by Kevin Wirth
ARN Director of Product Development
Quite often I come across some fairly hypocritical commentary emanating from the Dork Side of the Farce. The topics of these bulletins range from "15 things that are wrong with ID" to other delightful tidbits of smugly painted sanctimonious preaching intended to help those who might otherwise be mislead to spot the errors of ID. I guess if ad hominem attacks or vitriol doesn't work, then breathtaking hypocrisy might fare better. A recent example of this would be New Scientist book review editor Amanda Gefter's recent commentary on "How to spot a hidden religious agenda." In it, she attempts to help her readers detect "religion in science's clothing."
But as I read her piece, I couldn't help but notice that nearly every single item she mentions as a problem with the religious-like thinking she is so intent on hammering has a direct corollary with evolutionary thinking as well. It's so interesting how critics can see the imperfections with someone else's perspective, yet fail to see the same exact problem with their own. Not only that, but many of her conclusions (as is typical of many like her who try to correct how IDers define themselves and their mission) are clearly either imprecise, cherry-picked, or flat-out wrong. Nothing like knocking down straw men (and women).
Take for example just one of her comments, where she claims that "If an author wishes for "academic freedom", it is usually ID code for "the acceptance of creationism."
Well, perhaps this is true for some Ms. Gefter, however, it also means a whole lot more than that to many others. The case for academic freedom NEEDS to be pressed in our legislatures because freedom is being suppressed right and left in academia. It's a much needed response to what Big Science is typically unwilling to do: allow dissent to be freely expressed without exterminating those who disagree.
In case some are not paying attention (and clearly, Gefter isn't), freedom of expression is a rare commodity within academia and science (just check out my earlier post "Big Science Takes A Huge Hit for Snubbing AIDS Research Dissenters"). To be sure, an educator CAN express his or her opinion about problems with Darwinian concepts, but 5 seconds later the hooked cane has jerked them off the scientific stage with lame cries of "religion," "separation of church and state," or "pseudoscience!" And, behind the curtain and out of sight of the audience the dissenter gets the living daylights beaten out of him by self-assurred ideological thugs who see themselves as the saviors of science education. And these are the same folks who bemoan the use of water-boarding as an inhumane torture tactic. Meanwhile, educators who thought they were free to express themselves about SCIENCE (not religion) often lose their job, career, families, degrees, and on and on because they dared to dissent.
Gefter, like many others, attempts to set up the issue on a false premise, ie, that the goal of academic freedom legislation is to insert "creationism" or "religion" into public school science classes. Actually, this legislation is an effort to ensure freedom of SCIENTIFIC dissent, which I realize is a far-fetched concept for folks like Gefter, who think we should only allow others to express an evolutionary point of view. Anything critical of evolution or smacking of Design is "religious." But get this: many educators are not allowed to present articles critical of evolution to their students even if taken directly from some of the most prestigious and peer-reviewed science journals on the planet. If the article shows any problems with evolution, then it should not be distributed to highly impressionable students based on the alleged "religious motivations" of the educator. And this is despite the fact that the article has already passed muster within the rigors of the scientific establishment.
Meanwhile, educators who advocate evolution are free to use their authoratative influence to persuade their students to accept the view that the "appearance of design" is not "actual" design. Fortunately, many students these days aren't buying it.
Academic FREEDOM means having the freedom to express one's views without fear of punishment. And that is cearly something Darwin Dorks like Gefter have not yet learned how to handle or appreciate. According to them, freedom should be reserved only for those with the "correct" view of science.
Fortunately, someone else did us a service and created a well-written parody of Gefter's incredibly disingenuous piece.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
For readers who would like to find out more about what happens to Darwin Dissenters, and many others who have suffered discrimination for being Darwin skeptics, I recommend grabbing a copy of "Slaughter of the Dissidents," which can be ordered here.
Seattle area writer and Darwin skeptic Kevin Wirth is a founding member of ARN (formerly Students for Origins Research). He is also the Senior editor, contributor, and publisher of the book "Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters" by Dr. Jerry Bergman (2008). This is the most comprehensive book published to date documenting the extent and types of discrimination against Darwin Dissidents. He is also the publisher of Caroline Crocker's upcoming book about her experience as an Expelled University professor which is scheduled to be released sometime in early 2009.
To read more essays by Kevin Wirth, click here.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Kevin H. Wirth, all rights reserved. Quotes and links are permitted with attribution.
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