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The freedom of speech issue will get round to the intelligent design controversy

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John O’Sullivan notes in the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. and Britain have long considered themselves the standard-bearers for freedom of expression. Can this proud tradition survive the idea that ‘hurtful’ speech deserves no protection? Today, hurtful speech is more likely to be political speech than obscene speech.

Yes, and that is a huge problem. I (O’Leary for News) am old enough to remember when offensive speech meant obscenity and “Kashtan the Communist” lost his deposit every local election.* Of course he was free to run, five decades ago. But his platform just didn’t sell.

How things have changed. Now porn is freely available, but it  a writer must say things such as these – which would have been obvious to people bored by Kashtan decades ago:

Hearing criticisms of your own convictions and learning the beliefs of others are training for life in a multifaith society. Preventing open debate means that all believers, including atheists, remain in the prison of unconsidered opinion. The right to be offended, which is the other side of free speech, is therefore a genuine right. True belief and honest doubt are both impossible without it.

It isn’t just some Muslims who want the false comfort of censoring disagreeable opinions. Far from it. Gays, Christians, feminists, patriots, foreign despots, ethnic activists—or organizations claiming to speak for them—are among the many groups seeking relief from the criticism of others through the courts, the legislatures and the public square.

England’s libel laws—long a scandalous system for enabling the rich to suppress their scandals—now have imitations in Europe and the U.S. In May 2014, the European Court of Justice created “the right to be forgotten,” enabling those with ugly pasts—a fraudster, a failed politician, an anti-Muslim bigot perhaps—to delete their crimes, misdemeanors and embarrassments from Internet records so that search engines cannot find them.

Surely such things can’t happen in the land of the First Amendment? Not in quite the same way, perhaps, but a libel suit brought by the climatologist Michael Mann against the opinion writer Mark Steyn, National Review magazine (with which I am affiliated) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for their criticism of his temperature projections still poses a chilling threat to free speech and scientific debate. Even if the case is ultimately resolved in favor of Mr. Mann’s critics, they will have suffered a considerable loss in time and money. “The process is the punishment,” Mr. Steyn has said of such trials. It is also a deterrent to future critics.

Nor are conservatives free from sin on this issue. …

The only people who really want free speech are those who consent that speech be used against them. In the same way that a fair contest means our opponents have the same tools we do.

* Deposit: He (and all others) had to put down $500 for the intention to run in an election. But he would lose it if he did not get a stated number of votes. That helped prevent mere attention-seekers running for office in a multi-party system.

