need to be kept "pure" in this way? I can assure you that tactics like these will not improve the relationship between science and the wider community. At the same time people like Richard Dawkins use the prestige of evolutionary biology to support a campaign for atheism, a campaign which seems to me to be simply loaded with specious arguments.
For most of my life I would have regarded myself as pretty much a theistic evolutionist. I have no truck with any attempt to say that good science shows that the earth was created 6000 years ago in 6 days. However, in studying the philosophy of science I wondered at some of the arguments designed to show that science is necessarily naturalistic. I decided those arguments didn't work, and interestingly enough my staunchly atheist philosophy of science teacher in grad school agreed with me. It reminded me of arguments by David Hume that there couldn't be enough evidence for a miracle. (Some people accept that argument, and then also say they don't believe in God because he didn't give us enough evidence for his existence).
Science is perfectly free to use heuristic principles, like methodological naturalism, in a defeasible way. But the idea that the universe is undetermined at the quantum level, and the idea that the universe had a beginning in time, are both claims that would have been proscribed by most versions of "methodological naturalism" that might have prevailed prior to the acceptance of Big Bang cosmology and quantum mechanics.
But methodological naturalism is sometimes held to in a dogmatic way. Consider the following quote by Richard Lewontin:
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community of unsubstantiated just-so stories [in evolutionary biology] because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material causes, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who believes in God can believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen. (1997)
As I pointed out in my book, what would happen if some Christian were to say the same thing about the inerrancy of the Bible?
Our willingness to accept biblical teachings that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between faith and unbelief. We take the side of Scripture in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the existence of unsubstantiated just so stories in Scripture, because we have a prior commitment to Scripture's inerrancy. It is not that the methods and institutions of biblical study somehow compel us to accept only interpretations which are in accordance with the Bible's inerrancy, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to biblical inerrancy to create a method of biblical study that [produces explanations that are consistent with inerrancy, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, our commitment to inerrancy is absolute, for we cannot allow doubt to get its foot in the door. For anyone doubting the Word of God in any respect will end up doubting it in all respects.
Why, it would make you want to use the f-word (the long one that is).
Are these ID attackers really just trying to uphold science? Or are they motivated by the fear of religion? As Thomas Nagel observes:
In speaking of the fear of religion, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper - namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God, and naturally, hope that I'm right about my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that. (1997)
Now I have no intention of explaining philosophical naturalism as a whole in terms of the fear of religion. But I think that some of the extreme responses by the enemies of ID, and the attempt to make methodological naturalism into an absolute instead of a defeasible heuristic, is a sure sign that the fear of religion, and not the love of science, is at work.