Note: First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Robert Thank you for expressing support for the Emancipation Manifesto. It is comforting to count us now as an army of 2 (I was scared that there is only an army of one until I saw your words). Not a big deal someone may say. But that is not true because the other army has only one (almost) declared soldier: Adapa. It seems also that slavery is not such a bad life style. Best regards brother! InVivoVeritas
IVV Thats a great proclamation and strong claim of self evident truths. Especially like the the point about evolution having NO scientific support. if they did they would persuade the better part of the people and embarrass their opponents. instead they censor, use government power, and media domination to hide the poverty of evolution as a possible accurate hypothesis. Robert Byers
What I found holding back ID theory has nothing at all to do with free speech. The problem has honestly been from not having any real scientific theory to speak of. Gary S. Gaulin
Edward This doesn’t seem to be a first amendment issue. It seems to be about some popinjay sueing people for disagreeing with him. Scientists normally don’t do that do they? This is not about a scientific disagreement. It's about a journalist who accused a scientist not of poor quality work but of deliberate scientific fraud with zero supporting evidence. The scientists has every right to sue for libel. I'd sue too if it were me and my professional integrity was smeared in print that way. Adapa
This doesn't seem to be a first amendment issue. It seems to be about some popinjay sueing people for disagreeing with him. Scientists normally don't do that do they? Edward
Climategate 'hide the decline' explained by Berkeley professor Richard A. Muller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk bornagain77
What the First Amendment guarantee of free speech does not give one is the right to libel others by making unsupported accusations of deliberate scientific fraud as in the Mann case.
On the one hand, I think Mann is right on the science. On the other hand, I generally despise defamation suits and I think he's deeply in the wrong bringing this one. On the gripping hand, Steyn is so obnoxious and has bungled his side of the case so badly it's hard to say he doesn't deserve the grief. There are no heroes in that case. Learned Hand
Oh boy! IVV comes back to do a double-Byers with a full twisting dismount! Tres impressive! Adapa
Adapa, I am sorry Adapa but you disappoint me. I expected that you will be the first to Sign the Proclamation and to ask what we can do to start right away on the proposed Action Plan. I cannot believe that you renounced and denounced so easily your Faith in Evolution at the first attempt to test the strength of your belief. Even if is not absolutely clear so far that Evolution created Life, you should trust that any day now we can read in the newspapers (if not in the scientific journals) that, YES, we have final, clear, definitive proof that Evolution with its Incredible Creative Powers is the Designer and Creator of Life. A proof as good as the other proof that Evolution created the more than 10 million forms of life - starting from - as you say - from "an imperfect self replicator". But let's recognize, that even if the Achievement at number 1. in my list (i.e. Evolution created Life) is not perfectly clear, there are the three other Achievements in my List that Cannot be Denied. That, even if one of the Four Articles of Faith is slightly debatable, it is un-debatable that the Evolution is a Genuine Supernatural Designer and Creator, i.e. the real one. And this is why it has so many worshipers. Let's thus follow your initial Proclamation: Science instructors can’t use “free speech” to teach .. a supernatural Designer and do whatever is in our power to Separate the Cult of Evolution from Our Public Schools and the Religion of Darwin from our State. InVivoVeritas
InVivoVeritas I am sure that you agree that Evolution (or just pure “Matter”) is a “supernatural Designer” – to use your own words. Er, no. Evolution is an empirically observed natural process which the evidence shows is responsible for the biodiversity we observe both today and in the fossil record. 1. Evolution created life. No again. Abiogenesis is the beginning of life. Evolution is only what happened after you had imperfect self replicators competing for resources. (skip the rest) I tip my cap to you IVV. You managed to out-Byers Byers! :) Adapa
Science instructors can’t use “free speech” to teach geocentrism, a flat Earth, or a supernatural Designer
Are you really sure? Even if that "supernatural Designer" is the Darwinian "Evolution"? I am sure that you agree that Evolution (or just pure "Matter") is a "supernatural Designer" - to use your own words. Here is the (objective, scientific) prove that Evolution is a "supernatural Designer" (at least this is the way individuals like think that Evolution is NOT a "willy-nilly idea" and it MUST be presented - without any competition in public schoold.): 1. Evolution created life. 2. Evolution diversified life to over 10 million species. 3. Evolution led to the formation of Galaxies, stars, planetary systems. 4. Evolution in its extended sense created the Planet Earth. Definitely the four accomplishements above are much above natural and human capabilities, and there is no doubt that Evolution is a genuine "Supernatural Designer". There are so many reviewed scientific papers that proclaim this!!! So Adapa your statement above:
Science instructors can’t use “free speech” to teach .. a supernatural Designer
can be evidently restated more specifically as:
Science instructors can’t use “free speech” to teach .. Evolution
So Adapa, I am glad that through our collaborative thinking we reached this important conclusion, again:
Science instructors can’t use “free speech” to teach .. Evolution
So, I am confident that you, and many other readers that share your (our) concern for the the Danger of any "Supernatural Designer" being preached to our children in public schools are going to sign and support the Plan of Action and Proclamation below. I am looking for your (and others) explicit support of this plan and proclamation. Proclamation of Independence of Science, Culture and Religion from the Absurdity of Evolution A Twelve Points Manifesto 1. We affirm that either honest contemplation of the world or focused scientific study of the world reveals with strength and undeniable clarity that our world is a designed world. The exquisite design of life in its myriad forms, the quadrillions of synapses in the 1.4 liters of the human brain, the hospitable medium for life that planet Earth provides in our Universe these present the scientist with mind-boggling complexity and intricacy that surpasses significantly the most advanced artifacts built by humankind and cannot be understood but only as the product of a supernatural designer. 2. We affirm that the Darwinian theory of evolution was always untenable empirically and scientifically and in the landscape of modern achievements of science became completely ridiculous, absurd and irrational. 3. We affirm that the main mechanisms of the theory of evolution: random mutation and natural selection are proved to be untenable and impotent in originating any transformation of a species in a different one. If the organisms adapt and change this is because of sophisticated capabilities designed and built into those organisms. 4. We affirm that the theory of evolution trying to explain life and its unbounded diversity by the presumed mystical creative powers of matter anchored itself into a scientifically retrograde position that stifle advancement of science and knowledge. 5. We affirm that the theory of evolution was motivated from beginning to eliminate the supernatural and religious belief in a creative super-intellect. This motivation brought the theory to a position where it advocates the miraculous, mystical creative powers of the matter to originate and diversify life. Basically the theory of evolution because of its initial objectives just replaced the traditional supernatural creative powers of God with the dubious, absurd and irrational supernatural creative powers of matter. 6. We affirm that the evolution establishment by promoting its dogmas and enforcing compliance with them by extra-scientific means, transformed practically what was originally un unsupported scientific hypothesis into a religious movement, a “scientific cult”, borrowing from some traditional religions the zealotry, radicalism and fundamentalism by not tolerating any alternative scientific theories or positions and brutally stifling and punishing any scientific dissidence. 7. We affirm that by the dynamics described above, the theory of evolution and its support establishment lost credibility as a genuine scientific theory and projecting itself more as of an established materialist retrograde religion which became quite effective in controlling the education at the elementary, middle and high school level as well as the college and academia level with indoctrination rather than genuine scientific education. Evolutionism became a cult of the mystical creative powers of matter. Some of the evolutionism supporters in the media, arts and cultural institutions became tools in an inexplicable obscurantist religious movement. This movement proved repeatedly and consistently that it is ready to sacrifice any principle of objectivity, realism in the practice of science, education and culture just to ensure that their retrograde and reactionary world view is promoted as the single acceptable world view. 8. We affirm that teaching the theory of evolution in schools at any level must stop. It is just a compromised, untenable scientific hypothesis that took the form of masked religion education, indoctrinating generations of students with the materialist myth of creation, with irrational and absurd propositions that matter designed and diversified life, that matter (laws of physics and chemistry combined with chance) has mystical miraculous creative powers much, much superior of those of the human beings. 9. We affirm that all science education needs to be reformed to exclude from its texts the theory of evolution, the promotion and indoctrination of young minds with the cult and mysticism of creation by errors and natural selection. At a minimum, the science textbooks should present only proven, scientific facts and knowledge and leave the topic of the origins out of the class unless the (Intelligent) Design theory get at least equal treatment with the evolution. 10. We affirm our belief that many teachers, professors, scholars and scientists in the higher education, academia and research agree with our assessment that the theory of evolution has no or quaint scientific support and we encourage them to make common cause with us for a transition to a science, culture and religion freed from the absurdity of evolution. We know that many of such academics and scholars were punished when they expressed any different scientific view and lost jobs, tenures or a chance of a successful carrier. We ask their help and support in the successful outcome of the scientific, cultural and religious revolution that we are starting together. 11. We encourage all honest people being they workers, engineers, nurses, physicians, business people or just parents to reflect upon our statement and to join us in freeing the practiced science, culture and religions of the suffocating and distorting grip of the cult of evolution. 12. We affirm that returning to the practice of science where each hypothesis and theory is tested on its own merits, without any bias and distortions is in the interest of unencumbered, healthy progress of science and of the society that reaps the benefits of its progress. Let the science and its scientists as well as ordinary people evaluate world views against genuine objective determinations of science and let the chips fall where they may. Let’s stop the high priests of the evolution establishment dictate us and our children how to think, what to see or what to be hidden from our sight. Let the light of true, objective scientific knowledge illuminate the way everybody is entitled to build his own world view. And here is a Simpler, five points only Form of the Manifesto. A Five Points Manifesto: 1. We affirm that we live in an exquisitely designed world. 2. The theory of evolution is ridiculously wrong and absurd. It pretends it has supernatural power to create life and diversify life by just chance and accumulation of errors. 3. The theory of evolution has no scientific support and is practiced more like an intolerant, suffocating religion. 4. We demand that Darwin religion be separated from public schools supported by taxes. 5. We affirm the immediate need for the emancipation of science, culture and religions from the absurdity of evolution InVivoVeritas
One does not get free speech from the U.S, amendment BUT ONLY the government can't censor. Your parents can!! so society says it also can. The great point here is not freedom of speech. its why allow this freedom and not allow the government to control? because truth in order to prevail there must be freedom to use words to that end. so there must not be powers punishing free speech in important things. Therefore a free people have free speech. they don't allow their gov to control and so no one else. its truth that is the objective. not freedom. Yet we are free and have free speech. therefore all punishment is immoral and illegal. Hate laws must be ended and no compliance with them. society takes care of these things. hurtful speech is free speech. no hurt then no free. Then who is master?? Robert Byers
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech also does not give one the right to introduce any ideas willy-nilly to children in public schools. Are you saying that materialism should also be prohibited from introduction to public school students? OldArmy94
Darwinbots attending a lecture on free speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8 bornagain77
How can a worldview that denies the reality of free will, atheistic materialism, be held in any conceivable way to really support free speech? Sam Harris's Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It - Martin Cothran - November 9, 2012 Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state -- including their position on this issue -- is the effect of a physical, not logical cause. By their own logic, it isn't logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/11/sam_harriss_fre066221.html Of related note, there is a tight correlation between free will and the ability to create new information. Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test - Douglas S. Robertson Excerpt: For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information. http://cires.colorado.edu/~doug/philosophy/info8.pdf bornagain77
I'm not sure what your point here is News. Intelligent design is already protected under free speech. ID advocates are free to speak publicly, write books and papers, post websites outlining their position. What the First Amendment guarantee of free speech does not give one is the right to libel others by making unsupported accusations of deliberate scientific fraud as in the Mann case. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech also does not give one the right to introduce any ideas willy-nilly to children in public schools. Teachers are required to follow established curricula. History instructors can't used "free speech" to teach Holocaust denial. Medical instructors can't use "free speech" to teach homeopathy. Science instructors can't use "free speech" to teach geocentrism, a flat Earth, or a supernatural Designer. Adapa

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